Friday, March 16, 2012

Salad day

Climbing up Altamont this afternoon was the rare kind of quiet you could actually hear. The clouds were low and misting a little on this ridge behind the valley. A few birds sang introspectively, in an unhurried way.

No one on the roads but the yard maintenance guys in their trucks. They work no matter what.

Couldn't resist this hillside turning green. Look closely - there are 2 deer nibbling at the fresh salad bar. After all, we've had some rain and this is Grand Deer Central.

The salad bar with a view of Silicon Valley (and SBI) 

I shouldn't push it today, probably should not have even added this hill. This is a leisurely ride to get out of the house, a recovery ride after 2 Spinning days, and a warm-up ride before this weekend's 300k. Spinning actually put the ache in my quads!

Thoughts turn toward the 300k. This little ride today is stolen in between storms at home. Up north in rural Napa County, serious weather is predicted for Saturday.

The route is the same as the 200k, with a 32-mile extension. Still out-and-back. At the turnaround lies the infamous Cobb Mountain. It's an epic climb on a highway where the locals drive fast. We'll be climbing steep grades up to 2600 feet. According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature Saturday will be 37 degrees with thunderstorms and 'new snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible'.

This is a qualifying ride when I'm not qualifying for anything this year. What part of Route 66 requires climbing Cobb Mountain? It would be smart to just not show up.

Spring in Woodside
At the same time I'm wondering where those neoprene socks and windproof mittens might be - house? garage? basement?

After last year's rendition of this ride there can be zero denial about what it will be like. People ask all the time 'why do you do it'? There are lots of answers. Frankly sometimes it's just 'because I signed up'. Or 'because I made a motel reservation'. Or 'there's only so many times a person can ride to Woodside'.

This type of ride is an opening, a chance to build a certain level of mental and physical fitness. That level of fitness comes from challenge, from riding hard and long. Only afterwards will I know if it was worth it.


  1. Hope to hear that it was a drier ride than the video!

    1. Rachel, it WAS drier because we only got rain/hail for a couple of hours. Check out this post An epic ride but satisfying (now that it's over). Really glad for that fabulous Davis Bike Club support!