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I've done this ride once before, but lately every time I get to the top of Mount Hamilton I find some reason to turn around. This time I got to my Berryessa parking spot at about 8:30, on a day clear and warm but not hot. I managed to climb to the top of Hamilton in good order, and once at the top I felt good, with no excuse to cut the ride short. So after filling my bottles and having a couple welcome cans of juice, I started the descent on the backside of Hamilton.
|Joseph D. Grant Park, green despite our dry spring|
|47 miles to Livermore|
I rode through the valleys behind Hamilton in the enjoyable company of a fellow rider. We split up at the Junction when I stopped for a tuna sandwich and he continued on. The road after the junction starts climbing, and at this point the wind started to make itself known, too. The wind would be the dominant feature of the rest of the ride along Mines Road, always managing to be in my face despite the turns in the road.
|Mines Road, heading off into the wind|
Today's little jaunt was a satisfying 103 miles, with 7700 feet of climbing. All the climbs are gentle, so the most difficult kilometer was near the top of Hamilton, at just 6.5%. I'm pretty happy to have finally completed the loop again, but now I'm wondering just how long it's going to take before I can climb the stairs normally.