New Year's day was absolutely gorgeous with almost severe clear sky and upper 50's weather so I made a rather snap decision to check off a ride to the top of Mount Hamilton.
The ride itself was pretty uneventful, though I really love riding up out of San Antonio valley since it is very very reminiscent of riding in Northern Arizona. The hardest part of the ride was staying on the road in the shadows on the descents where there was still a little ice to be found on the pavement. I flew off the road not once but TWICE! Good thing I'm so comfortable off road on my bike...
The entire ride is full of climbing but the last slog up from five miles out is the longest. I listened to my heart rate monitor yelling at me the entire way up but couldn't climb it easy. From the top I finally got a view toward San Jose only to find silicon valley completely fogged in. "Suckers!" I thought to myself. I could also see the road coming up from San Jose and many cyclists coming up from that direction. Again, I felt superior since riding up from my house from the East is MUCH more scenic and enjoyable. Less traffic too. And a longer ride.
I had just enough signal to call Kris for a quick "Hello from the top of Mount Hamilton!" Then I traded picture taking with a nice family (with an accent I couldn't place and not much English skills) and was off back home.
End mileage was something like 59.8 miles. I almost did a few circles in the road just to force it to a nice clean 60 miles. Oh well.
With proper care to eat on the way and not killing myself on the first half of the ride going too hard this was a pretty easy ride. I'll definitely be doing this as often as I can when time and weather permit. Back in the old days, a weekend wasn't complete without a 60+ mile ride but this is the first one I've done since I've been back on. I'm not sure why that is. I certainly have the stamina for a ride that long. And this was 60 miles with TONS of climbing so I'm feeling really good about my endurance base now.
Oh yeah. Now that I've finally gotten the proper fork/brake/stem combination worked out on my new SOMA smoothie frame I'm very happy with it. With the Ruffy Tuffy tires it's not exactly fast feeling on the pavement but it eats up the dirt road easily and they are actually very good tires on fast DRY descents. As I found on Mt. Diablo a couple of weeks ago, however, they aren't so hot on wet pavement. Anyway. It's nice to finally have a bike that does the dirt road, pavement and can double as a touring bike (and possible a cyclocross bike!) so capably.