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An Interesting Ride (from years ago)

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

An Interesting Ride (from years ago)

Old 01-02-15, 07:51 PM
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An Interesting Ride (from years ago)

I first got into road cycling shortly after moving to Livermore, California and discovering that my (even back then) ankles would no longer tolerate running.

I had been doing enough regular riding to be able to 'get around' (this was back in around 1997 or so). On a reasonable temperature September day I went out for a "no more than 2 hour ride". It was not hot and I only had one (30 ounce) water bottle which seemed enough for a 'gentle ride'.

I moved away from Livermore in 2000 (I really liked the area but it was not a place that would support an early retirement lifestyle). But IIRC I went out Morgan Territory Rd (my first ride in that direction on that road). It was a moderate climb for a while and then pretty steep for a while - probably more than I intended but I always liked climbing and I felt good.

I went ahead 'over the top' because I was feeling strong. It was a darned steep downhill and it seemed to go on forever. And it went somehow past forever - WTF???

Then I realized that I had just descended into the California central valley which has an elevation of maybe 12 feet (LITERALLY). I had started at an elevation of maybe 800 feet and climbed to probably 2200 feet or so. And there was no choice - the only way back was to go from 12 feet back up to 2200 feet and back down to the house. And I was pretty much out of water before I started back up.

It was the greatest dehydrated ride in my life.

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Old 01-02-15, 08:46 PM
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Hey Dave,

I live in San Jose and my brother lives in Livermore. I have been there many times, but was unfamiliar with this ride until you posted it. I added it as a route on Strava and look forward to giving it a shot (with more water).

Thank you!
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Old 01-02-15, 08:54 PM
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That's how it goes sometimes when you're a cyclist! I hope you celebrated your survival with a little Wente that day!
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Old 01-03-15, 06:01 AM
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Since there are folks reading this from the area, a few more comments.

1) The absolute best ride in the area is out Mines Road as far as you want to go. It starts out with a decent climb and then you can go forever without seeing another car (or cyclist - I don't recall seeing many bikers when I rode that one). I guess you can go all the way to South San Jose if you wish.

2) Wente Vineyards has a really nice restaurant - very nice. The day that we moved into the home that we had rented (we ended up buying, but it took a while to get over Kentucky style sticker shock) we had spent the day moving furniture and boxes and cleaning things up. We were exhausted and hungry but had no idea where anything in the town was. We were hoping for something like a ******* Barrel or other 'low key place'. We stumbled into the Wente Restaurant wearing the clothes that you wear to clean up and move stuff around the house. When the valet showed up to park our car we knew that 'this was not the time for this place'. But he insisted that we could eat there, despite how we were dressed and looked. We insisted that we be 'stuffed in a corner' and we had a wonderful meal. It is one of the places (of several) that I really miss now that I live on the other coast.

3) The house that we rented was being rented because the owner was badly upside down on his mortgage (this was 1995 and we found an old mortgage statement when cleaning the place up). The back yard was just concrete and a nice pool (big pool, small back yard). The front yard was maybe 50' x 25' of grass. The owner had left me his lawnmower. It was self propelled (only in California).

dave

Last edited by DaveLeeNC; 01-03-15 at 06:13 AM.
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