Knowing that I'd be racing short distances this year and not doing any long LONG rides, I wanted to get in one more good climbing bike before the weather turned cold and wet and formal training started again. I just barely made it under the wire on Sunday with a ride up Mt Hamilton and down the back side to Livermore - it started raining right as we drove away from the finish. On the positive side, I was reunited with Kristi and got to do my beloved Hamilton climb again. On the negative side, we were all really done at the 40-mile mark and still had to get the rest of the way back to the cars we'd left in Livermore, through all the heavy wind coming in with the storm.
Climbing above the valley floor
Refill stop at Grant Park
Heading up again and looking out over Grant Park
I LOVE climbing this mountain. LOVE. IT. It's such fun and really not *too* hard and it makes me happy.
Still climbing, the views keep getting better!
You can't tell in this photo but you could see all the way up the Peninsula at this point. If not for the clouds we would have been able to see San Francisco.
Lick Observatory. So close and yet still ~5 miles of riding away.
A look down at some of the switchbacks we'd ridden up
At the top of Mount Hamilton!
Climbing a small hill after descending the steep backside of Hamilton (the scariest 5 miles I've ever done on my bike)
The back side of Mount Hamilton is beautiful and surprisingly forest-y but desolate. There is NOTHING back there but for one small bar in the middle of the 50 miles between the top of the mountain and civilization, so you are really on your own out there.
At one point we looked ahead and saw something large sprint across the road. He wouldn't hold still when I stopped to take his picture but it was a VERY well-fed coyote!
View of the backside of the mountain we had climbed over, from the Junction (bar)
Climbing out from the Junction entails a few long hills!
The last 30 miles were WINDY and cold. If we had any choice that allowed us to stop sooner, we'd all have taken it. In the end I think we were all wishing we'd aimed for a shorter day but it was good to get this one finished. Now - for reals - bring on the SHORT stuff!