Sunday, March 06, 2011

Alps 2011 Pigeon Point Qualifier

From Screen Captures
From Screen Captures


Alps 2011 Qualifier

This year's Tour of the Alps qualifier was originally planned to be a tougher than normal trip. Unfortunately, I caught a flu a couple of weeks ago, and was still coughing on Saturday, so I had to switch to an easier route, going up Montebello Road. Present was Phil Sung, Li Moore, and Shasta Mike. Eva Silverstein joined us for the day. Yoyo Zhou was going to meet us at the Stevens Creek county park parking lot, but due to various reasons, ended up being late so decided to climb Page Mill road to meet us instead. Montebello road was gorgeous, with just a few high clouds. The dirt road was solidly packed and we had nice views of San Francisco from the summit.
From Alps 2011 Qualifier

At Page Mill road, we finally met up with Yoyo, and went on down West Alpine road after crossing Skyline and running into a few Western Wheelers on the LDT Pescadero ride. The views were so clear that we could see all the way to Monterey's Big Sur mountain range!
From Alps 2011 Qualifier

In Pescadero, we stopped at the goat farm, but the kids were only 2 weeks old so we were asked to refrain from petting them. At Norm's market, we had lunch made out of the wonderful artichoke-garlic bread, and then bought groceries for dinner, as Catherine, Li's wife, showed up just in time to carry all that in her car!
From Alps 2011 Qualifier

At Pigeon Point, with 6 of us we booked up 3 hot tub slots, which enabled each of us to sit in a hot tub for nearly an hour each. Since this was my first long ride in a couple of weeks I was very grateful to be able to do so.

We woke up on Sunday to wet roads and drizzle. After a nice and hot breakfast we left the hostel with a 15mph tailwind which blew us right to Pescadero without us even noticing it! Noting that this tailwind would be a headwind in the valley, we eschewed the usual stage + tunitas creek ascent in favor of retracing our route back over Page Mill road. Yoyo and Phil decided they had had enough of the rain and decided to wait for Catherine and Li with their station wagon with 4 bike racks which was more than sufficient SAG.

Once we'd left Pescadero, however, the rain stopped and we had a gorgeous climb along Pescadero creek, which was overflowing with water from the night before. It was gorgeous and I was sorry that neither Phil nor Yoyo had a chance to see it. By the time we started up West Alpine all the rain was gone because we had a beautiful tree cover under the shade of the Redwoods with a roaring stream next to us. You could not ask for a prettier ride.
From Alps 2011 Qualifier

By the time we got to Page Mill road's descents, the pavement was nearly dry and we could take the road at nearly full speed, subject to moisture on the rims and a few wet spots under tree cover. We stopped at Moody road so I could document how little rubber I had on my brake pads so I could justify new Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads.
From Alps 2011 Qualifier

We then took the shortest route home, which got us home around 1:15pm, surprising XiaoQin, who had not expected us until 3:00pm at the earliest. What a great ride, with a great group of people.
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