Day 3 of the 30 days of biking … and there is a ride in El Cerrito, that aims to complete 10,000 feet of climbing in 50 miles. Holy crap … sounds like just the stupid thing I would do.
On my way over, I somehow made the wrong exit, and wound up on the Bay Bridge. No,no,no … oh hell, looks like I gotta go to Treasure Island then head back. In retrospect, this is not a bad way to get lost. Had a great view across the bay of the Bay Bridge. Nice way to start the day, eh?
Ok, finally got on track. There was a pretty group gathered for the ride .. approximately 20 riders. I looked at the physique of the other riders, and I already knew I was in trouble.
They provided a Garmin gpx file where we could upload as a course. With this, you can import a gpx file into your Garmin, and you could follow the course. This is the first time I’ve used the course feature on my Garmin, so this should be interesting.
Onto the course, and we immediately are greeted with a 20+% climb. Not even a warm up! I was barely hanging on to the back of the main group, but that wouldn’t last very long. Pretty soon, me, and this other rider from Palm Desert, Bob, wound up in the back, and we pretty much rode the rest of the ride together. This meant I couldn’t follow the rider in front, and had to rely on my route sheet.
I read the route sheet wrong when we got to the traffic circle. It mention to go through the traffic circle, then hang a right on Marin. Well, I saw Marin, and hung a right. Well, that took us towards the bay and into Albany. We are way off course here … u-turn back, and getting back to the traffic circle, we were suppose to circle the traffic circle, and hang a right up …. emphasize UP Marin Ave. This is the 0.75 mile, 28% grade. Ouch.
I didn’t make it all the way up on the bike. I had to walk the last several hundred feet. My legs were fine, but my arms just was tired from all the pulling.
The picture doesn’t tell the whole story. When you look at it, it doesn’t look all that steep.
Ok, back to the course. There were so many turns on this route, I had to stop many times, just to make sure I was on course. I still made a few wrong turns, and actually backtracking what we would do later in the ride twice. We basically were looping around the same neighborhood in many different ways.
We had gone about 40 miles before our legs just had it for the day. Even if I did continue on the route, we probably wouldn’t finish till about 7 pm or so. Bob wasn’t feeling that great either, and he called his buddies to pick him up. We stopped in Montclair Village for much needed lunch. At that point, I decided to take the quickest route to Bart, in Rockridge, and rode back from El Cerrito Bart to the start.
I arrived there just about 10 minutes before the main pack finished the whole ride.
My Garmin didn’t record the data accurately, so unfortunately I cannot give an accurate account for miles and climbing done.