The weather looks very good for riding up Mt Hamilton on New Year’s Day, an annual event for many of us. You can head up the hill anytime you want, but the “Chain Reaction” folk will start from Alum Rock and Mt Hamilton at 9am. Kevin will likely be pushing for time, maybe to better his 1:37 of a couple months ago, while I’m likely going to be heading up at a more civilized pace with Burt, one of our alumni. New info- Burt says he’s leaving an hour or so earlier! Darn, I was looking forward to a moderate pace. Now I’m going to be killing myself trying to keep up!
There’s no food or water on the way up, so make sure you’ve got two bottles and power bars or whatever keeps you going. The coke machine at the top takes only crisp dollar bills, not soggy, so store them in a plastic baggie and you’ll be fine.
See you there- –Mike–
Nothing epic today; had to get back fairly early to catch an afternoon flight to LA. Why? Don’t ask. Let’s just stick to bike stuff. The original plan was a bit unusual; Kevin didn’t want to do the usual coastal classic, and suggested Page Mill. I hate Page Mill. Kevin likes Page Mill. For the same reasons. It’s steep! Actually, I don’t mind steep, if that’s all it is. What causes me grief are steep climbs that you can’t develop a rhythm on, and for me, that’s Page Mill. The bottom quarter of that climb, before it even gets steep, just doesn’t allow me to get settled in. The part from the golf course to just below Foothill Park. And then again, just before Moody to about half a mile past. After that, I start to feel OK again. But getting back to the route, it was going to be up Page Mill, north on Skyline, west to LaHonda, then up West Alpine back to Skyline, north again, then back down 84 into Woodside.
Unfortunately, Kevin had a minor procedure done on his big toe the other day (cutting away some of the toenail) such that it was in pretty bad pain on steep stuff, so climbing West Alpine was out of the question. Instead, we took Skyline north all the way to 92, then back via Canada Road. It was up on Skyline that we saw a Coyote, a Coyote so well-groomed and docile-appearing (didn’t seem bothered by us or cars) that you wondered if it wasn’t a dog. Beautiful animal, and I was really looking forward to seeing it on the video form my camera… but apparently, and this has happened several times before, my GoPro didn’t actually charge the battery I had installed just a few minutes before. Thus, no cool photos of the Coyote, nor the large Hawk that had been sitting on a telephone wire close to it.
Still, when I look at the data on Strava, it wasn’t a bad ride. For me, 46 minutes in the winter is a respectable time to climb Page Mill (from Arastradero to the top) and I was only 30 seconds or so behind Kevin. Considering how much more I’ve eaten than normal lately, and how much less I’ve ridden, I was surprised to hold up that well. Maybe this won’t be such a bad winter!