What a glorious day! It was a perfect day for a ride up Mt. Hamilton ... the pesky penguin was nowhere to be found. Instead, plenty of warm climate birds flying around, chirping happily along.
It started out pretty cool ... I was a little worried I didn't bring enough, as I only brought light jacket, light long fingered gloves, and short fingered gloves. I rode over to VTA, then took that over. The McKee VTA stop is only about a mile from the start of the ride. Nice alternative. Just in case, I brought my Ecopass, but there was no one on VTA checking. Of all the times I have ridden VTA, I have only seen someone check for tickets twice, and that was on a work day.
Anyhow, I misread the schedule, and got to McKee at 9 am, and not 9:30 am. Oh well ... I was able to find a coffee shop in the shopping center at Kirk and McKee. Interestingly, the name of the establishment is "The Coffee Shop". Very imaginative, eh? It's a small coffee shop with good pastries ... I think I'll make it a point to go there more often, to support the little guys.
After getting my Zucchini Bread ... mmm ... saw the early group there. It was around 9:15 am ... hey, I thought BBM said 9 am sharp. Well, look who's sharp now ... So the early group left around 9:20 am. I stuck around to wait for the rest of the 10 am gang.
Half of the 10 am crew went the Quimby route, the others went on the normal route straight up Mt. Hamilton. As I mentioned earlier, the weather was perfect. I hooked up with a few friends of mine from Western Wheelers. It was good to hang off Ken's wheel for awhile, before I realized it was him. Not too many people have a Seven, with a blinkie, held to the frame with a rubber band. I could spot that bike anywhere.
Knowing Ken, he is a much stronger climber than I am. So I let him go on ahead. Soon after passing the park, we caught up with the early group. We said hi, then continued on.
Rusty and I were pacing each other up the hill, until it the pitch got steeper. He went on ahead, while I pudged along. Soon, I was passed by other Western Wheelers I know ... they must have had a ride up Mt. Hamilton today ... good seeing them. I haven't seen them in a long time.
About 3 miles from the top, I saw AlainP, and his son Nicholas. What a cute kid ... I got a kick out of AlainP pushing Nicholas, passed me, and seeing the little dynamo pedal along. I think the kid had more energy than I did.
Just before reaching the top, Chris (Ygduf) zooms past me ... dang, I was trying to make it up there before the Quimby billy goats. Oh well, that goes to show how strong Chris is.
Got up to the top of the climb, over 2 hours ... I didn't reach the 2 hour mark. Oh well. Later on, the rest of the Quimby group arrived ... it was fun to be at the top before the usual gladiators. When we saw Pete, we couldn't help but yell out "BONK". He heard us.
We were up at the top for quite awhile, as we were waiting for BBM and the AutoBus. We could see them stop for who knows what ... where are they? Oh, they are at the horseshoe ... oh, now they get going again.
After chit chatting awhile (for about 1.5 hours I think), we head down the hill. Almost everyone passes me down the hill. I don't have the confidence I used to descending. Better to be safe than sorry. By the time we all got down the hill, it was getting late. It was around 3 pm, and it was decided it was best to skip Sierra. It's a good thing, because I think I would have been caught in the dark.
Great ride everyone, and great turnout. Another successful BF Gladiator outing ...
Pics to come later ... time to take a nap now.