My quest to get fit for the Death Ride later this year caused me to ride twice up Highway 9 two weeks ago. Today, Jorge, Richard, and I twice went up the well-known King’s Mountain Road in Woodside. It was a beautiful day for riding over 47 miles with 4750 feet of climbing, but man, am I paying the price right now! The first time up King’s wasn’t so bad since I had relatively fresh legs and purposefully kept my heartrate below 170, averaging around 162 bpm. I rode about a minute or two behind Richard and Jorge with Derek, who accompanied us for one of the climbs up King’s.
There are many ways to reach Skyline Boulevard, and King’s is one of them. Others include the aforementioned Highway 9 down in Los Gatos, Old La Honda Road, Page Mill, Highway 92 and Highway 84. Once atop Skline, we made a bee-line to the rest stop next to Highway 84. Speaking of bees, during this point, a bee flew right into my eye, almost causing me to crash onto the side of the road! I need to start wearing my contacts and wraparound shades again!
At the rest stop, we ran into Dave King and his friend Cindy. Dave attended my wedding two years ago as the guest of Kathy. I saw Dave again last week at the wedding of Kathy and Brian (photos coming soon). Small cycling world! They were doing a long ride from Los Altos to Skyline (via OLH). We all proceeded to descend down Woodside before beginning the second ascent up King’s Mountain. The Death Ride features over 14,000 feet of climbing over a double-metric century (200 kilometers). Up one pass, down one pass and repeat. This training we’re doing is sure to intensify over the coming months. Jorge keeps saying, “Double Diablo! Double Hamilton!” I shudder at the very thought.
The second time up King’s didn’t feel so bad until the very top. Thankfully, Richard and Jorge rode with my slow ass up the road, but they soon dropped me as we hit Skyline. My legs were sapped, and I was cooked. My pre-race meal included a bowl of cereal and some Gatorade. I had hoped that last night’s meal at the famous Chez Panisse would have been enough, and it was nearly enough. I was able to catch Richard and Jorge on the descent to the Woodside rest stop, in large part to heavy blubber reserves. I would gladly exchange my descent speed for better climbing times, though!
We rode slowly back to our cars at the Canada Road/Highway 92 junction, running into Dave and Cindy again at the Las Pulgas Water Temple. With only meters to go, I saw a familiar jersey on the road. It was Michael Butler from Team Palm! We rode at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin 6 years ago! My Palm jersey is one of my favorites to wear on the open road.
With that, I’m off to eat some dinner and watch a movie with Rae. I got to finish my Class Book page this weekend!