Saturday, October 22, 2005

A ride to the coast

Leaving my house around 9:15am, I climbed up Robleda and Taaffe in the fog, pausing to take off my jacket at the junction at Page Mill road, where past the Moody intersection the fog lifted and crepuscular beams showered me with sunlight through the leaves. I took the climb up Page Mill road at an easy pace, enjoying the sound of the crickets and the complete lack of traffic at this early hour (a total of 4 cars passed me on the entire climb). As I climbed, the road granted me views of Silicon Valley covered by a blanket of low clouds.

At the top of Page Mill road I crossed over to Alpine road and began a fast descent, where what should have been Ocean views were obscured also by low clouds at the fog, even though it was sunny where I was. The descent into the redwoods was exhilarating as usual, with the pungent smell of trees in the air. At 84, I made the descent down to San Gregorio, a boring rolling stretch of road that did not provide much to recommend it.

At San Gregorio, I eschewed at stop at the store and turned right along Stage road, which took me up to Highway 1 where a fog shrouded descent towards Half-Moon Bay made me paranoid. I did make the turn onto Tunitas Creek road with no incident, and there was over taken by some Diablo Cyclists touring club members who passed me with vim. As the 3rd person passed me, I caught his wheel and we rode together for a bit and chatted. I learned that it was their twice a year visit to the area.

We rode together for a bit before I started feeling a bit hungry and stopped to eat and shed my jacket. As I got started again, two more Diablo club members caught me and I rode with them some more. These touring club members were incredibly strong and I had a hard time staying with them, and eventually was dropped despite climbing Tunitas Creek road at a pace I hardly ever attempt.

Near the top, the club gathered and we chatted. Tom, one of the club members, recognized me as an internet-bob member (well, OK, I started that mailing list but is no longer on it). I let the club go ahead and then descended Kings Mountain road with not a single vehicle behind me. At the bottom I made a turn onto Tripp road, visited Highway 84 before dropping down into Portola Valley. The sun was out at this point but the recent fog made it still cool, so I made good time to Alpine road and Arastedero road, before riding through Purissma and back to Robleda and home.

It was a good ride with 68 miles of riding and 6400 feet of climbing.
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