I first conjured up this century as a training ride for the Markleeville Death Ride. With 3 significant climbs–Old La Honda Rd., Kings Mountain, and Page Mill Rd., all going up to Skyline–it still doesn’t quite compare to that famed classic which has 5 major climbs and 29 more miles, but it is tough nevertheless!
|0||Central Park in Fremont (near Stevenson/Paseo Padre intersection)|
|0||West on Stevenson|
|~3||R (north) on Cherry|
|L (west-north) on Thornton.|
|~7||L (west) onto Marshlands Rd. (CA-84)|
|West onto Dumbarton Bridge bike path (on south side of Bridge)|
|L. (south, then west) on Willow Rd. in Menlo Park (next intersection after University and 84)|
|R. (north) on Middlefield Rd.|
|L (west) on Ravenswood Rd.|
|Ravenswood becomes Menlo Ave; go straight (west)|
|R (north) on University for a couple of blocks.|
|~17||L (west) on Santa Cruz Ave.|
|19||L (south) on Alameda de las Pulgas|
|R (west) on Sand Hill Rd.|
|~3||R (west) on Old La Honda Rd.|
|2||R (north) on Skyline Blvd.|
|~4?||R (east) on Highway 84.|
|1||Sharp R (south) on Portola Rd.|
|L (east) on Sand Hill Rd.|
|L (north) on Alameda de las Pulgas|
|L (west) on Woodside Rd.)|
|52||5||R (north, then west) on Kings Mountain Rd.|
|57||5||Make a U-turn at Skyline Blvd. (CA-35) and go back down Kings Mountain Rd.|
|62||Right (west) on Woodside Rd.|
|Straight (south) on Portola Rd.|
|R (west, then south) on Sand Hill/Portola Rd.|
|L (east) on Alpine Rd.|
|~1.5?||R (south) on Arastradero Rd.|
|7||R (west) on Page Mill Rd. Climb (with short level/downhill sections) for 7 miles up to Skyline!|
|~10||Make a U-turn at Skyline Blvd. (CA-35) and descend Page Mill Rd.|
|Take Page Mill Rd. (becomes Oregon Expressway) to Middlefield Rd. in Palo Alto. Make a left (north) on Middlefield.|
|R on Willow Rd., through Menlo Park, to Dumbarton Bridge bikeway.|
|Straight (east) on Marshland Rd. after Dumbarton Bridge (same way you came before, opposite direction)|
|R (south, then eventually east) on Thornton Rd.|
|3||R (south) on Cherry St.|
|2.5-3||L (east) on Stevenson|
|96||0||Finish at Central Park in Fremont. Great job!!|
From the Logbook
June 22, 2002 (Sat)
Excerpts from an email sent out after the ride:
I’m back home! It’s been an interesting day:
- First I sleep through my alarm… by over two hours
- And it would have been even longer if people weren’t making noise outside my place, like they were dragging something across the pavement. And so I finally get out of bed, and right outside of my window, down below, in front of my door, is one of my favorite cars of all time… a shiny new AC Cobra, blue with white racing stripes!!! “I must be dreaming” was my first thought…
- Alas, no, the neighbors hadn’t decided to buy me it as a birthday present. It turns out one of the neighbors had purchased a Cobra kit that was delivered the other day, and a bunch of people were helping him uncrate and unload the chassis of it. The blue cobra was owned by a buddy of his who came to help. Moments later came another Cobra (this one, black), audible from at least 2 blocks away. So then there were two Cobras in front of my house.
- After all the excitement I am finally on my bike at 9:40am and head over to the House of ALM to meet Mike.
- Mike and I then successfully climb Old La Honda. Mike’s first classic climb!!
- After heading back and talking with Loren for a little bit I was on my own. So I headed up to Woodside and up Kings. Was really happy with how I was riding…
- Came back down the same way I went up and I still swear, Mike, that my bike handles better after the wheel overhaul. But when I returned to Portola Valley, a cycling chick blew past me. She was really going hard, like near time-trial pace. Ego prevailing (hadn’t been passed all day while riding alone), I stayed about 15 feet behind her the entire way (to avoid drafting) to Alpine Rd., in which I fairly easily passed her up due to a better aero tuck on the descent. But I then turned right on Arastradero (to go to Page Mill), and to my surprise, she followed me (unbeknownst to me, since I assumed she would continue with the Portola Loop like 90% of all people usually do), attacked, and then passed me up again. But again not wanting to be dropped I kept with her until Page Mill Rd., in which she headed home, and I of course, went up to Skyline…
- Which after all the cat-and-mouse games, was EXTREMELY PAINFUL! I actually had to stop twice due to leg cramps. It took me 1 hour 15 minutes to get to the top, compared to my usual 45-50 minutes…
- The descent was fun though. Until I got to the last (really short) hill on Page Mill, after I-280, in which my chain seemed to be skipping. And then, all of a sudden… IT BROKE! (completely separated) Ironically, the location this happened at was the exact same spot Goldie’s fuel pump died on me in November of 1995 one night. Spooooky….
- Alas, I did not have a chain tool on me. The pin was still there, so I tried putting the chain back together first with my fingers. Despite all that rock climbing, of course my fingers were still not strong enough to do that. So then I tried using a rock to pound it back together… Sort of worked… well for about 1/4 of a mile, in which the chain broke again when I was trying to go through an intersection. Unfortunately, this time I lost the pin.
- So it was cell phone time. I tried calling your cell phone, Mike, but you weren’t around. Got ahold of Adrian Mikolajczak, but he didn’t have a chain tool, plus sounded pretty busy. So had to think of other options…
- I figured, I was about 1 mile away from two bike shops, but they would probably be closed, as it had just turned 6:00? (Darn) Crossed my fingers, and then was on my bike, using it as a SCOOTER (you know, pushing off with my foot every 10 feet, much to the amusement of drivers, I’m sure), and about 10 minutes later, was on El Camino Real…
- and SCORE! The Bike Connection was still open. I went in, and they put back together my chain for $5, no drama.
- I then merrily rode the remaining 20 miles home, stopping to get a Jamba Juice on the way.
End of story.
So the lesson of the story (though this probably does not apply to Tori ) is to always have a chain tool in your saddle bag. I had last experienced a broken chain in 1995 (a Shimano one, in which I since have [perhaps unfairly] avoided using Shimano chains… the one that broke today was a Sachs), but that time, I was just two miles away from my dorm at Stanford, so I just used the scoot method to get back too. But happening twice already shows it’s not too uncommon…
I guess a second lesson could also be, don’t try to chase a hot-shot for 15 miles when you still have to do a brutal climb like Page Mill.
Anyhow, good riding with you today, and good job!