Monday, April 30, 2012

Kennedy and Priest Rock

Today I took a quick ride up Kennedy for the first time in quite a while.

View Kennedy and Priest Rock in a larger map

The big tree in the middle of the trail
I got out at about 9:30, and headed up the hill. This was the first time I had ridden up Kennedy on the new/old bike, and I was wondering how it would feel on the very steep climb. As it turns out, I felt fine climbing on the bike, but on the very steep pitches I couldn't find any balance. My front tire kept lifting, possibly because it wasn't weighed down by heavy shocks.

As a result, I made pretty good time overall, but failed to clear the last two steep bits just before the junction with Priest Rock. I don't think I've ever cleared them, but in the past I feel like I've been closer.
Looking northeast over the valley

Looking southeast toward El Sombroso
After the junction with Priest Rock I had intended to continue toward El Sombroso, but something funny happened. I realized that I was utterly uncomfortable going downhill, possibly due a lack of recent experience on a mountain bike, or possibly due to the bike geometry, but quite likely due to the fact that the last time I came this way, I went down three times.

For some reason I thought Priest Rock might be a little cleaner, although that had me spooked, too. Ultimately the problem is that I don't have the confidence to descend through loose gravel or dust at speed, so I use the brakes. But that's just self-defeating; using the brakes makes one unstable. I either have to ride my mountain bike much more often, or much less.

I eventually made it down to Alma Bridge Road, and took the Jones Trail into Los Gatos, then Kennedy on home.

Elevation profile
A short ride today, just over 20 miles but with 3100 feet of climbing. The most difficult kilometer was near the bottom of the Kennedy Trail, just before the flat section that contains the tree. That surprised me; I thought the section after the tree was more difficult, but perhaps that's just because I'm always spent by then.

No comments:

Post a Comment