I knew this was going to be a hilly ride (it said so!) and I looked it up on MapMyRide and saw a similar route listed at 3,500 elevation.
I'm not really a good hill biker (getting better but still lame compared to others) and so don't generally whoop up for joy on these things...but there wasn't really another group bike ride....and I'm looking to meet new people...and get to be a better bike rider...so I signed up.
Turned up and a nice group of nearly 10...good turnout...and they seemed quite friendly and approachable (rather than the hard core bikers that give you the evil eye I often see). Approach was a semi-drop ride...they'd stop at meet-up points but generally have to pace yourself to keep in the pack.
Pack seemed to have some different pacers. I was of course at the back...but the gap between me and the next set was a lot smaller than usual...so a nice improvement point! Hooray!
|Lucy...the ever improving biker chick|
Biking uphill....wow felt much better and more capable of doing hills....focusing on stroke counting and not looking too far ahead....and the music helps of course.
This turned out to be some crazy ass hills...10+ miles straight of hills...I'm serious!
The summary ended up showing over 5,000 elevation! Crazy!!!! Total time was 4 hours with riding time of 3:30 hours....my Wildflower ride was 4:18 total time with 3 flats and a 3,500 elevation...so definite improvement!
We got to a section called the Seven Sisters (rolling hills...guessing there is 7) and I was following another biker who turned it up...so I decided to play chase. I was doing some mad speed and feeling great....moments like this is what I'm loving about biking...the wind whipping your face...the speed rushing across your body...the adrenaline of pushing your speed and not knowing how fast you can go.
I did hit a curve pretty hard and by back tire did some nice hop...skip skip...hop and that made me slow down pretty fast and keep it at a 'safe' speed for the next few miles. Good thing too...as after entering the redwoods...there was a truck that decided to overtake a group of bikers on a corner...taking the full lane I was in....emergency maneuvers needed and with a drop on the side of me...it was a close call!
The next meet-up point is where I said goodbye to the group..they were going to do another 1700 elevation climb and I didn't know that I'd done 5,000 but I did know that another 1700 and the mileage back was going to be beyond my limit right now (something to look forward too!) and turned around.
The weather had started to turn and there was a beautiful sight of the fog rolling in over the seven sister hills....here's a picture...but darn it got cold fast!! And it was the downhill section meaning more cold.
Enjoyed the trip back...as I was without the group I had to remember where we had gone, so testing my navigation skills. We found our way back the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped for a tourist photo.
Got back to the car and wanted to add more mileage as had only done 44. Nigel went for a run (jealous!) and I did another 6 miles in the Fort Mason / Aquatic Park / Crissy Field area....mostly played "avoid the tourist on their Blazing Saddles bike rental" but still nice to hit the 50 mile total point.
Total: 4 hours biking time, 50 miles, 5,000+ elevation
AND there was a hill on Fort Mason that all the tourists were pushing their bike up....and I took that hill completely...didn't even get out the saddle...with those tourists jaws dropping. Woo hoo!
Feeling good...disappointed I didn't get to a new mileage point of 60 miles...but hey that 5,000 elevation was fantastic and I'll take that win today!