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  1. #1
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    A Climb Too Far... almost.

    I decided since they were going to give me a half-day yesterday, I was going to take the LONG way home. And not like I did last time:

    (Stanford)-Serra-Foothill Exp-Stevens Canyon-Mt. Eden-Pierce-Saratoga/Sunnyvale-De Anza-Sunnyvale/Saratoga-Sunnyvale-Borregas-(Home)

    I decided to go all crazy-like and head further up Stevens Canyon and go on Redwood Gulch to 9 and down into Saratoga that way instead of Mt. Eden and Pierce. It can't be all that bad, I thought. My mistake became obvious rather quickly.

    Once starting up Redwood Gulch, I realized that I'd never been this way before on a bike... I'd only gone the other way (downhill) before in a car, many years ago. Oops. I began to question my sanity. A little later on, I realized that the 36x26 on my 35+-lb. 8-speed commuter bike might be an inadequate climbing gear. I kept looking for the top. I stopped to catch my breath and eat. I screamed out "what have I done?!" I considered turning around. As I continued to heat up it occurred to me that it was a little warm to be grinding my knees out on my all-steel beast up this ungodly grade, and I stopped for like the 5th time to catch my breath and cool off. My legs expressed some displeasure, my knees wanted me to go home. I wondered where the end was... then remembered that my shiny new Droid 2 has a GPS. Turns out I was only about a half-mile from 9 and a left turn towards Sunnyvale.

    Oh yeah, 32 miles from Stanford to my house with one cat 3 climb... on my commuter. Definitely the wrong tool for the job.

    Someday, I'll have to try that on my CX bike with the 34x28. I've done Hamilton three times and not been quite so despondent as I was on Redwood Gulch yesterday. Yay for front derailleurs.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

  2. #2
    Senior Member Philipaparker's Avatar
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    I think if you do that climb on your commuter a couple of times a week you'll be in top form in a month!
    To me the life is a glass half full, I love optimism, life's better that way.
    Riding the streets of San Francisco, the roads of West Marin and Northern California...

  3. #3
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    To reduce confusion, I suggest just doing the route down the Bryant bikeway, but wearing full scuba gear with a rebreather. Should be a similar undue effort!

    (Actually, I'll have to try your route some day when it's not 90 degrees out... thanks for the report!)
    My Cycling Log: http://www.endomondo.com/profile/202754 BikeForums Cycling Team on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/teams/1747411

  4. #4
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    To reduce confusion, I suggest just doing the route down the Bryant bikeway, but wearing full scuba gear with a rebreather. Should be a similar undue effort!

    (Actually, I'll have to try your route some day when it's not 90 degrees out... thanks for the report!)
    My normal route is:
    (Stanford)-Serra-Park-Alma (sidewalk)-Central-Moffett-Fairchild-Ellis-Manila-Moffett Park-Persian-(Home)
    with the occasional trip down Foothill to Fremont or Homestead to S-S/De Anza. I am not a huge fan of Bryant in any case... but great idea to do it with the scuba gear. Maybe some ankle weights, too.

    At the very least, I'd left the panniers at home Friday and had only a trunk bag with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philipaparker View Post
    I think if you do that climb on your commuter a couple of times a week you'll be in top form in a month!
    Or I'd be dead. Either way.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

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