Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birthday Ride!

It just so happened that some friends mentioned a few weeks ago that they were riding Mount Hamilton on April 29th.  And since that happened to be my 35th birthday, I added a note on my schedule and begged Coach to let me do the climb as part of my long ride.  Lucky me, she said GO CLIMB YOUR MOUNTAIN!  

As I linked to in my previous post, Mt Hamilton is the highest peak above our valley and the observatory at the top is something I've visited a few times growing up in the area.  But I've never gotten to go climb the mountain on my bike so I was super excited to do that today! It's never especially steep but just a long steady climb, punctuated by a couple of short descents into beautiful valleys along the way.
Mt Hamilton Elevation Profile (begins around the mile 7 mark, the rest was our warmup route)
Sara, Chris and me before the start
Warming up in the sunshine!
Everything is SUPER green after the last round of rain we had!
Beginning to climb up the foothills
First look down at the valley and we still have TONS of climbing to go
Going up and up and up and up
Another valley view
First peek at the peak! The little white bumps at the top of that highest peak are the domes at Lick Observatory
Water stop at Grant County Park - I was ridiculously hyperactive for this entire ride (good fueling!) 
More green stuff
Pretty little stream I crossed over
The top looks so close but it's still 5 miles away!  The road gets very windy with switchbacks at this point.
Again - SO close but still 1.5 miles of road to go!
I made it!!!  What a FUN climb!
Hamilton was SUCH a fun route - challenging but beautiful and do-able! I had an unbelievably good time through the whole thing.
Neat to be so high that we were above this hawk.
One last peek back at the top of the mountain during our descent
In all, it was everything I could have hoped for in a birthday!  Fun times with friends and an amazing experience, not to mention Sara came prepared with a cooler of beer for post-ride (I did my brick run and drank my pre-packed recovery beverage first) so we were able to sit around in a park and relax after.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes!


Teresa said...

What an epic ride!! Happy birthday!


Jill said...

What an amazing birthday! I think 35 is the new 21, right?

Melissa said...

Very cool Molly! LOve the pics too, it's a beautiful ride!

ADC said...

What a fun birthday. Great pics too.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday! What a perfect way to spend your day!

Wes said...

I guess if you do an Ironman, the only compliment to that kind of crazy is to ride your bike up a mountain :-D

Way to celebrate your birthday in fine style!!

Christi said...

Congratulations on a great birthday ride!

Meredith said...

It looks like it was a beautiful day for an awesome ride! Glad you enjoyed your Birthday!

GoBigGreen said...

Awesome! I just was in the pool for 46 x many things so i like your idea better:) Happy Birthday!

Alili said...

Epic! I think what scares me more is thought of riding down that mountain.

Iron Krista, "The Dog Mom" said...

Happy Belated Bday. That ride looks GORGEOUS!

Cotter Crunch said...

best way to celebrate for sure. Gosh i need to visit your training grounds.

donna said...

Sounds like you had a perfect Birthday Molly....and all that climbing. Brilliant - hope this is your best year yet!