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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall Ride

Pardo, Brian Wickman, Zoran and I met at 9:15 at my place, and rode up McClellan, Stevens Canyon, and then Redwood Gulch. Fall was in full swing as trees were shedding leaves all around us. A gentle wind would swirl them around us as we climbed the slightly damp pavement. Highway 9 was a cinch after that, and we started down the cold side of Saratoga gap. I was quickly passed by both Brian and Zoran, both spinning hard to stay warm, but soon enough, we started climbing Hwy 236. It was cool enough that I kept my shell and knee warmers on for the climb, and soon we were in Big Basin where after a brief discussion we decided to eat lunch in Boulder Creek. The climb out of Big Basin was lovely as usual, with the smell of redwoods in the air, and a few open camp fires granting us that rustic feel. The drop into Boulder Creek was fast and fun, and there we bought lunch and ate at the usual city park around the corner.

Bear Creek road had unusually light traffic during the initial bumps and swoops before crossing over the bridge for the start of the real climb. Past the first winery, however, the road levels out and you start getting clear glimpses of the coast. On Saturday, the visibility was so high that we could see all the way to Monterey Bay and Big Sur from the summit of Bear Creek road. At the junction of Skyline we made a left and went up the rolling climb to Black Road, where we eschewed
the descent to the Los Gatos Creek trail and kept going back towards Saratoga Gap, stopping only at the view point for another inspection of Monterey Bay from a distance. We then descended to Saratoga Gap where Brian left us to descend Page Mill and the rest of us descended Highway 9, Pierce, and back to my place. Zoran had a flat just 2 miles from the end, but it was fixed and we had Mexican dinner at the
Burrito factory.

70 miles, approximately 7000' of climb.

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