Carbon compliance tester
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Santa Clara, CA
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A Hamilton morning
Woke up early this morning, hellbent on getting out early while it was cool, and climbing Hamilton from both directions.
My start was later than hoped (7:10 or so), and I hit every single traffic light down Tasman/Capitol expressway.
My goal on the way up was to make it from the turnoff from Alum Rock onto 130 to the observatory in under 2 hours. I've only done Hamilton twice; once a few weeks after I got my bike (2h19min), and then again with the BF crew at the end of Pete's 4-mountain-challenge. I didn't do the challenge, though I had ridden highway 9 the day before, so my time suffered (2h40 I think).
I spent a lot less time in my granny gear than usual, spent more time out of the saddle, and as soon as I sat back down I tried to keep my momentum up as I recovered slightly. Halfway up I felt pretty good about things, but I knew there were no more downhills to bring my average up. I think on the ascent my average HR was 156 or 158, with long periods spent around 170 and a few bursts over 180.
I passed an older gentleman, who I told I was shooting for under 2 hours. He replied that he's not quite that heroic. I thought to myself, it's not heroism until you actually do it, at this point it's only ambition.
Later I came around the last left-hander and powered up the hill, around the observatory and sprinted up the driveway. I flew up to the stairs and banged my cleat on the step as I looked down at my timer -- 1:59:55. Booyeah.
I only spent around 10 mins at the top before descending down the north side to the Isabel Creek bridge 5.5 miles and about 1900 feet below. It was starting to get hot (close to 11am).
Turned around and started climbing. I was mostly in survival mode at this point. It was steep and hot. I didn't pay enough attention to when I started to know how long it took, but it was a little over an hour I think. Saw a ton of people on their way down, some semi-organized group ride/tour + a few SAG wagons. I think they were headed into the Sierra for a few days.
Another 15 mins at the observatory and I started bombing back down. At this point (noonish) it was quite warm. The entire descent was warm winds, and my computer, even in the shade, kept showing close to 100. I saw as high as 108 when the black computer was baking in the sun. I'm getting better and faster at descending, and I really enjoyed this one.
I debated whether I was going to ride 10 miles home (north into a headwind) or just take VTA home. The ride home from Hamilton always seems SO far. I wanted to ride home on principal even though I was sorta in a hurry to get home, shower, and get to work.
I stopped caring about my pride when I rode down McKee to Capitol. It was downright hot, heat radiating up from the pavement, and the wind was blowing. Screw this, I'm taking the air-conditioned comfort of VTA home.
149 avg hr
182 max hr