Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beautiful Backyard

Thank you for the donations so far, guys. I got a late start this year, so if you're thinking of donating, don't delay! Today I completed a big training ride around the Open Spaces area. The weather was awesome, the hills were green, and I got to meet a bunch of people.

The route.

I think Moody is easier than the lower part of Page Mill because it slowly elevates before the big hills. Page Mill was very challenging, as usual: I think I set a new record on my heart rate monitor: 194bpm. Here's my favorite turn on Page Mill, taken last year:

Page Mill Switchback

There's a Y in the road where Alpine turns West that I like to stop and eat my snacks. Today there were a couple of bikers hanging out there as well, so I stopped to chat. They had driven from the Central Valley just to do this ride with a few friends. "You have a beautiful backyard here," they said. I'd have to agree, I can't think of a better place to train and improve. The hills are hard, but the scenery, bay views, and redwoods make every turn exciting.

There used to be this random water fountain on the south side of Page Mill. It was great because there are basically no other places to get water up on Skyline. It was removed some time during the winter, though, and all that's left is PVC pipe sticking up out of the ground. Luckily, though, I ran into a ranger who, when asked where the nearest fountain was, offered two of his own water battles. After ensuring that he didn't need them, I talked to him while I refilled my bottles. Apparently a rancher had set up the fountain for folks passing by, but the cold snaps we had last winter broke the water lines.

Coming back up La Honda, I stopped at my favorite burger place, Alice's, for refueling. The tables are big picnic tables, so I happened to sit with some mountain bikers. After a delicious burger and ale, I swooped back down the mountain, passing a couple slow cars that were polite enough to move over.

I do need to concentrate on training in the next couple weeks: ALC is only 5 weeks away!

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