Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Big Basin

On Sunday I had the ride I was planning to do last week. This time no rain, and mission accomplished.

View Big Basin in a larger map

After watching the Tour of Flanders on fast-forward, I got started at about 9:30 on a cool but clear morning. I followed the same route as last week, through Los Gatos, Alma Bridge Road, the Old Santa Cruz Highway and Mountain Charlie Road to Summit. When I got to Bear Creek Road, I took a left instead of a right and headed down to Boulder Creek.
Summit Road
On last week's rainy ride I ground away the last remains of my brake pads, so this was the first ride on the new KoolStop pads. They made a huge difference on the way down Bear Creek Road, giving me the confidence I needed to let 'er rip. Or as close as I get, anyway.

Big Basin Redwoods
In town I stopped for another great burger at Foster's Freeze, then headed up Big Basin Highway. When I got to the park headquarters I just continued on up the road, as I had done once before. And while there's nothing wrong with that ride, I realized when I got home and read Ray Hosler's blog that I should have taken North Escape Road instead, which I have not yet done. Next time through here, I suppose.

As I headed up the hill toward the junction with Highway 9, I was really starting to feel drained. Maybe I wasn't eating right, or maybe it was last week's shortened ride, but in any case I wasn't looking forward to the climb up to Saratoga Gap.

A tree on 236,
barely hanging on
As it turned out, it wasn't as bad as I expected. I climbed up to the parking lot, and was slightly disappointed to find that the hot dog guy wasn't there. Maybe that's more of a summer thing?

I took a good long break, drinking the last of my water and stretching. Then, after a very fast and enjoyable run down to Saratoga, it was back home via Los Gatos and Kennedy Road.
Elevation profile
This was an 8 ½ hour ride of a little over 70 miles, with 6700 feet of climbing. That's 8 miles and 700 feet of climbing more than last time, which I suppose comes from heading around Lexington Reservoir rather than directly up Bear Creek Road, plus the up-and-down on Summit. That's a lot for me, so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad about being so drained on the last climb.

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