On Saturday morning, Stephen, Jorge, Derek, Gilad, and I road up to the Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory via Quimby Road. Though, the ride was easier than my Triple Summit climb two weeks ago, it was still a tough climb. Quimby Road, in particular, has a 0.5 mile stretch at the end with 18% grades! I just concentrated on turning the cranks one pedal stroke at a time. If I had tried to blast up to the top, I would have been pooped before the concluding 2000+ feet ascent to the observatory.
Gilad, Stephen, and Jorge are powerful riders. Derek and I had started the ascent to Hamilton a few minutes earlier than they, and they just blew by us like we were standing still, with Gilad driving the train up front. Jorge and Stephen are in fine shape for the Death Ride in three weeks. Me? I’m still sticking to my goal of three passes.
Our next test is the Giro di Peninsula, a 100-mile century next week that takes us to the coast and back. It’s relatively flat with only 7,000 feet of climbing over the 100-mile course. With proper nutrition and resting, it should be a piece of cake. Still, I haven’t ridden a century since the Tour du Jour with Felix and the gang back in 1999! Wow, I hadn’t realized that was eight years — and many pounds — ago! I had a shaved head back then to go with the same bike with much less worn components.
Road the ride, we conquered 6,190 feet of climbing over 43.9 miles. If we had done the double, it would have been within a couple thousand feet of the altitude gain of the Death Ride! Double Hamilton, anyone? At the end of our ride, Jorge decided to descend to the bridge seven miles from the summit to climb it all again. What a beast!
Some photos from the climb by Stephen!