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Old La Honda to Lexington Reservoir Loop

Pretty epic afternoon ride today. I started by searching out the Old La Honda Road climb to Skyline Boulevard (I took a wrong turn the first time and had to loop around to find it again), and then I headed south on Skyline all the way down to Black Road, which turned out to be a pretty crazy descent down to Highway 17. I found my way across, and then encountered an unexpected gravel descent on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. A mountain bike would have been appropriate at that point, but I survived. I then made my way back via Los Gatos-Saratoga Road and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road before stopping for dinner at In-N-Out on El Camino and finishing up the ride. Skyline turned out to whip me pretty well, and I was struggling to keep up the pace on the flats afterward. Half of that is mental discipline, and the other half is physical readiness. At any rate, I haven’t been this sore after a ride since last year’s Seattle to Portland bike ride, which was more than three times as long.

  • Distance: 66 miles / 106 km
  • Time: 4:50:51
  • Average Speed: 13.6 mph / 21.9 kph
  • Max speed: 39.2 mph / 63.0
  • Cumulative ascent: 3820 ft / 1164 m

Page Mill Again

I rode up Page Mill road again today. This time, I brought my camera and I didn’t lose a spoke at the top. Coming back down was a lot faster, with one scary moment. I was wearing my helmet for the descent. From my house to Gate 4 took me 54 minutes, 35 minutes of which was from the base (I-280 and Page Mill) to Gate 4. I definitely can improve this time a ton — it’s a real grind for me right now — but I’ll have to ride it more than once every two months if I want to get  better.

Studio I to Gate 4 on Page Mill Road

Studio I to Gate 4 on Page Mill Road

UPDATE: Elevation graph, per Jayson’s request!

Elevation

The view from the top as the Sun set was well worth the effort:

View from Above

Second Bay Ride — Page Mill Road

After watching the Huskies lay down the law against the USC Trojans, I took off on my second “Bay Area Ride” yesterday. I started out on my road bike and headed back to Big 5, where I returned the crappy pump I picked up last week. Then I headed up Page Mill Road, which true to its reputation, offers a difficult hill climb and some stunning views. Fifteen miles into my journey, the sun was getting low in the sky, and I was pretty whipped, so I turned around. No sooner did I start my descent then I head a twang, which sounded a little too familiar. I stopped and checked out the bike, and sure enough, I had lost another spoke on my rear wheel.

I had a long way to go down, with my rear wheel rubbing my brake pads (which I had already loosened) the whole way down. Also, I didn’t know how much lateral stress the wheels could take, so I took it pretty slow around all the curves. It was not as much fun as it otherwise would have been, but at least the bike survived all the way back.

Page Mill is definitely a ride that I’ll want to do again, hopefully to the top soon enough. It is certainly a good way to work on my (rather poor) hill climbing skills.

Bar Area Ride 2

Bay Area Cycling

Today I went for a nice leisurely 20-ish mile bike ride around Palo Alto.

bikeride_20090912

Leaving my new house, I first visited Facebook’s headquarters, where I’ll be starting on Monday. Then I went by a Big 5 to pick up a bike pump, which I immediately used to get my tired up to 60 psi, before heading out for the rest of the Journey. I headed up University Ave to look at the outside of a condo I have my eye on, and then I continued to the shore, before returning via University Ave once again. It was a nice ride with only one hitch: a crazed bee (or similar) stung me on my right hand in some sort of odd glancing blow that left me hurting and it long gone. My hand is a little bit swollen, but I figure it will be fine in a day or so.

Out at the bay, there were a few cool places, but they all seem to be closed:

IMG_2739

After the ride, Brian came over from Alameda, and we ate Thai and then watched Primer (always an excellent movie).

One day of unabashed freedom left, then it’s time to get to work!