All rested up from the 1/2IM 2 weeks ago and time to get back to riding looooong. Given the heat in the valley, we headed up to the Santa Cruz mountains hoping for a little bit of relief from the breeze off the coast. 80 miles and 7000 feet of climbing later...
Early in the day, when climbing was a cute novelty...7 miles going up Highway 9 from Saratoga to Skyline (the road that runs along the ridge atop the mountains)
At the top of the first big climb discussing...something?
Scenic overlook so we had to stop
Down in the redwood forest of Big Basin State Park
Twin Specialized Transition Pros - mine and Kristi's - while we filled up our bottles again
More trees and hills...climbing out of the state park
Downtown Boulder Creek - another water stop before the long climb back up to the ridge line
Bear Creek Road was where the fun ended. Climbing 3000 feet back to the top of the mountain on fairly steep roads will do that to you...
Totally faking any enthusiasm at this point. We'd all split up on the climb and I was trying to get through the last few miles on Bear Creek
Not a bad view up there though!
Yeah, we're all feeling the same way about these hills at this point!
Jeff had been feeling poorly and had gone ahead to finish the ride while I waited to meet up with George and Kristi who took a wrong turn. We'd expected he was done and gone so I completely cracked up when we arrived back at the top of Highway 9 and he was sitting there eating a hot dog off a food cart!
The rest of the ride was very nice - all downhill! No photos because we were finally going faster than 6mph. It was pretty much the slowest long ride I've ever done...a character builder, I guess! I do like hills but miles and miles of climbing steep roads...I could probably do without a big mountain anytime soon. We managed to get in 2 climbs of similar length to the IM Canada climbs - 7 miles and 15 miles - but our climbs were 2x as steep as the ones on the course. I hope that means race day will feel like a nice uphill spin by comparison!
An overview of the route
And the elevation chart
Kristi and I managed to knock out our runs off the bike in the now 90+ degree heat and then we were DONE. I think she'll be doing the same thing I am tonight - refueling and rehydrating for long run Sunday!
Ah, Ironman training...the highs and lows...