Gotta get my double century training into high gear, so we decided to do Mt. Tam the long way, going out through Nicasio, to Pt. Reyes, then Bolinas and up to Mt. Tam. This also brought out the old gang, the “Gladiators” as Pete calls it. Marco and Ruth, Pete, Ramon, and Chris .. we all came out. Just like old times, eh?
Ramon actually had to cut the ride short, but he still did Mt. Tam, but went via Alpine Dam instead. He probably cut out 20 miles with that route. He’s training for the Triple Crown Stage race, DMD being the first … he’s trying to get down to 130 lb by then. The above pic is with him at 140 … let’s compare this with just before doing DMD. Damn dude, you’re looking fit and trim already.
It was an absolutely splendid day. I was actually quite surprised it wasn’t more busy than it was. Although there was some event down at Crissy Field, with lots of joggers, that completely filled up Sports Basement parking lot, and we had to strategically find unique parking spaces, but when crossing the bridge, it didn’t seem that bad. And this was at 10 am!
On the way to Nicasio, the little bump on Sir Francis Drake Highway is really annoying. It’s not the toughest, but you do have to work … oddly enough, this annoying stretch is where I was working the hardest. Got my HR up to 175 bpm. Sometimes it’s those annoying hill bumps that gets your heart rate going the most. But the reward was the nice fast descent before you make the right turn to go to Nicasio.
The stretch to Nicasio has some rollies and it’s just enough to get distanced by the rest of the pack. I just hope I’m not too far behind everyone else … I don’t think it was too bad … maybe a couple minutes behind (optimistically thinking). At least by the time I got there, they weren’t all antsy to get going.
When we made the left turn to head towards Pt. Reyes, that’s where they put the hammer down. I immediately got distanced in the first couple minutes after the left turn onto Petaluma-Point Reyes Road. I figure I’d meet them back at Pt. Reyes for lunch. I just couldn’t believe how fast they were going though. I knew what was coming up, so I decided to just stay within my pace, and not blow myself out before even hitting the climbs.
After a short sandwich stop at Pt. Reyes, we were off again, down Hwy 1, with a full set of rollies. I felt pretty good, able to get some good pace, even on some of the uphill on the rollies. Chris was rolling way past everyone.
A left turn on Bolinas-Fairfax, and now the fun and the climbing begins. Chris and Pete are charging up the hill, while Marco and Ruth, and myself, we grind it up this hill. I think my fitness (or lack of it), was beginning to show at this point. I was just waiting for the shaded portion at the top to appear, but it seemed to be a lot longer and tougher than I remember it to be. I guess this is the winter effecting me … hopefully I won’t be suffering too much on my double in a couple of weeks.
I didn’t see anyone at the top at Ridgecrest, so I assumed they went on ahead, so that’s what I decided to do. At this point, we have a set of rollies which they call the 7 sisters. I wanted to document these, but I only counted 5.
This is the first one … at least I think it is. I couldn’t get my camera out in enough time to get a panorama shot, so this will have to do.
I think this is the second sister. I had a pair of cyclists in my sight, so at least I could use them as a target to keep pushing. However, as hard as my mind was set on trying to reel them in, my legs were not in agreement. However, I did seem to be gaining ground on them, but then I see them stopping. Well, at least it gave me some motiviation.
The third sister, is probably the toughest. Although all of them are fairly short, this seems to have a grinding effect on me. I do notice that after grinding through this one, the rest of the sisters, or hills are not quite as bad. But then again, who’s counting, right? Well, uh, I am … that’s why I am telling you all about it. LOL
At this point, I have lost track of whether or not this is the next sister. They were a few small bumps leading up to this, so I don’t know if they count that as one of the sisters. Whatever the case may be, I know I am at least half way through the seven sisters, so that’s all the counts in my head. I know that the after reaching the peak of this one, I am home free.
Now what’s nice is we do get a really nice view of Stinson Beach just before we get to Pan Toll Road. On a day like today, I couldn’t help but stop to take a pic.
I get to Pan Toll Road, but don’t see anyone there. I’m not sure if anyone was going up to the summit, so I thought maybe they would be re-grouping there. So I decided to go part way to the summit at least. I’m not sure how far I went, but I didn’t see anyone come down, so I just turned around, and figure I’d meet everyone at the Ranger’s Station. Well, I got there, and saw Marco and Ruth, but didn’t see anyone else. We didn’t see anyone else there. We figured we would wait until 3:45 pm, and if no one showed, we would continue back to the cars. We wanted to make sure we got back before it got dark.
Tried calling, and leaving txt messages, but to no avail. Well, once we get back to Sports Basement, then we should at least get a cell signal, and maybe find out what’s going on. It turned out Chris had waited, and gone on ahead (as he was getting cold waiting). He got to Sports Basement (re-parked, as I couldn’t find his car at the place we parked). Pete found his way back too … I guess he did go up to the summit, but he got some emergency calls on his cell, and things got all screwed up. But we got things all squared away. I just didn’t think we would be separated that far apart. I guess I just need that much more training in.
Despite the communication issue, it was quite a day. The weather was spectacular, and it was a good day to reunite on the bike with the old gang, once again.
My totals … 79.2 miles, 5377 feet climbing.