Category Archives: Ride reports (not Tu/Th)

Ride reports for everything *but* the Tuesday-Thursday morning ride

It’s going to be a long winter

I’m back to a “normal” riding schedule, punctuated with an occasional missed commute to work due to rain, and a slight-shortening of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride again, due to rain, causing us to drop the West Old LaHonda section in order to get back in time to get a shower before work. But overall, things are “normal” as the holiday season is past (no skipping a ride just because it’s Christmas or something like that, or the shop being open on a Sunday).

In fact, this first week of the new year has been bigger than most, since it included the New Year’s Day ride up Mt Hamilton. I would love for all my weeks to be 180 miles! But perhaps what made today seem most “normal” was doing the Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop with Kevin for the first time since Thanksgiving. I’ve done the ride solo at least once, but Kevin’s skipped a ride or two to spend time with his girlfriend.

My thought was that Kevin might wear down a bit as the ride went on; he’s not ridden nearly as many miles as I have this past month. Instead, I found myself struggling to keep up with him on Haskins, a grade I typically pull even with him, sometimes even doing better. On Stage Kevin was having some issues that he blamed on maybe coming down with a cold, but on Tunitas it turned out that he had previously been faking that as a tactical play, pulling away hard and fast as soon as it got steep, finishing 7 minutes ahead of me. He says someone he passed on the way up asked if they could borrow his legs. Must be nice.

Pretty cool out there; 46 to 54 degrees, so it was coffee in Pescadero standing in for Coke. As you can see in the photo above, the cookie test was a total failure; didn’t come close to covering Kevin’s face. Not much choice in cookies either; just oatmeal and butterscotch. Maybe they cut back inventory in the off-season?

Overall it didn’t feel too much different from how I remember feeling last year this time, which is a good thing.

Climbing Hamilton my legs reminded me I’d ridden West Alpine yesterday!

A group of way-too-enthusiastic cyclists at the top of Hamilton today.
New Year’s Day, which means it’s time to climb Mount Hamilton again! Kind of a ritual, no, not kind of, but a serious ritual that I’ve done for a couple of decades at least. Don’t even remember the first time, just that the idea was started a very long time ago by a good customer, David Harvey. He’s still a good customer, but he’s long since given up on Hamilton, far as I know.

Just me, solo again, as Kevin wa with his girlfriend. Rode down to the train station, took it to San Jose and set off. Nice to have a bit of a warm up before hitting the hill; not so nice to deal with the endless number of stoplights along the way!!!

Beautiful morning to climb; started in the low-50s and warmed up to 64 near the top. Felt a bit overdressed but not too bad, and would rather be too warm than too cold! This was my first year up Hamilton that I didn’t see a single cyclist I recognized, although I’ll probably hear from a few that passed me in the other direction.

After yesterday’s ride up WEst Alpine I knew it wasn’t going to be fast or easy, but it really wasn’t that bad. I had a goal of under 1 hour 50 mintues, and made it with a couple minutes to spare.

Perhaps the hardest part about this ride is making it back to the train station in time. I had to push harder than need be because I thought the train left at 2, and I was hitting every stop light on the way back (in Downtown San Jose). Made it by 1:57, only to find the train didn’t leave until 2:38pm. Time enough to pick up some food and coffee from the train station cafĂ© even!