Filtering by Tag: Hwy 9

The Bay Area in Snow!

Last time snow fell in Bay area at sea level was over thirty years ago, so it is no surprise that it made big news when the weather came. Curious to see what had fallen on Friday night I set out Saturday morning to see what was out there. I headed up Highway 9, around 1500ft I started to see some patch of snow at the side of the road. At the top of Hwy9, I turned left left to follow Skyline past Castle Rock park, to the peak of Skyline at 3100ft. By Castle Rock, families were out with there kids, enjoying the dusting of snow. 

I've spent the last hour climbing I was fairly warm, however it was now time for the descent :-) 30+ mph into the cold, doesn't lead to warm feelings, it wasn't long before may face, feet and hands had no feeling. I had reached a point of thermal runaway, at which point I was not going to regain the feeling in my extremities. So I cut the ride short, after a descent on Pagemill, I headed back to car, closely followed by a Starbucks, to warm-up. Resolved not to let the cold get the better of me again, I headed over to Sports Basement to pick up better clothing for the weather, an extra layer for the shoes, thicker gloves and a hat.

Next morning, was a supposed to be just as cold so I set out slightly later, with my new gear and thicker layers. However I was a mile into the ride when I realized I'd need to shed a little for the climbs and save the clothes for the descent.  I head out over Calaveras Rd from Milpitas, towards Livermore. As I past by the reservoir I saw the TNT's Ironteam heading in the opposite direction, but it recognize anyone. I kept up a good pace as it's a fairly flat route until you reach Mines road in Livermore. After a quick out and back on Tesla road to get some extra mileage, then it long climb up Mines road began.

It last six miles of climb up Mount Hamilton, lead me to a winter wonderland with a number of snowmen at the side of the road. As with the day before there were a number of people at summit enchanted by the snow. At the top and put on all my warmest gear for the decent and the race against the now diminishing sunlight. I made it to the city street before the dusk had completely set in.  

100ft per mile

After yestersday's short ride it was time to get some real mileage in along with some good climbing. In change from my previous hydration method of taking 4 bottles with me, I decided on one plus a Camel Back. I always found that mounting two bottles on the rear of the saddle leads chasing after bottles that have jettisoned them selves, which isn't a fun past time. The Camel Back works well and is secured with multiple straps, as I move it moves, just not fashsionable :-)

I started in Los Altos on Foothill Expressway and headed past Steven's Creek reservoir, over Mount Eden to Pierce Rd finally reaching Highway 9. The climb up Highway 9 felt slow with the extra weight on my back. From the Saratoga gap, I continued to 92 and looped back to King's Mountain, via Canada Rd. Now over 60 miles into the ride I starting to fell fagitue as I ascended King's Mountain. Once back on Skyline I started to pick up the pace.  It was getting dark, so I finished the ride down Pagemill, the decent froze my legs. I warmed up again on Foothill with a couple sprints to the end.

Today was indeed a day of climbing, with 8,000 feet of climbing.Details: 81miles / 8318ft / 14.4mph

The Great Loop

A number of the team were up in Canada for Ironman and the rest were in taper for Iroman Louisville, so I was left alone to my own devices. One route I had always wanted to do was to loop over to the coast and back the long way. This was my longest self supported ride of the year and the most challenging. I had never actually cycled over to Santa Cruz from the valley before. I kept the route simple Highway 9 to Santa Cruz, Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay, 92 to Skyline and back to Highway 9 to the start.

Of course I had climbed up Highway 9 many times before but have never continued across to the other side, I found there is a good reason for that, cars. While I didn't feel in any great danger I did grea the distinct impression that the cars/SVUs did not appreciate the opportunity to share the road with a cyclist. 

Once at Santa Cruz, is was just a straight shot up Highway 1, with a stop a filling station to get some more fluid. I was carrying 4 water bottles so I had a good range. However I had to stop on a couple occasions to retrive the rear bottles as I hit the odd bump in the road.

Highway 92 on this side of the hill was also new to me. I did find it to be a little cramped to begin with, but a good shoulder appeared for the climb up to Skyline. Reaching Skyline really was just the begin of the climbing, of road that has as many ups and downs as a roller coaster. At 100 miles in, the climbs just kept coming. However it was the perfect day for the ride, not to hot or cold, just ride. I was up for the challenge and kept on going to the end. I celebrated my victory with a nice Burrito at the end.

 

Ride Details (Click here to view on Google Earth):
135 miles
8hrs 24mins
10,920 feet of Climbing

 

 

Heart Rate:
136bpm Avg.
181bpm Max

 

 

Speed:
16.1mph Avg.
44.5mph Max

Copyright Nick 2013. All right reserved.