I finally climbed Mt. Tam, and it would happen to be on the Hottest Day of the year on the Bay Area. I mean, it was in the 80s in SF … that’s s rarity.
I’m the past, I would normally do either Alpine Dam and head up to Ridgecrest then do they Seven Sisters (set of 7 rolling hills), and then, get to a junction where we usually have a rest stop, then head down Pan Toll Road, down the hill. But that would skip Mt. Tam. At this point we usually already have a lot of miles and climbing in our legs that we have little motivation to go up. Well the same thing was true on this day, but I decided I’m not doing and I’m just continuing up the road, and climbing Mt. Tam.
It was hot to start off with, even after getting off Caltrain by AT&T Park. I brought a vest and arm warmers, because you can never tell what the climate is like in the city, but there was no fog at all, and it would remain hot. This also meant traffic was bad. Normally when I take the first train in on Saturday, it wouldn’t be too bad, but not today. Plus, the finals of America’s Cup is going on, so lots of traffic at the Embarcadero.
I made minimal stops on this ride, so this was definitely not a social ride, but it also wasn’t a hammer ride, due to heat and climbing I know I’ll do. Before making the climb to Alpine Dam, I fueled up at 7-11 … like drinking an entire bottle of Gatorade. I normally don’t do this, but I needed something to cool my core before the climbing starts.
Alpine Dam is the usual regroup spot, and usually people stop at the center of the dam to relax and enjoy. Not this day. I huddled over to the shade.
Next up was the next climb up to Ridgecrest. This was a pretty shady climb, but it was still pretty hot. I started to get fatigued here, and suddenly I had thoughts of bailing on Mt. Tam again. I had to fight to wipe these thoughts out of my head, and just make it to the next crest at Ridgecrest.
At Ridgecrest, there was another group doing a training ride, and they had a support car, supplying water. They graciously provided it, even to those not in their training ride. That’s just awesome. That’s what I love about cycling, such cameraderie.
Next it’s the Seven Sisters. This is a set of seven rollies, before you even get to the base of Mt. Tam. This is tough on a hot day, because it is all exposed, wide open. Since you know there are seven of them, you can almost pace yourself, but with this heat, it’s still a tough climb.
There are some really gorgeous views from here. You get some really nice overlooks of Stinson Beach.
Continuing on Ridgecrest, when you finish the Seven Sisters, there is s parking lot, where most take a rest. This is where in the past we would head down the hill, but not today. I’m not doing and continuing on up the hill.
Actually the climb up Mt. Tam is not that bad. It is a little shaded to start, and the summit is all exposed. I think the climb up to Ridgecrest plus the Seven Sisters usually it’s what does everybody in. Amazing views from up here.
By the time I made it down the hill back to Sausalito, I was tired. I’m looking forward to just sitting in Caltrain, and resting. I made it to Caltrain just in time … got there at 3:05, and the train leaves at 3:15. Sweet! The bike car was also very busy.
Total stats …62 miles, 5000+ feet climbing