First 100km ride on the new bike

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Saturday, 10 November 2012

I had a few things to do today, so I didn’t go for an all-day outing. It was around noon when I went out wandering, hoping to find something interesting to photograph.

After a few minutes at the Elizabeth Gamble gardens, I meandered over to Stanford, which was having a football game. Crowds everywhere near the stadium, the eucalyptus forest a parking lot for the day (at $15!).

In the center of the academic areas was a crowd of young people, very dressed up, all wearing name tags. Maybe on a campus visit, hoping to attend Stanford next year? At Memorial church was the usual weekend collection of brides with their maids and their photographers.

Nice.

I went on over to the succulent garden, which is not as colourful at this season as at some other times, but still… not bad.

Notice (above) the nubs of two more flowers, one well visible at the lower right, the other just a point below the two red thorns.

Sunday, 11 November

Because of the Achilles trouble, I had not done a 100 km ride for several years. And my new bike has closer ratios, which means it won’t be as good on steep uphills. But… the Calaveras loop is a fairly easy 100k, less than 2 000 feet of climb.

It was about 36F on a cold, clear, beautiful morning when I bundled up in all my winter cycling gear and headed out. I have not ridden this route for so long that I thought I might have trouble remembering my way through Newark and Fremont — but the hindbrain (or something) remembers. Stopped at Ardenwood farm to shed the winter gloves, earband and outermost layer of jacket.

I think I might do better with electrolye replacement, rather than just water. On a recent hike, I took along a quart of Gatorade. Today I had a bottle of stuff from GNC. I discovered when I read the label that the GNC drink had only 5 calories! I had been thinking something like the 200 from the bottle of Gatorade.

I had only put about 200 calories worth of munchies in my rackpack. Fortunately, there is a mini-mart at Sunol junction, where I was able to tank up with a sweet roll and a package of peanuts. Much better.

I only needed to use the small chainring when the road started climbing as it passed the turnoff to Sunol regional park, and then it’s a steady grunt to the top, where I stopped for views of the Calaveras dam reconstruction.

The water level has been low for years, and I had always thought it was because of inadequate rains. The story turns out to be that the old dam was seismically unsafe. With the new dam, they will be able to store a lot more water in the lake.

I see the work in progress from the distance of the hills in Sunol park, but I haven’t been along here to see the details. Very quiet — I’m glad it’s not a weekday.

Big project.

I don’t  know a good way to take Calaveras through Milpitas, so I turned over to Yosemite Avenue, which gets across I-680 to Milpitas Boulevard, thence Montague Expressway to the Great Mall of the Bay Area (!), which gets me across I-880 and into the neighborhood of the Ericsson offices. I know my way home from there.

Stopped in Sunnyvale Baylands park to soak up the rest of my calories and much of the GNC funny water. 100k is not a particularly long or dramatic ride, but it’s nice to be able to do it. No ankle pain, just tired muscles.

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One Response to “First 100km ride on the new bike”

  1. blinkpack Says:

    Josh here from the BlinkPacking blog. Great post. As a once-avid biker that now has a three year old, I understand the challenges of getting out there. I wish you all the best in your biking adventures. Cheers!

    Like

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