Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mount Hamilton

Last Saturday I set out to ride the Hamilton/Livermore loop, but ultimately only did the first part.

View Mount Hamilton in a larger map

I drove to the Berryessa community center reasonably early, and set off on the bike just after 9 AM. It was a lovely day, and I headed down White Road to McKee, then Alum Rock Avenue, then up Mount Hamilton Road.

By the time I was getting to the flat and open part of the first climb, it was already warm. On the second climb it was getting pretty hot, and considering that I was planning a 100-mile ride, I was already feeling uncomfortable in the saddle.

On the upper part of the climb I had nearly finished my two water bottles, which wasn't a good sign; it wasn't even noon yet, and would it would be getting a lot hotter in the dry valleys behind the mountain. The fact that I had finished two bottles meant that, try as I might, I'd be completely dehydrated at the end of the ride. So I punted; I'll do the loop when it gets a little cooler.

From the Lick Observatory, looking north.
This was taken with the new iOS 6 panorama mode.
On the way down I enjoyed the newly repaved road on the last hill. It's now quite smooth, and those two bone-jarring ruts midway down are gone. The other parts of the road that were gravelly a few weeks ago are now solid, although much rougher than that smooth top section.

Elevation profile
This ride was just 44 miles, less than half of what it should have been, with 4900 feet of climbing. The most difficult kilometer was midway through the top climb at 6.2%, just slightly steeper than the average of 5.9%.

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