Filtering by Tag: Skyline

Los Gatos to San Francisco

Today I had a 150 mile route planned that would take me up to San Francisco. When it comes to doing long rides there is something very satisfying in ending up in a different place to where you've started. I started off in Los Gatos at around 7am, with a goal of being up to the city around 6pm. My route was fairly simple, adding miles to my last attempt at this route and removing dangers of the freeway into San Francisco with a more sane alternative.

Not much to report on the ride, weather was generally good with a few windy parts on Highway 1 (which is generally expected). It took a little while to get into the groove, my gears were slipping as I climbed Page Mill Road and I had to do some adjustments. 

View from Page Mill Rd I took a couple of detours off Highway 1, to break the monotony of that road. First was Swanton Rd, which nicely joins right back onto Hwy 1 after a few miles. The second was Stage Road, three nice climbs with some great views.

View from Stage Rd.

At Pacifica, I left Hwy 1 and entered a resdential area, certainly more scenic than the freeway.

Pacifica I completed the route at Ocean Beach, by Golden Gate park in San Francisco.

Ocean Beach

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



16.1mph Avg.
44.5mph Max

Into the Fog (Part 1)

The rest of the team were in taper and were doing a short ride, followed by a short run. We started off at Edgewood and Canada Rd (definately a favorite starting point for the team) and headed through Portola Valley to towards Page Mill Road, team route had him turning back part the way up. Naturally I had other plans, I was going to the top with the aim of looping back via Skyline and 92. It is funny how I always seem to forget much climbing there is left to do even after I have reached Skyline Rd. One of Skyline Rd's peak is at the top of Page Mill, but much of the gain is lost you dip down at 84 with climb picking up again towards King's Mountain.

I was going against the clock, I wanted to finish around the same time the team was going to complete their run. As emerged from the tree on Skyline near 92 I realized the fog and rolled in and visiblity was extremely poor, nothing like a great downhill when you can only see 20 feet ahead of you :-)

Ride Details (Click here to view on Google Earth):

2hr 43min
46.68 miles
6,242feet of climbing



17.1mph Avg.
40.4mph Max

A Day of Skyline

Yesterday had proved to be a great ride, so how could I top it? Well with even more climbing on a equally warm day :-)

The team were off swiming at Redwood Shores, and I a new idea for a ride. Instead starting my ride at the bottom of hill I thought I'd start at the top, this would make for a long climb to finish the day. So I found place to park up on Skyline and headed down towards Redwood shores to meet up with the team.  After meeting the team I headed back over to Skyline and up Kings Mountain and then down 84 towards the coast. I turned off 84 halfway down to take Pescadero Rd, which of course lead to more climbing: Stage Road, then up Tunitas Creek, back long to 92, down to Crystal Springs and up Kings Mountain one final time.. Did you follow all that? well the route is below if you didn't :-)

Ride Details (Click to view on Google Earth):

7hr 56mins
112 miles
10,957feet of Climbing



Heart Rate:
146bpm Avg
178bpm Max



14.1mph Avg.
50mph Max

Bicycles in the Mist...

Today, I had planned a wonderful route out for the team (well that was my opinion). Starting off at Edgewood and Canada road, with the main part of the ride to be up on Skyline. The point of entry to Skyline was Pagemill Rd, which was the first time the team been up that road on a ride this season. End of May you expect the weather to be near perfect, well it was at the start of the ride. However as we weaved our way up the long climb up Page Mill, visiblity went from good to bad quickily. To top things off when we reached Skyline it was raining, on what was a perfect day in the rest of the bay, I had found the rainy spot. Once on Skyline I had the team head off with a turn around at the highest point, just a few miles beyond the top of Highway 9. At the turnaround point it was bright and sunny :-) That made it it even harder to turnaround knowing what we were in for.  Through some spotty rain, mist and fog we went north along Skyline to King's Mountain for the decent. I was tracking the back of the pack racing backwards and forwards to see where everyone was. Once at King's Mountain it was an easy ride back and sure enough it was sunny back at the starting point :-)

Ride Details (Click here to view on Google Earth):
4hr 50mins
71 Miles



Heart Rate:
132bpm Avg.
183bpm Max




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