So my office sent me to participate in a week long conference in Sunnyvale, California.
To make the most of my stay there, I planned a 2-3hr ride in the hills daily in the hills around. I rented a Scott CR1 Pro bike for 140$ a week from udctours.com. The bike was delivered to my appt pre fitted even before i arrived there. I arrived on Sunday and was there till next Saturday.
The conference would be from 8:30am to 4-5pm daily and I would then go for a ride. Thankfully the daylight extends till 9pm there, which was a boon.
My friend Markus helped me quite a lot in sharing routes that included scenic spots, local legendary climbs. Each day i'd have atleast a Nandi equivalent climb on the route with one day having a 30km Mt. Hamilton climb.
So here are the days of the trip. I've posted this on FB and DM before as well, but i'm posting this again for forum.
California Day 1: Bear Creek 80 km 03:01 26.5km/h pacehttp://connect.garmin.com/activity/190334536
Day 1 (Sunday): 80km ride with Bear Creek climb - a 5.8km that climbs 437m, out of that 5km at 8+%avg. Long stretches of 13-18%.
Climbed at threshold (171bpm/~900VAM). Rode through San Jose, Santa Clara, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino.
Will be climbing lots daily - the flats are really boring in CA - and they're just either dangerous freeways (no cycling allowed) or streets littered with red lights (where you have to stop every 100m).
California Day2 AM Ride: Big Basin Highway 9 45 km 01:54 23.7km/h pacehttp://connect.garmin.com/activity/190334516
(garmin died while descending on return - had no battery power since i used up all battery yesterday and i didnt have US power converter!)
Day 2 AM ride: 45km ride with Big Basin climb. Climbed only 6.6kms of 11.2km climb (6.5%avg) because had to return for conference starting at 8am. Not as crazy as Bear Creek.
Climbed at tempo
California Day2 PM ride: Big Basin Highway 9 54.12 km 02:07 25.6km/h pacehttp://connect.garmin.com/activity/190550677
Day2 PM ride: 55kms with tempo effort on 11km Big Basin climb (6.2% avg) done. Unfinished business from morning's ride was finally completed. Love the Santa Cruz hills.
Total Day 2 stats: 100kms, 1300m climbing (not rolling elevation gain - 'real climbing').
Also to mention, i was attending the conference from 8am to 6pm!
2rides with 2hours each in AM and PM.
Day2: Highway 9 Big Basin Climb start - 7miles
Day2: At intersection of Boulder Creek Rd and Highway 9 at the top
Day2: At the top
Day2: At the top of Highway 9 Big Basin climb.
Day2: Saratoga - a quiet village town - really beautiful - just at the base of climb
California Day3: Steven Canyon Road + Redwood Gulch climb - Hwy9 descent 43 km 01:36 26.9km/h pacehttp://connect.garmin.com/activity/190861225
Day 3: 45 km ride after conference. Had to return back early to attend conference dinner at 7pm.
So my friend plotted out this small route that included a small steep section.
500m climbed only.
Steven Canyon Rd with Redwood Gulch climb and descent on Highway 9.
Crazy gradients - saw steep stretch that was just pure laziness of Steven to lay down road like that!
28-32% and then my garmin couldn't decide the gradient. Troubled to keep front wheel down despite standing up on 34/26!
Day3: Redwood Gulch - 17-21% gradients over a loong stretch
Day3: Redwood Gulch
Day3: Redwood Gulch
Day3: Steven's Canyon Road
California Day4: Foothill Eway - Alpine Rd - Portola Rd - Old La Honda - Skyline Blvd - Page Mill descent 73.2 km 03:04 23.9km/h pacehttp://connect.garmin.com/activity/191168021
1067m of climbing
One of the most beautiful days on the bike today. I had a long day to myself after having gotten free from the conference at 4pm. So my friend helped me plot a nice long picturesque route that included the legendary climbs in the local area.
I went down the Foothill Expressway, took left on Alpine Rd, then onto Portola Rd and finally climbed the most popular climb out here - Old La Honda! It has been ridden by 3300 people 20000 times on Strava!!!
A 5km at 8.1% avg gradient done at threshold at 12.7kph and 952VAM.
Rank of 1400/3300 odd people.
General discussion at the top - "Is Strava ruining rides for u too? Yeah!"
I saw guys warming up at base!!!! It's like a race here everyday! Crazy!
I think I can take off a min atleast on this one when I climb it again Friday morning.
After this climb, i rode on Skyline Blvd - one of most beautiful expressways at 700-800m that runs across the ridge of Santa Cruz mountains.
Then took left to descend down Page Mill Rd.
Very pleased with today's ride.
Day4: Astradero Rd
Day4: Portola Rd
Day4: Old La Honda climb start
Day4: Old La Honda climb end
At top of Old La Honda
On other side of Skyline on Old La Honda
Day4: Skyline Blvd
Day4: Page Mill Rd descent
On Skyline Blvd. Diablo range (east of California) in the background
California Day5: Mt. Hamilton 81.34 km 03:38 22.4km/h pacehttp://connect.garmin.com/activity/191464709 http://app.strava.com/activities/11434658
Day5: Mt. Hamilton! A Grand Tour HC category climb (Tour of California features this climb). 29kms with 5% grade. Climbed it in Zone2 (recovery day today after Old La Honda effort yesterday) at 16.2kph.
1600m of that mountain climbed!
There is a Lick Observatory at the top - very nice view too!
Freezing cold on the climb because of cold winds and i was caught without a jacket!
Reached the top just at sunset and was racing against time on descent. By the time i was at base, it was 10pm so i thought to chuck it and took a cab back home.
Alum Rock Park - just at base of Diablo Range
Mt. Hamilton climb starts here on right
Final 10kms at 6%
Lick Observatory at the top
Bolman - Norton - Kittridge - On Orbit 41 km 01:21 30.4km/h pace
Day6: Norton Rd climb at threshold: 4.5km, 485m at 10.8% done at 9.7kph/165bpm & 1011VAM.
The first 1km is only 5-6%, so the remaining 3.5kms are hell! All between 13-20%
34/24-26 all the way!
In the best climbing form of my life. Wish I stayed here for a week more!
700m gained more to end my trip at 6200m of climbing.
The next 3.5kms are done at 12.8% avg!
This day was quite short because I got free from Conference at 1pm and had to return back to the office at 3:30pm for some 25th Anniversary Celebrations, and had to return the rental bike as well! The next day morning i had a flight back home.
Total trip stats:
Distance: 418 km
Time: 17:47:10 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 6179 m
Avg Speed: 23.5 km/h
Avg HR: 144 bpm