As it turns out we had a long weekend, so I decided to make time for a long ride. I've been irregularly commuting, and through that I've been getting lots of miles on the bike, but it's been far too long since I enjoyed the mountain roads. So after watching the Tour de France stage this morning, I started off just before 09:00.
I didn't have a fixed plan, but I did want to see what was happening at the washout on Highway 35, which at the time looked impossible to repair. Toward that end I headed up Black Road, then turned right on Summit until I saw the "Road Closed" signs. As it turns out the construction crew also had a vacation day, so it was quiet.
|Construction at the Highway 35 washout... I think.|
|One of several washouts awaiting repair,|
this one on Bear Creek Road.
When I got down to Boulder Creek I learned that Foster's Freeze is closed on Mondays, which was certainly a disappointment. I wanted to head up via either Zayante or Mountain Charlie Road, so I headed down Route 9 in the company of much traffic. I got a flat (steel belt wire) near Brookdale.
I stopped in Felton at Mountain Roasting for a very good consolation sandwich. I decided to continue down to Mountain Charlie Road, in part because I had recently looked up where the Laurel tunnel exits under Glenwood Drive, and wanted to see that. I headed that way on Graham Hill Road, which until then I hadn't known was a steep climb out of Felton. My commuter legs were definitely feeling it.
|The Laurel Tunnel entrance under Glenwood Drive.|
It's just north of Eagle Road, for the record.
I went back to Mountain Charlie Road and headed back toward home, the heat now conspiring with the length of the ride to drain my already-meager energy. Among all the damaged roads I had been riding all day, Mountain Charlie Road was a survivor, with relatively little damage despite its many overhanging hills and trees.
It was great to get back into the mountains, but what became clear to me is that I'm not in the same kind of shape at all. First, I haven't done any climbs recently, and no long climbs for ages. Second, my commute is less than two hours of riding, so I can easily ride full-out. That's a lousy strategy for a longer ride, and one with climbing. Pace is the key for old, slow rider.