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  1. #1
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    Pesky Penguin (PP) Ride Rpt 12/6/08 (w/pics)- The rotten eggs...

    ...'cause we were definitely the last ones to the bottom!

    My brother (new BF member, darpave) and I had talked about doing Mt. Hamilton for several months, but needed to get it done before my family's return to Austin. The target date had been Sunday but after we awoke Saturday morning, we determined that we needed to seize the moment. The weather looked great, we had no other commitments and I knew there was a big BF group heading up and there was a possibility that I'd run into a few of them. We didn't decide to do the ride until 9AM, so I knew we wouldn't make the 10AM PP start but thought that maybe we'd start up around 11 and see a couple folks still lounging at the top (knowing our climbing pace, it was unlikely we'd actually catch riders starting an hour ahead of us!).

    We ate a good breakfast, put the bikes on the back of the car and headed for the mountain. We decided to park right at the start of Mt. Hamilton Road, in the dirt lot next to the golf course. As soon as we pulled in, SOMEBODY discovered they had left their shoes in Los Altos! We decided to forge ahead, knowing this might be our last chance, so...after much swearing, we drove back to LA, picked up the shoes, then headed back for Hwy 130.

    We began our ride about 1:00 at a pretty leisurly pace, which was pretty much the pace for the rest of the climb to the summit. With 18 unknown miles ahead, we knew that reaching the summit was the goal, not setting any climbing records (which we had no ability to set anyway).

    As with any significant ride, whether distance or climbing, I mentally split the ride into segments. For Mt. Hamilton, it's thirds each way. Each of the two descents on the way up represent a third of the climb done. However...just for fun, after 2 miles I turned to my brother and said "We're 1/9th of the way to the top!".

    Knowing it was likely that some of the riders coming down were with the 10:00 PP ride, I tried to make mental notes of the riders coming down. Sure enough, after looking at spingineer's ride report, there were a handful of them that I remember and at least one that remembers me, decked out in my BF kit.

    A few things stick out in my mind:

    - I didn't like the downhills after each long climb section. It felt like I was "giving back" hard earned elevation, although it did make for a nice break for my legs.
    - I remember seeing AlainP and his son on their return. I believe they had finished the initial descent from the summit and were climbing the first return climb, coming from the park.
    - On the eastern side of the hills it could get downright chilly. The number of micro-climates was amazing!
    - I remember the skunk, although didn't get nearly as close as Bikeshearer.
    - kb5ql, sitting on the side of the road after his accident. He said he was okay but now we know better. Not sure we could have helped but hope he feels better soon!
    - The final 1/3 of the climb going up...that observatory just never seemed to get closer!

    We knew when we reached the summit we needed to have a pretty quick turnaround or else we'd lose our light. we put on our extra clothing, snapped a few pictures, refilled our bottles and headed back down. In Austin, a long descent is usually a minute or two...and it's usually fairly straight. Coming down from the summit of Mt. Hamilton was a real treat! My descending has gotten better in the last few months riding here, descending roads like OLH, Page Mill and Kings Mountain, but this was a horse of a different color!

    Both my brother and I admitted afterwards that we were both dreading the climbs on the return. It turned out we probably climbed them faster than any climbs on the way up.

    The lower we got, the darker and colder it got. By the time we hit the final "smooth" road, all cars had their lights on and we both felt like things were gettin' a little dicey. Then the stop sign loomed ahead and the ride was finished!

    A phenomenal day to say the least and we're happy we did it despite our false start. It was nice to at least see some of the BA BFers, even though we didn't get to shake hands and say hello. Waves and head nods will have to do for now.


    Early in the climb, a smile still on darpave's face


    Still early, still grinnin'


    About 2:30...shadows are already pretty long


    Art


    BFers descending from the 10:00 am ride. I believe that's MarkoPolo in the lead, USPSPro in the rear and ??? in the middle.


    Still a long way to go


    Made it!


    Final shot of our triumph. The observatory is in the middle...just a long way away
    Last edited by dstrong; 12-09-08 at 11:15 AM.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    Sorry we didn't wave on the way down (probably still had kb5ql on our minds). But great report and congrats on the accomplishment!

  3. #3
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    BFers descending from the 10:00 am ride. I believe that's MarkoPolo in the lead, USPSPro in the rear and ??? in the middle.
    Ramon (Bostic) in the front, forgot who was in the middle (he was on a nice white Look), Marco (uspspro, me) and Ruth on the tandem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    Ramon (Bostic) in the front, forgot who was in the middle (he was on a nice white Look), Marco (uspspro, me) and Ruth on the tandem.
    That was Donald (dl33)

  5. #5
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    I keep having additional memories of the ride come back (it's the whole "gettin' old" thing I suppose)...I recall that Ruth had a HUGE grin on her face.

    2014 Specialized RoubaixOOOOOO 2003 Interloc ImpalaOOOOOO 2007 ParkPre Image C6 (RIP)


  6. #6
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Very nice report. Congratulations on conquering Mt. Hamilton!

  7. #7
    I'm your huckleberry... MarkoPolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstrong View Post

    BFers descending from the 10:00 am ride. I believe that's MarkoPolo in the lead, USPSPro in the rear and ??? in the middle.
    Confusing me with Ramon (Bostic) is just wrong on so many levels - although we are both exceedingly handsome!

    Despite your late start, it sounds like you had a good day on the mountain.
    It would appear that the strain was more than he could bear....

  8. #8
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstrong View Post
    . . . . - I remember the skunk, although didn't get nearly as close as Bikeshearer. . . .
    By the last few miles to the top, I felt just like that skunk - dead and smelly.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    That skunk must have been there awhile ... didn't smell that bad as I climbed up ... unless my stench was smothering it ...
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    I couldn't tell what brought on that skunk's demise since it looked relatively intact though slightly bloated. Perhaps it really was sleeping! Anyway, Nicolas and I had to do a mini-sprint to get upwind of it since it got a little too odoriferous for us.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoPolo View Post
    Confusing me with Ramon (Bostic) is just wrong on so many levels - although we are both exceedingly handsome!
    I see now. I had associated the wrong name with the right picture from the other ride report. Oh well!

    Regarding the skunk...I reached the skunk on the way up just as a car was about to pass me. I had this vision of the car watching me and not seeing the skunk, striking it with its tire and spraying dead skunk guts all over me. It's the only time I sprinted during the whole climb!

    Oh yeah...I also remember seeing "Hells Canyon"(?) jersey guy heading down also.

    2014 Specialized RoubaixOOOOOO 2003 Interloc ImpalaOOOOOO 2007 ParkPre Image C6 (RIP)


  12. #12
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Congrats on the ride - wish I could have made it. Hopefully you'll be back to the bay area soon

  13. #13
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spingineer View Post
    That skunk must have been there awhile ... didn't smell that bad as I climbed up ... unless my stench was smothering it ...
    I think you're wrong Ron I tasted it...It was fresh!
    ...........................................................................................

    Nice report although tardy...
    congrats on the climb guys

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