Saturday, September 26, 2015

Up, Down and all over in San Benito and Monterey Counties

Mini road trip with Miss P.  Club ride today with our incredible leader Marcia starting in lovely San Juan Batista.  We covered 32 miles beginning in San Benito County and dipping into Monterey County. 

First climb of the day -- up San Juan Grade.  We were fortunate to have a breeze. 

Time to go down.  Yay.  I let the others go ahead of me, you know, in case the aliens were lurking ....  Several years ago, I waited here while The BF descended and then climbed back up.  I was excited to have the chance to bike it. 

Clearly, evidence of an alien ship landing on San Juan Grade.  As we know, tomorrow is a blood moon and no doubt, the aliens are delighted.

Next we climbed Crazy Horse Canyon.  Too much traffic but probably helped to keep the aliens away.  Eventually we made it to Aromas, a lovely little town.  With a library!

Guess what was next to the library.  Yes, the old firehouse!  I did not see any firemen.  They were probably out searching for aliens, and keeping me safe.

More climbing, this time on Carr.  Today's ride can be summed up by saying, climb, descend, climb, descend, repeat.  Great workout.  Here we are about to descend when this caught my eye.

On Anzar through Eucalyptus.  We had the option to do Forest/School Rock, an offshoot, but, next time.  Some of today's route was familiar.  I've done bits of it with The Boyfriend and also doing the Strawberry Fields Forever tour with Miss P.  We did indeed see fields of strawberries and cabbage growing here and there.  No sightings of aliens.  Yay.  Returning through downtown San Juan Batista was a nice way to end a great ride.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Santa Cruz Mtns. Summits

After a week of nice weather, things began to heat up today.  Miss P offered the perfect club ride today, beginning with climbing Old Santa Cruz Highway.  Dan, Laurent, and Jim ventured off numerous times throughout our ride, circling us, passing us, dancing around us.  Me, I labored along, slow to start, enjoying the beauty of our redwoods.  Ahmed joined us!  Yay.  Poor fella getting over a bad injury.

Everyone left me in the dust but eventually I caught up as we climbed Mt. Bache/Loma Prieta.  Shame the camera wasn't able to capture the wonderful views we had of Monterey.  I amazed myself, well, when do I not, by getting up this sucker without much fanfare.  My back did twinge quite a bit but I said to myself, deal with it, you weenie.  Plus I remembered the fireman we passed on Summit road ....  Nice daydream.

I even managed to continue on to the dirt road on Mt. Bach before turning around to tackle our next climb.

We stopped at the Summit Store for supplies.  Geez Louise, already putting out Halloween stuff. I love this store though, wonderful produce, treats, and such.

Oh lookey, yours truly.  Next up, Wrights Station.  Still ahead of the heat, and appreciating the shade afforded by the redwoods.

Lovely descent into the woods of Wright's Station but sigh, have to climb out of it.  In the past, I've struggled doing Wright's Station.  Not today!

Last climb, Aldercroft Heights.  Well, I got there and I said, "Where are the firemen, where's my ice cream cone dipped in chocolate, I want some soda, why should I do this climb?"  Eh.  Actually, I really needed to pee, and that is what I did and then I said to myself, "I'm done."  Enough with the heat and thirst.  Wonderful club ride. 30.5 miles and lots of climbing.  I want some baked beans for my effort.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Puttering Up Page Mill Road

Boy, wacky weather week.  First, I was wilting from the heat wave during the week and today, it was gray and a bit chilly with skies that threatened rain.  I needed my jacket for parts of the ride!  I began today's journey at Shoup Park and puttered about in the Los Altos Hills enjoying the look of Fall.  I had no friends to play with today but that's okay because of course a fire truck passed me and lots of cyclists were out.  I got a little lost and ended up at Foothill De Anza college but found my way back to today's destination. 

Yep, time to test myself on Page Mill in preparation for next month's LKHC climbs.  As I climbed, guess who came down!  First some ACTCers headed by Jerome and then, James P.  And yes, as I descended Page Mill, Mr. P. was climbing it again.  Goodness.  Yay, guess what again, I was only 6 or 7 minutes slower than my LKHC time back in 2011.  Not bad, coming in at 73 minutes.  I think I've only done Page Mill twice in the last year.  We'll see what happens next month.  Rather than go all the way down Page Mill, I took Altamont to Taaffe, Elena and then Burke to get back to Shoup Park.  A pleasant scenic return.  I enjoyed my puttering outing.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Grapes on my Ride

Today, I opted to do Marcia's club ride, a social one in which I met other club members (some off to do Eastern Sierras this month).  Some of the members shared information about the Bicycle Adventure Club (having done some trips with BAC); certainly something I want to research.  One woman is going to New Zealand next February for a bike trip. 

We weren't out to break any records at our speed but we certainly had a sweet time, rolling along Foothill Expressway and climbing Montebello.  I wanted to do Montebello before the upcoming 2015 Low Key Hillclimbs; get a sense of where I'm at.  Hey, not bad, I managed to do it in 1 hour without pushing myself much.  Last year's LKHC time was 57.47.  Yay.   Lovely grapes atop Montebello, ready to be plucked.  We also saw what I believe was the Sunnyvale grass fire, unfortunately.  Marcia is my hero, I want to be like her when I'm in my 80s, going strong.