A long the Skyline...

It is a week to until Wildflower, having not run or cycle since the Boot Camp weekend, I wanted to get a bit of riding in before race. The cycle team had organized a ride starting in Los Gatos, going up Highway 9 to Skyline with a couple options for return, either 84 or Page Mill, back to Foothill Expressway and back to Los Gatos. We started off the ride at 8:30am, surprisingly it was already starting to get quite hot, as it was a unsupported ride (no SAG or Water stops) I came prepared with plenty of fluid to keep me well hydrated, enough to last a good 65miles or so. We started off in a group climbing up Highway 9, it was just over one hour from the start of the ride when we finally hit Skyline. My cycle coach Matt, suggested I turn around go back so not to over things before next weekends race (always taper), however the ride was just getting to the good bit and I don't always take good advice my coaches offer me (sorry Mike, Dan, Kristen & Matt) so I continued on.

Just few minutes down the road, my chain came off, I stopped put it back on and tried shifting gears again, sure enough the chain came right off again. I realized my derailleur was out of alignment and made the necessary adjustment. However the rest of the group were few minutes a head of me by now so started to make my own way. There were large groups of people at the top of Old La Honda and again at 84, so I either pasted the rest of the group at one of these points. When I reached 84, which was the 65 mile
route I was tempted to continued along Skyline further to King's Mountain, I always forget the amount of climbing that is involved in that section. Soon enough I reached King's Mountain road which would of lead me straight down into Woodside, but then thought well it is only a few more miles to 92, and of course the most scenic part of the ride is from Kings Mountain to 92 :-) From that point there are some nice rolling hills and some good view of the ocean. (Sorry for the blurry pictures, its sweat actually sweat on my camera phone lens). Going down one of the hills along Skyline, I felt all of a sudden I was being poked with pins, it turned out to be a large swarm of mosquitoes which hitting as I flew down hill. I finally reached 92 and headed down towards Canada Road, as I hit the bottom of 92, some guy shouted at me out of this car, I was worried at first and then repeated it again "38" he said, apparently he was clocking me on the way down and was impressed with the speed :-)

I whisked along Canada road, stopping to take a couple more blurry photos. As I reached Woodside, I was starting to think about my mileage, the heat and my head which was pounding. I continued along back to Foothill Expressway, via Sand Hill and decided having gone 60 miles it was time for lunch. So I stopped at a Cafe and had a sandwich and a Ice tea. It was a needed as deserved break, it was then I realized I still had nearly 20 miles left to go. I started off again, I should note is was just over 80F by now. Being the highly resourceful person that I am, I used the Ice from my Ice tea for my bottle of Gatorade to cool it off, the fact that there is nothing like warm Gatorade is good thing.

I had one final climb to go which the ascent up Mount Eden, although it is something I had done many times, it seems a little different having already done 70 odd miles with a lot of climbing, still I managed to make up and over. From there I just dropped down in Saratoga, on to Highway 9 with only few miles to go. I arrived back at Los Gatos at 2:35pm.

Ride Details (Click here to view on Google Earth):
4hrs 57mins (ride time)
79.44 miles

193 Max Heart Rate
153 Average Heart Rate

43mph Max Speed
16mph Average Speed

Copyright Nick 2013. All right reserved.