Epic Sunday Mini Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge

Sunday’s ride was another Meetup Ride, and in a way, it probably should have been posted as a biking++ ride.  This is not what I consider a leisure Sunday ride … in fact, it was epic.

I rode from home, which made it more impressive, since the start of the ride was at Saratoga Gap (corner of Hwy 9 and Hwy 35).  First, it’s a 16 mile ride up Hwy 9, and it get in 2000 feet of climbing before the ride even started.  There were plans to have a group start from Starbucks in Saratoga, but Bronwen has to bail, and I think that lead others to drive up instead.  Not me!

Last time we did this, the descent down Hwy 9 was cold, and a little damp.  And did I dress early for this?  No, of course not.  I only had arm warmers and a light vest.  Lucky for me, it wasn’t that cold, and it was dry, so I was okay.  However, the group sped down Hwy 9 like a locomotive train.  I thought I can get down into a tuck and catch the group, but they were nowhere in sight.  I had to high tail it.  Do they know what the climb is like?

I caught up to the group on the next turn, which was just after Bear Creek.  This is a nice alternative from the usual route I do, which avoids a busy section of Hwy 236.

We finally get to Jameson Creek, and the fun begins.  It’s something like 1700 feet of climbing, but in a short 3.5 miles.  Damn, that’s steep.

Jameson Creek

Jameson Creek

I didn’t feel like I was climbing strong, but much to my surprise, it was my third best.  Amazing what the body can do when you just work within your limits.  I did get passed my one guy from Team Fremont, and we briefly chatted about why we are doing this tough steep climb.

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I get to the top, but the lead group went on ahead.  I decided to wait for the rest of the group.  In the meantime, the rest of the Team Fremont group reaches the top.  They are a fun group, and they had a sag wagon following them.  They even offered me water and bananas, even though I’m not on their ride.  Cameraderie in cyclists is just awesome.

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Steve

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Rhysly and Dillan

Rhysly, Steve, and Dillan get to the summit, about 30 minutes after I got to the top.  Big kudos to Rhysly for completing this, who 1 year ago could hardly finish climbing Mt.  Eden.

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We continued on Empire Grade to Alba, where we then take a hair raising descent down to downtown Ben Lomond.

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Don’t believe the 10% sign …. there were done 20% sections there.  My disc brakes came in handy here, but just hope it doesn’t overheat.  At least only the disc will get hot, and not the rim.  That was a crazy descent.

We regroup at a gas station, but that was really the last we stayed together.  We got separated once we started climbing Zayante.  At this point, I think my legs are recovered from the steep Jameson climb, so now it’s steady 10 mile climb up to Summit Road.

I ended up climbing solo, and when we got to the top, I then went on , my own route back home.  It’s a little less climbing, and makes the whole ride one complete loop.

I was tired by the time I got home, but not completely exhausted, so I guess this is a good thing.  One problem … it’s a Sunday, and there is no recovery day before going back into work.  I guess I’ll have to use my commute in as a recovery ride.

Totals: 78.2 miles, 8494 feet climbing.  Epic climbfest.

http://app.strava.com/activities/88904619

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One Response to Epic Sunday Mini Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge

  1. Pingback: Mountain climbing. | My Blog

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