View Soda Springs and Weaver in a larger map
If there's a bright side to being out of shape, it's that I have the chance to revisit a bunch of rides that were inconveniently close when my range was longer. When I was heading to Santa Cruz, I couldn't spend time and energy exploring the Summit Road area, or on one-way climbs like Soda Springs Road. But now those rides are back in the picture.
After last week's flats, I got a couple of patch kits, new tires and a fresh supply of tubes. But I hadn't done anything with them, so there was some light maintenance to do before today's ride. I fixed the holy tube, but decided to leave the same tires on, partly because they still seemed pretty healthy, and partly because I was too lazy.
|A vineyard along Soda Springs Road
I had underestimated the cold. It was fine as I was headed up, but I knew from experience that descending Soda Springs Road is especially cold. At least it wasn't raining.
Like last week, my heart rate was out of control, but I kept an eye on it, and managed to climb the whole way up without distress. I couldn't remember the elevation at the top -- was it 2400 feet? I seemed to remember that, after the intersection with Weaver Road, it was another 500 feet of relatively steep climbing, so maybe I would hit that intersection around 1900 or 2000 feet.
|Soda Springs Road
|The top of Soda Springs
The last time I came up here, long ago, the gate happened to be open. I was wondering what I would do if that happened again. The interesting road is dirt, and I was on my road bike, so I probably would have turned around here anyway.
Also on that last trip, I stopped and talked to a resident who mentioned that you could see San Francisco from up here. On the way down I visited Weaver Road, and on this crisp and clear day you could indeed see all the way up the bay.
|Looking up the bay from Weaver Road.
San Franciso and Mount Diablo were clearly visible at the time,
but barely discernible in this photo.
I descended back down to the reservoir, at one point passing by two trucks that were trying to get past each other on this one-lane road. One of them was pulling a trailer; the other was backing up, looking for some shoulder room.
At one point I was thinking about riding up Aldercroft Heights, in particular looking for a trail that's supposed to link that road to the Old Santa Cruz Highway, via Call of the Wild Road. But with my late start and slow riding, it was getting a little late in the day. So I contented myself with circling the reservoir, then heading home the way I came.