Viva Calle San Jose

Today, the city of San Jose closed a few streets in downtown San Jose.  Normally, these are not the most pleasant streets to ride, but closing these streets to traffic, I had to experience it.

It started out with the Heroes ride, which was a mass start from the Shark Tank.


It was nice seeing those who don’t ride like I do, and take advantage of this.  Of course, when hills came, lot of novice riders were unprepared.

The route featured going through Willow Glen, and Japan town.  Japan town was definitely the crowd favorite, and boy was it crowded.

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Gets Cool On Top Without All That Hair

Just had a much needed haircut, and now my helmet fits mice and snugly.  However, one thing I forgot … It gets mighty cool on top of my head.  Much cooler than I thought though.  Oh yeah, that’s why I have that skullcap at home.  I guess I do need that after all.

So that’s what it’s like to go bald.

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WordPress is So Easy I Can Publish From My Phone

Co-worker just finding out how easy it is to publish a blog posting.  This is pretty cool, knowing you can publish from your phone while eating lunch.

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Road Closed means Fun Biking on Labor Day

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Last week, for Labor Day, they closed Glendora Mountain Road to car traffic.  Glendora Mountain Road is one of the main routes to go to Mt. Baldy.  We were able to take our bikes over the road closed gates, and had the whole road to us … woohoo.  This meant not contending with cars, no crotch rocket motorcycles buzzing us, and it also meant skateboarders weren’t descending down the mountain (simply because they had no car/truck to transport them up the hill).

They typically do this when there is a fire danger, and coincidentally it is often occurring during a long holiday weekend.  It was weird not having to look back all the time, to determine if there was a car coming up from behind us.  I only wish all roads were like this

I was separated, and a couple riders were ahead of me, but the rest of the riders were behind me.  One rider, Freddy (known as Freddy the Train Montano on Strava), caught up to me, and we rode together on our way to Baldy Village.  Having someone to socialize with up to Baldy Village made the ride that much more enjoyable.

We weren’t sure if we had enough in our legs to make it up to the ski lift, so we decided to just see how far we can go.  I had to admit, my legs and back weren’t feeling to spicy, but let’s see how far we can go.  I figured I wanted to make it to at least the 5000 foot elevation sign.

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Ok, made it to the 5000 foot sign … good time to U-turn back.  It was too early to eat at Mt. Baldy Lodge, so I decided to continue on back home.

The descent on GMR was fun … the switchbacks were gentle enough that I hardly had to brake on the turn … and since the road was closed, I had the luxury of leaning towards the middle of the road without having a car beep at me from behind.  What a fun Labor Day ride this year.

Posted in cycling, holidays, ride report, SoCal | Leave a comment

Adobo Velo is Everywhere

It’s my monthly visit to LA, and I didn’t have a climbfest ride planned, so I posted on Facebook if there is one this weekend.  Vic chimed back stated he’d be doing a ride up to Baldy Ski Lift, and invited me to join.

We started out with a modest group of 3 (myself, Vic, and Molly aka Pixie).  We started out early, at 6:30 am, so we can beat the heat.  

The plan was to go up to the ski lift, so we should conserve our energy, and not blow up before we even reach the village.

We all conserved pretty well, and we were able to pace off each other.  As we ride up, our minds suddenly shift to food, and cinnamon rolls are on our minds.  Hey, let’s reserve 3 cinnamon rolls, so that by the time we get down from the ski lift, we can scarf it down back at the village.  Sounds like a plan.

At the village, we meet up with Young, who is notorious for taking tons of pics, and is a hoot.  He rode with a bunch of others from Adobo Velo, who are on their way up to the ski lift.

After the short greeting, it’s back to climbing up the ski lift.  Leaving the village, the grades fluctuate from 5-10%, and it persists for an average of 8.6% for 4.7 miles.  With the sun beating down on us, that made it even tougher, and I was shooting for any shade possible.  

Yes, I was able to crack a smile, every now and then, but there is just something about having your friends out on a tough grueling climb, and being able to suffer with your fellow comrades.  If it weren’t for the camaraderie, I don’t think I would have put together such a good time.

Oh, and when I’m climbing and suffering up a climb, expect some suffer faces from me …. And this is no different.

Vic was being the ever gracious ride escort, looking out for each of us.  He let me know there was one more curve, then it levels off, before the final climb up the bowling alley.

The final climb ramps up to 12% then up to 15%.  I love when people see me climbing up, giving me the nod, thumbs up, and I give them the thumbs up back.  That was one tough mofo climb.  I had nothing left, and just had enough energy to clip out, and lie my bike down.

There were a few Adobo Velo riders at the top.  Soon after I get there, others reach the top, and the number of riders keep piling up.  Pretty soon, we had 10-15 up there.  Adobo Velo had a driver with water, ice, watermelons … And even though I’m not a club member, they insist on me taking it in.  They are fantastic.  Ice water and watermelons felt soooo good.

Of course we had to take a group picture.  Imagine, we started out as 3.

OK, now to descend down the mountain, onto the village for some much deserved cinnamon rolls.

I couldn’t scarf it all down.  Vic, Young, and Molly … They were not shy … They scarfed it all down, including whatever I couldn’t finish.  There is still some more climbing to do, so that’s why I conserved.

Coming down GMR, we had a pleasant surprise citing .. My friend Terri met us at the shack.  We keep meeting so many friends on this ride.

We are always thinking of food .. so we were already planning our post ride meal.  It was decided that we should go to The Hat, and mmmm pastrami burgers!!!!  Young also wanted to get some from Donut Man, which Zagut reported as the best in California.  Man, we’re just a bunch of foodies.

I wonder if I’ll end up gaining weight on this ride?

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Too Many Consecutive 15%+ Grades Took Its Toll on Me

It was an lofty plan.  My climbfest for today was Redwood Gulch, followed by On Orbit, followed by Hicks, then Mt. Umunhum.

Redwood Gulch is fairly short, with 10-15% grades (although Al says he saw some 20% on his Garmin).  It punches you with 12%, then you get a break, before it kicks up again.  It’s a nice first hill for the day.

Then we headed down the hill, destined for Saratoga, where we make the climb up 6th street, to Bohlman.  I took us up some good steep pitches up Norton, then Kittredge, and Quickert.  That was a really tough climb, with sustained 15% grades for a good mile and a half.  There were some 25% grades there.

 

If that wasn’t bad enough, when we turned onto On Orbit, the grades kicked up even higher.  There were some 35% grades there.

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When I finally got to the crest, I just had to lie down, in the shade, get my heart rate down just to recuperate.

Descended down the hill from here, which was a challenge in itself, trying not to overheat my disc brakes coming down those steep switchbacks.  That was tough.

When we finally got to the other side of Los Gatos, we got to Hicks, then took a breather, just before the steep climb.  It was also heating up quite a bit, with temps in the upper 90s.  Couple that with climbing Hicks at 15-20% grades, my legs were screaming.  Slowly turning the crank, one by one, with the heat bearing down on me, there was only so much I can handle.  I ended up having to walk one particularly steep section, to a flatter portion, just so I can re-mount back on the bike.  At that point, I made the decision I can’t do Umunhum.  I’m having enough troubles with Hicks.

So unfortunately Umunhum would be a bust, but maybe next time, we’ll just do Umunhum alone, and not pile on On Orbit with its 30% grades.

Posted in climbfest, cycling, heat, ride report | 2 Comments

I Think I Created a Monster

I’ve always been one to encourage someone to get more and more into biking.  I just love to see the enthusiasm of someone who found the love of bicycling.  The latest is a co-worker, who got into hill climbing.

As a challenge, he decided to sign up for, and train for the Death Ride.  I’ve never done it, but it’s more because of the logistics of getting there, lodging, and the altitude there.  I’m happy to report that he did finish it, but that also meant he wanted a training partner, and the past month or so, he’d want to up the ante on the hill climbing.

So a couple weekends ago, a week after the Death Ride, he led me on a portion of DMD, Mines Road and Mt. Hamilton.  That was a tough ride, with triple digit heat, as we rode along San Antonio Valley, before the final climb up Mt. Hamilton.  That was tough, and by the time the day finished, we ended up with 100+ miles, 8400′ climbing.

So it’s now my turn to lead the ride … and everything I suggest, he’s game … I add in more epic climbs, and he’s in.  Damn, I think I created a monster.  So this weekend will be another epic climbfest … 70.7 miles, and 7236′ climbing.  It’s going to be epic … hope I’ll survive.

Posted in climbfest, cycling | 3 Comments