Good thing we started the ride a little later than usual (we rolled about 10:35 am). It was a little brisky riding to the start, but the sky opened up by the time I got to Mountain View.
Met Marco, Ruth, and Pete, who arrived on Caltrain together (although Ruth had to split off earlier, as she had to get back by 2 pm).
Ramon showed up a little earlier ...
We waited around till about 10:30 am ...
Just as we were about to leave, BigBossMan showed up ... so we had a nice little crowd to ring in the new BF kits.
Since Ruth had to leave early, I had to get one shot of her. The girl never takes a bad picture.
Almost from the beginning, we lose taxi777 and bigbossman (didn't make the turn). So instead, Bostic, myself, uspspro, kb5ql climb up Mora. Steeper than I remember, I guess because it had been a while since I had done that. Came as a surprise to everyone else ... steeper than everyone else thought. Nice steep short hill to start the day.
We caught up with taxi and bigbossman later. This gave us the opportunity to take a group shot of the BF Kits together.
After climbing out of Stonebrook, we turned onto El Monte, and the gladiators decide to bypass the Natoma/Black Mountain route, and instead go up Moody. Bostic, uspspro, and kb5ql went that option, while taxi, bigbossman, and myself continue on the regular route.
Here's taxi as he catches up on Elena
followed very closely by bigbossman
We eventually caught up with the gladiators, and Bostic, went ahead and took uspspro and taxi up his hill climb from hell, going completely straight up ... as vertical a climb as you can possibly get, going UP Los Trancos, and coming down Joaquin ... Dang! Glad I decided to hang loose with kb5ql and bigbossman. Taxi is really going to be hurting tonight.
On we go towards Old La Honda, but not before I get a flat on Portola Valley Road. Surely, with this, I was expecting the gladiators to pass me on Old La Honda. But what I didn't know was they were going up Los Trancos the hard way, plus they went on Golden Oaks ... that would take them awhile. In the meantime, I keep trying to push for a better time up OLH ... I felt really good up till just before the wooded area before Upenuf. No matter how many times I do this climb, that portion of the climb always gets to me. My pace slowed down considerably ... I think I made up to the top in 29 min ... still, about the same time, no matter how good or bad I feel.
As I was waiting at the top, I do see Marco, Ramon, then Taxi arrive ... completely hyperventilating. So that's what they look like after they climb OLH in 22 minutes!
We later made it down to Roberts, for lunch and sandwiches ... mmm, that felt good.
All in all, a nice small crowd, and a great ride. The weather was terrific ... just perfect, not really hot, and not cold at all. I'd better let the gladiators tell you more about the escapades that Bostic led them on.