I was fortunate to get the Monday after New Year’s off. I guess they figured 2 days to give us an extra day to round out the number of holidays, and I thought everyone had that day off too … well, I was wrong. My friend Jack thought he had the day off, so I was going to meet him in Palo Alto to do King’s Mountain … but reality sunk him … everyone’s in the office. Oh well, so I guess I had to go to Plan B …. Mt. Umunhum.
One thing I had to realize … since a lot of other people went back to work today, riding through busier streets are a bit more dangerous. I realized that really quickly, when a Prius was breathing down my back as I was in the right turn lane. Jeez!
I was lucky to get at least one day without rains, but it was still a cold adventure out there. It started out pretty sunny, but as luck would have it, the further I climbed, the cloudier, and colder it got. The cold really does affect my performance, and I was not really feeling it out there … I was not out to break any speed records, so I saved myself, as the steep part on Hicks really sucks.
Well, I made it this far, and Mt. Umunhum is just ahead … might as well forge ahead and say hello to the white albino. When you look at the hill from the parking lot, it looks really steep, but when you start going, it’s really not that bad. Of course, on a sunnier day, the view would be awesome, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Of course, with any climb, the more you climb, the steeper it gets. Why is that? Anyhow, at least I didn’t have to worry about dehydration too much … sunshine is not an issue here, but I wish it were just a little warmer. I did see one other cyclist ahead of me … he was definitely not in a hurry … he had mountain biking gearing, with what looked like a 32-34, or something like that. However, I did seem to be breathing much harder than he was.
I get to the gate, and I could go up some more, till I get to the no trespassing banner, but I just wasn’t in the mood today. I was content with just enjoying what view I have before me.
And now the fun part … or the scary part … descending back down the hill. The terrain wasn’t as bad as I remember it, but maybe it’s because the last time, I went up a little further, and it had more potholes. Whatever … all I knew was I was not in a hurry to get down. Actually, the switchbacks descending Umunhum wasn’t too bad … it’s when you get down on Hicks, on the steep section, what can be a bit hairy.
Coming back, all I knew is I wanted some hot soup. Just hope I don’t catch a cold from this.