Category Archives: 30daysofbiking

It’s April, and Another #30daysofbiking


Another April, and another month of 30daysofbiking.  What is 30daysofbiking?  Will, basically it is a pledge that you make for yourself, that you will bike every day in the month of April.  You sign up at https://www.30daysofbiking/pledge.  That’s all there is to it.

I’ve done it the past 4 years.  This year, I actually rode on April 1st, not realizing that it is a 30daysofbiking month.  I commute every day, so it’s like a routine with me, not having to put any extra effort into it.

Today, I went for a short, although not easy ride … chock full of hard hill climbing.  It’s what me and my friends like to call Climbfest.  How hard?  Well, 15-20% grade for about a mile?  How’s that?  In fact, one of the Strava segments is called “Kittredge – Quickert Mile of Pain”, and another one called “Son of a Bi***”

Some pics to give you an idea how steep it is …



I also did a time lapse video of my two climbs for the day.


Now whether or not I keep up with the 30 days for this month, will depend on some family obligations.  Oh yes, it all comes down to that, on whether or not I’ll have time to get on my bike due to those commitments.  That usually is the reason for not fulfilling it.  Otherwise, as Queen says in the song “Fat Bottom Girls” …..

Get on your bikes and ride!








April’s a Wrap #30daysofbiking

Another April it’s done and another 30 days off biking is in the books.  It was also the month for Strava’s Classics Challenge, which was to see if you could ride 1319 km in the month of April.

The challenge of 1319 km seems daunting, but I figured if I ride every day, at least the distance to and from work, I might stand a chance.

As it turned out, I finished the challenge on the last weekend in April by doing a double metric, l’etape du California, which put me over the edge. Up to that point, I missed 4 days, but kept at it. After completing the challenge, I needed a rest, so I missed a total of 6 days. But the goal is to get on your bike, and that’s what counts anyways, right?

Now onto May, national bike month, and bike to work day. I just love this time of year, where the excitement of bicycling is in full bloom.

Epic Suffering on L’Etape du California, Mt.Diablo

It is the peak of the century riding season, and so far, I haven’t even begun getting into any events.  DMD was this weekend, Wildflower is also this weekend, so I decided to tackle L’Etape du California, which does the same route that ATOC Stage 7 will be doing.  I didn’t really decide until Friday night, and the ride was Sunday.


As part of the registration process, they required everyone to sit through a safety talk first, then register.  They wanted to stress that this is not a race, and to point out the danger areas.


Since I had to drive this far, I might as well bring my bike and do a quick Patterson Pass loop, and do part of tomorrow’s course. Good thing I did, acclimated my body to the heat. It was friggin hot out there, and no wind.


Okay, Sunday morning and it’s a mass start at 7 am. The turnout was a little less than they expected .. 300, and they were expecting 1000. I was up near the front with all sorts of racer types. We rolled out pretty quickly, with a brisk pace. I started wondering what did I get myself into. People were passing me left and right. Even more people past me going up Morgan Territory.

Morgan Territory is the first climb of the day. We normally descend down this road and we call it the plunge. However this time we’re climbing it. Epic. After we crest this, it’s down the hill on the other side. This is a rough surface, and I know others are hurting, because all the different bumps. My Volagi did just fine, absorbing then all, making it a bit more comfortable than if I brought the Seven. One thing that was annoying was a slow descender, and wouldn’t allow many to pass. Took me awhile, but I finally passed him. Sheesh!


At the bottom, rest stop #1. They need to learn how to support social rides as they only had 1 porta potty. This added time to the wait. This was also the only rest stop until the finish which had bread for pbj. Epic fail.

From here, the route to the next climb would be pretty flat, out Marsh Creek onto the city of Byron. There is nothing out here, and it’s brown. Nothing scenic about this, but at least it didn’t stink. I latched onto a pelaton of about 8 riders. Nice pace, not too fast so I didn’t blow myself up, but brisk enough to make some good time.


Rest stop 2 is at the base of the Patterson Pass climb. This is their second time doing this in two days. I conserved my energy in preparation for this. It was about 10 am when I started the climb, which is a lot better than 1 pm, which is when I started this yesterday. I did do a lot better. There still was not much wind. This is Patterson Pass, which usually had wind. For once I was wishing
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October is Done Already?

Wow, that month flew by.  Not sure what happened there.  I probably missed the 30 Days of Biking in September (actually, was there one?  I didn’t check).  I wasn’t going to set off to ride 31 days in October, but I came pretty close.  I missed a fewdays, but still, 28 out of 31 days of biking is not too shabby.

Part of this was rebelling against the surging gas prices (it didn’t get up to $5, but I think I saw it at $4.70/gal) .. and since my route into work is extremely doable on bike, why not.  I wound up with 721 miles.  It didn’t feel like I did really long rides, but riding every day does add up.

Earth Day and Day 22 … what was your green activity #30daysofbiking

April 22, 2011 is earth day. This is the day everyone is supposed to do their part to improve the environment, so what did you do?

The most obvious thing for me is to ride my bike into work, and that’s exactly what I did. Actually, I didn’t realize it was Earth Day until I saw several tweets referring to it. What struck me as odd was my company didn’t have any type of electronic recycling program. In the past they would have large blue bins, where we would all take our unused routers, switches, keyboards, etc, and dump them in the blue bin, to be later taken to a recycling depot. But on Earth Day, I saw no evidence of that. Strange.

I did sign up for one web site, This is a site devoted to logging a challenge to drive less between April 22 thru May 5. I think more people will do this as the gas prices reach $5. So for my first couple of entries, I logged in my biking mileage, 7 and 21 miles. They have an interesting calculation to tell you how many pounds of CO2 have been saved. I have no idea how they are able to calculated. So for the first 28 miles, I 23.6 lbs CO2. Whatever.

Days 18 through 21 #30daysofbiking

Been slacking off on the blogs on the 30daysofbiking, so here’s a quick summary.  30 days of biking is a great goal, but I found that when you have to get on the road by 6 am, every day, it does take its toll on the body (even if it’s flat and only 20 miles, give or take a few here and there).

I did drive in to work a couple days, but don’t worry .. I did get on my bike in the afternoon, after work.  I did my quick errand to the market, and to El Pollo Loco, so I did fulfill that obligation (and that does count for the day of biking).  I got back on the bike and commuted to work on day 20, but damn, the headwinds are still there.  I did find that if I didn’t have my morning coffee before the commute, my power seriously is lacking.

I needed to get some mileage in, so I decided to ride out to Shoreline after work.  That was really nice.  Even though there were threats of showers at 6 pm, it didn’t materialize.  Good for me … I’ve had enough wet riding for a while now.

When you see a picture like this, doesn’t it make you want to get on your bike and ride?

This sure makes me want to go to Shoreline every day after work.  Hmm … maybe I’ll take my fixie in to work, and do Shoreline again.  True, there is no climbing, but I’ll have plenty of opportunities for climbing later.

I rode into work on day 21, and I had lofty goals of climbing Montebello.  On my ride home, I had no zip in my legs, and decided to just go home, and rest my legs.  Yup, the consecutive days do catch up with you … or maybe I just need to HTFU?

Diablo, Morgan Territory, and Patterson Pass with wind #30daysofbiking

Another weekend, another chance for a DMD trainer.  Oh, BTW, I am not doing the actual DMD Double century, so why am I subjecting myself to this pain?  I guess I’m a masochist.  The route was simple, Mt. Diablo, then Morgan Territory, then Patterson Pass.  I’d get in another 100+ miles.

Michael was going to meet us at the South Gate entrance of Diablo, but it just wasn’t his day.  He texted me just before we were leaving … he had wheel problems.  So it was Bassem, Marco, Ramon, Donald, and myself on the ride.  I would be at the back the whole ride.

As soon as we got on Diablo, and the first hint of a hill, I lost visual contact with everyone.  Oh boy, this is going to be one loooong day.  It was an incredibly clear day, and I could see a green Mt. Diablo.  That’s a rarity, as it would be either all brown, or visibility would be so bad you couldn’t enjoy the scenery.  Today was crystal clear and everything was green.

I kept looking for the guys to see if they were coming down from the top, but never saw them.  I guess I’ll keep climbing.  I made it to the top at about 90 minutes.  Not a bad time for me.  I think that’s about my average.  I didn’t see the guys, so I just refilled water.  I think I was climbing the wall as they were descending the other side.  I started thinking, did they actually go down and didn’t realize it was them?  Well, no time to worry about it now, just descend down the hill.

The group was waiting at north gate … whew, back with the pack again, but then, once we got to a slight incline, the hammer went down again, and distanced again.  It’s lucky for us the DMD route is marked on the road, so there was no question about where the route should go … just follow the markings on the road.

Followed a Team-in-Training group who was going the same way.  Passed them up, without realizing, that was jonathanb in the group.  But I was so focused on catching my group, I didn’t stop to realize that and say hi.  Sorry Jon.

The group was waiting for me again at the turnoff on Morgan Territory.  Thanks guys.  On for the next climb up.  It kinda lulls you to sleep before the real part of the climb starts up.  There was unusually a lot of car traffic coming the other side (a lot more than I usually see).  I did see the Team-in-Training support car, ringing their cowbell for me (even though I’m not on the ride).

When I finally get to the park at the summit, I see the gang there, taking deep breaths, resting up from the big climbs we’ve done.  Team-in-Training had the support rest stop there, and I see PrincessZippy from bikeforums.  Then, I see Jobob and Leebob there.  Cool … great to see them out there.  They were kind enough to offer us food and water.  Thanks guys, even though we weren’t on the TNT ride.

Now for the “plunge”.  In other words, fast descent down the other side of Morgan Territory.  I was taking it easy here, as the descent can get pretty technical.  Despite that, I still topped out at a max of 42 mph during that stretch.  Crazy, isn’t it?

Altimont Pass

We zig zag our way over to Livermore, and here is where we first feel the effects of the heavy winds.  It was hard to keep in the pack, but luckily this didn’t last too long.  We continued onto Altimont Pass, and that had a really nice fast descent too, but not technical at all.  Plus, that heavy winds I was talking about?  Well, that’s on our back.  Just get into a high gear, spin away, and have fun.  Plus, the road surface is so smooth.

We have one more snack break before tackling the climb up Patterson, and the headwinds.  This is the calm before the storm.  As soon as we made the right turn on Patterson Pass Road, the head winds really hit us hard.  I have no idea how strong they were, but I had difficulty in just pedaling.

In the past, when coming out to Patterson Pass, it’s either really hot (in summer where the hills are brown), or it’s really foggy, so you don’t get to see the green hillside, and the windmills.  Well, this time, it’s not foggy, and we do see green hills … but we do have the winds.  Can’t catch a break on this, can we?

I know there is one stretch at 20% near the top, which would be tough.  However, that was the easy part.  The tough part was the section right before that, and the winds were funneling through at such force, that the 12% climb was much tougher.  I actually had to get off and walk my bike for about 0.2 mile.  I just could not muster up any power to complete this hill.  You can hear the windmills spinning hard at this point.

Once I got over this summit, I see the next 20% grade I have to tackle.  The wind actually was calmer in this section, and that gave me enough respite to get my climbing legs up the hill.  It was still windy, but not as bad as the previous section.  I think it may have been because it isn’t funneling the wind through a pass like the previous section.


And of course, once I got to the top, we gotta take a picture of the windmill farm, right?

And just to prove I did the ride, Bassem was kind enough to take this candid shot.

From here, we head straight back to the cars, another 20 miles, but not all flat.  Some hills, and yes, the winds stayed with us all the way back till we got to Sycamore Valley Road.

I’m starting to wonder if this is normal for this area, at this time of year, or was it just that the weather forecast was for strong winds today?  Whatever it was, it made for a really tough ride, but it was a gorgeous day for it.

Seven Days of Consecutive Riding Catching Up with Me #30daysofbiking

I am 7 days into the 30 days of biking, of which 4 of them have been at 6 am. Body got a little fatigued, so to fulfill my 7th day, I drove in ( heaven forbid) and just took a short spin around the block. There, I fulfilled my day on the bike.

Since it was raining, it also gave me the excuse to drive in today.  I think I’ve had enough rain riding for one year.  Besides, I just took my Seven in for a tune up, and I’m not going to subject it to more rain than I really have to.

Good thing I waited … and they said it would rain throughout the day

Days 4 through 6 – #30daysofbiking

I haven’t kept on my blogging of the 30 days of biking, so here’s a recap.

Well, after not keeping up, and not completing the original goal of 50 miles and 10k feet of climbing, I felt I had to make up for it.  And the weather was just gorgeous, and I just had to take advantage, getting a ride in at 5 pm.

Legs were still feeling some effects of those massive 20-28% climbs, especially the brutal one up Marin, so it’s not like I was burning up the road up the mountain.  Still, it was good to get out in this terrific weather.  56 min … yeah, not going to shock anyone any time soon.

I commuted into work on days 4 and 5.  Day 4 was a little windy on the commute back, and not as sunny.  On day 5, I woke up with a little bit of a sore back, so I wasn’t riding in with any sustained pace.  I took the shortest, most direct route to work.  For the commute home, the wind was really kicking up, so it was just hanging on while I make it back.

It’s raining today, so hopefully, it will clear up by this afternoon/evening.  Otherwise, it might be a trainer night.