Saturday, March 16, 2013

Black Road to Page Mill

On Sunday I managed to get out for a nice long ride again.

View Black Road to Page Mill in a larger map

As usual, I was very ambitious Saturday night. I was going to get up nice and early, and pass through Boulder Creek. As it turned out, I didn't sleep all that well, got up late, and decided I should cut it a little short.

The last hairpin on Black Road
I headed out the usual way, up the Los Gatos Creek Trail. At Alma Bridge Road I went around the west side of the reservoir, taking the single-track trail next to Highway 17 down to the Bear Creek Road overpass. This trail has a tendency to be either muddy in the winter and deeply rutted in the spring, but it was in pretty good shape on Sunday.

Black Road
Then it was up Black Road. Black Road is basically two distinct, pretty steep hills, connected by a couple of miles of winding along a mostly flat road. The first hill takes you among some houses, and ends near the school. I had heard there was water to be had at this school, but I wasn't sure where; on Sunday I investigated, and found the drinking fountain.

After the flat section you head up again, this time through much thicker woods as you pass through Sanborn County Park.

Upon reaching Summit I headed north, climbing up past the entrance to Castle Rock State Park at about 3100 feet, and then descended to Saratoga Gap. Originally i was planning to head back through Saratoga, but it was just such a nice day that I continued on Skyline up to Page Mill Road.

Elevation 58?
Descending Page Mill Road I overcooked a corner. I never actually left my lane, but had I been a little less attentive I might have been run over by a Ford Mustang. And if not then perhaps the car behind, which was a Ford Mustang. Followed by a Mustang, and then easily 100 more Mustangs behind them. I'm entirely willing to believe that every Mustang capable of propelling itself was on Page Mill Road on Sunday. Freaky.

I peeled off on Moody, headed for Foothill Expressway, which I took back into Cupertino. From there it was boring old surface streets all the way home.
Elevation profile.
Sunday's ride was just short of 58 miles, with 4200 feet of climbing. The toughest kilometer was on the lower part of Black Road, with an average grade of 10.9%.

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