I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Bay Area this past weekend to be with my Mom for Mother's Day, ride the beautiful Bay Area roads with my brother and attend Stage 2 of the TOC (link to TOC report here).
We rolled out about 8:30 Sunday morning for a planned ride of 40-something miles with plenty of climbing. I was using my brother's second bike, a Trek 1500. I have 3-4 inches of height on my brother, so the bike was a bit cramped. I brought my saddle and pedals, along with measurements from my own bikes and was able to get the saddle height and fore-aft position dialed in pretty easily...but the reach was about 4cm shorter than my bike and the saddle-to-bar drop about 3cm greater than I normally ride. The fit was fine for climbing and cruising on the flats but I could really feel the difference while descending, despite scooting as far back as possible on the saddle as I could.
Bikes by dstrong78746, on Flickr
Ever vigilant, Max wanted to go with us but he was denied.
Max by dstrong78746, on Flickr
The weather started a bit overcast and cool. We had arm warmers to start and packed a few extra pieces of clothing for the long descents.
Ready by dstrong78746, on Flickr
We headed north from Los Altos towards Woodside, using Page Mill, Old Arastradero, Alpine and Portola roads to arrive at our first climb, Old La Honda Road. This is a very popular climb in the Bay Area...about 3 miles long with an 8.1% average grade. According to Strava, the KOM is 14:42 (yikes!). My best time from several years ago was a hair over 30 minutes. On this weekend, we made the top in about 35 minutes.
OLH bottom by dstrong78746, on Flickr
It was a beautiful ascent and we both passed and were passed by several other riders. Mostly people were taking their time but a few seemed bent on setting their personal bests.
OLH climb 1 by dstrong78746, on Flickr
We reached the top of OLH and Skyline, put on our extra clothes and headed across Skyline for the descent down the west side of OLH. My first real descent on my brother's bike was a little uncomfortable due to both the cramped cockpit and also the condition of the road, which was undergoing some repair.
OLH top by dstrong78746, on Flickr
At the bottom of OLH, we turned left on 84 and then left again on Pescadero Road to begin the climb back up to Skyline. We stashed our jackets, rolled down our arm warmers and begin the long trek back up.
Pescadero Road by dstrong78746, on Flickr
From the start of Pescadero road to the Skyline is about 8 miles. It's a gorgeous stretch of road where you travel through at least micro-climates. My guess is that the average grade is 7 - 8% but some of the steepest climbing is in the last few miles. You can get a sense of the grade with this shot with the road in the upper right corner.
Alpine up and down by dstrong78746, on Flickr
We saw very few cars and mostly had the road to ourselves.
Alpine more up by dstrong78746, on Flickr
After arriving at the top, we headed back down the other side on Page Mill Road and Altamont, arriving in Los Altos and stopping for a sammich and a margarita with my brother's wife and daughter before heading back to the house.
Sammies by dstrong78746, on Flickr
According to RideWithGPS, the ride was 44 miles and had 5,600' of climbing. It took us 4 hours.