Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hamilton via Quimby

Today I took advantage of a cold, clear day to visit Mount Hamilton.

Since the recent string of rainstorms we've been treated to views of green hills, which normally appear briefly in the spring but have been unfamiliar otherwise. I decided to enjoy those views by heading up to Mount Hamilton. And since I'd be setting out from home, I took the "short cut" up Quimby Road.

The valley, from Quimby
This is a trip I've done a few times before, but not recently. In this case it would be a straight out-and-back trip, heading up Blossom Hill until it morphs into Silver Creek Valley Road, then over to the base of Quimby. That road is as steep as ever, but the cool air made it bearable.

There weren't many riders on the road today. This ride was notable because, for the first time, I think I passed more riders than passed me. There were basically two groups, one slightly slower than me and the other much faster, but the faster group was slightly smaller.

Grant Park, surprisingly green for December
Lick Observatory
On the last climb I pulled off my jacket so I'd have something more-or-less dry to put on for the descent. Once at the top I dawdled for long enough to dry a little, then put on my jacket and headed down. By the bottom I was shivering; I have no idea why I didn't take extra clothes.

On the way back I stopped at the little square on Ruby Avenue for a tasty and welcome latte. On Silver Creek Valley Road I made good use of the smooth pavement and steep grade to get some pretty considerable speed, for me, then continued reversing my course toward home.

Elevation profile
Today's ride was a little over 60 miles, with nearly 6700 feet of climbing. The most difficult kilometer was near the top of Quimby, which came in at 13.6%.

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