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Sunday, February 14, 2010

45, 20, 76.5

Downtown Concord, CA at 6:15am in February

I should probably just face the fact that I've started this year's training.

Thursday I rode the Lemond home from work, adding a few extra hills and about 25 extra miles.
That made 45.

Friday morning I left around 5:30 am with the new light I had picked up at the Performance Bike Shop in Walnut Creek the night before. Around 6:00 the lights started showing water droplets swirling around in the air and within 10 minutes it was pouring.
1 1/2 hours after leaving home I sloshed into the parking lot at work.
That made 20 more miles.

I had intentionally taken it easy on the commute rides knowing I was planning a longer ride Saturday. That's easy in the rain and the dark, but Thursday evening I had had a little too much fun racing the cars from stoplight to stoplight on the last stretch through Pleasant Hill. I was still feeling my legs at 6:00am Saturday when I rolled out the front door.

Friday night Bec and I had worked up a plan to get me and her at the same Starbucks in San Jose around noon on Saturday. I was hoping for a 15mph average to get me the 85 miles in around 6 hours, and we could pretty easily account for her travel time in the car. After Starbucks, we were to continue on to Capitola, where I would shower at the public beach showers and we'd spend the afternoon watching the surfers. That was the plan.

My route was to be similar to that of a ride Vince and I did last June. Martinez, to Concord, to Clayton, to Morgan Territory, to Livermore, to Pleasanton, and then change up the route by turning left on Calaveras Rd. and heading south toward San Jose. All of these things I did, but my average speed dwindled to 14.5mph. Hills do that. Extra coffee and potty breaks don't help either. I was to top out, overlooking San Jose at the top of Sierra Rd. 1800' above the valley. I was to then ride down the hill (which was insane) and 10 miles across the valley to the awaiting coffee. I looked at the time at the top of Sierra Rd. and it was 11:58.

Top of Climb #1 Morgan Territory - 2100'
From here there is a tremendous drop down to 600' in just over 4 miles, then a slow descent through town into the bottom of Livermore valley at 400'. Hwy 84 climbs out of the valley to nearly 1000' for #2 and then down to 250' in Pleasanton.

"Top" of Calaveras Rd. (Approx. 1100') overlooking Calaveras Reservoir.
Climb #3
A slow winding ascent from Pleasanton toward the Ohlone Regional Wilderness on Calaveras Rd. is refreshing after leaving the traffic of 84 behind.

Looking down off the south side of Sierra Rd. - Climb #4 topping out at around 2000'

I had ridden the final few miles with a rider I met at the decision point of going up to Sierra Rd. or heading down Calaveras into town. His son is an endurance cyclist, having ridden all of the local double centuries including the Devil Mountain Double. I told this gentleman that part of the reason I was on this particular route, was that nearly all of the roads I was riding were part of the DMD. He gave me some second hand tips regarding the DMD, but more importantly kept me company for the final grueling miles getting up Felton Road to the top of Sierra Grade. Knowing that turning around and riding down Calaveras into San Jose was an option, I may not have seen the top of Sierra Rd. without him. He asked what time I was to meet up with my wife; whereupon he chuckled at my response, whereupon I looked at the time, whereupon I called Bec to find out if she was enjoying her white chocolate mocha.

My new friend who paced me up the back side of Sierra, and, um, a bunch of potholes that are in the picture because I was too pooped to look close at what I was taking a picture of .

This is where having a 3 month old setting the schedule comes in handy. Bec was fit to be tied because my voice mail wasn't working and she had just left home 5 minutes before. (She had visions of me sitting sipping a latte wondering where she was) Getting out of the house had taken all the time Bec had planned - plus 1 hour. "No worries" said I, I'll call you back when I get into San Jose, and find an alternative meeting place. Both of us breathed a sigh of relief.

45 minutes later she made 4 U turns trying to get into the Starbucks I had found, and she nursed Gianna in the Pilot while I changed my clothes in the Starbucks restroom and Ella bounced and rocked on the bike rack making us both crazy for separate reasons.
Another 76.5 miles.

Off then to Capitola and the beach.

It was a great day, and another adventure logged.