Tag Archives: SFO

A Weekend of Blood, Sweat, and Gears…. and More Sweat

Over the weekend Leah and I managed to string together 3 solid days of riding totaling about 172 miles including our first century. A couple of weeks back I decided that a supported ride would be a good experience and signed us up for the Primavera Century, run by the awesome folks at the Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club. But first:

Training Run XVI Key Data:

  • 25.27 Miles
  • 1 Hour 44 Minutes
  • Average Speed 14.6 MPH
  • Top Speed 30.9 MPH
Daylight Savings Time is awesome! Why is it awesome? It is awesome because it is now possible to come home from work and  squeeze in a solid 2 hours of riding. So on Friday night that is exactly what we did. Maybe it was the the thrill of t-shirt weather, maybe it was this thing called “improved fitness”, maybe it was a combination of these things, but we managed to ride fast. Uphill, downhill, no hill, didn’t matter, we were able to keep higher speeds than our average and if there had been more daylight we would have kept going; however, I was smart enough to look up the time of sunset beforehand and planned accordingly.

Training Run XVII:

  • 37.4 Miles
  • 2 Hours 42 Minutes
  • Average Speed 13.8 MPH
  • Top Speed 31.6 MPH
Then Saturday rolled around and we met up with our good friend Bibi who had just purchased a fancy new bike herself. We BART’ed over to the airport stop to avoid the hills around Candlestick and had a nice (so hot) ride along the Bay Trail before heading back to confuse the hell out of passengers on the SFO Air Train. You have luggage! I have a bike! At the airport! Check out my shorts! By the way Air Train is awesome in that it has some serious air conditioning.

Training Run XVIII – Primavera Century Key Data:

  • 103.68 Miles (New Team Springer Record)
  • 8 Hours 12 Minutes
  • Average Speed 12.6 MPH
  • Top Speed 34.1 MPH
  • Elevation Gain 5,627 ft
  • Average Temperature 85.7 °F
  • Top Temperature 100.4 °F
  • Standstill falls 2
  • Flat Tires Spotted in First 10 Miles – 15+
  • Bottles of Cytomax/Fluid/Gu/Water Consumed: 20 something
Sunday. Game time! War face! Other inspiring exclamations! We spent the night before in Union City anticipating having to get up at the crack of dawn to get 100 miles of riding done between the hours of 6:30AM and 5:30PM. Have you ever ridden the Calaveras Road? Have you ever ridden the Altamont Pass? Have you ever ridden the Dublin Grade? Have you ever ridden Palomares Road? Have you ever done all of these things in temperatures ranging from 75 to 104? If you said yes to these questions you should have said hi to us because you were also at the Primavera Century. Yeah there were hills, the first and last being particularly awful. Especially the last hill which started at mile 92. Yes mile 92, as in I have just ridden 92 miles and what I want is to now ride up a ridiculously steep and long grade! YES SIGN ME UP FOR THIS NOW! An elevation profile for perusal:

And the heat! When we hit rest stop number 3, we high-fived massively. We had hit the halfway point, from here on out it was all smooth sailing back to the car…. no, no it was not. What happened next was a 15 mile loop over the Altamont Pass. The second, and I mean literally the second, we turned onto the Altamont Pass Road the temperature increased by 15 degrees. Hill, heat, hill, heat, and no shade anywhere. At one point we finally came across a somewhat tall bush that shadowed a small section of road and we immediately pulled over to hide from the infernal sun. A group of riders behind us looked on and immediately joined us, so we huddled together trying to stay within the shade while we cursed the science of solar heat.

All complaining aside though, we did it. We managed to ride 103 miles and when we finally got to the finish line and went to checkout (no rider left behind policy) with 3 minutes to spare before 5:30PM, the amazing staff of the FFBC swarmed us with plates of food and lemonade. Thanks guys for putting on a great event.

And now some obligatory photos from a time when I was still capable of thinking about taking photos (e.g. early on in the day).

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Training Run VI – Bayview to San Mateo Bridge

Training Run VI Key Data

  • 39.85 Miles
  • 3 Hours 22 Minutes
  • Top Speed 33.5 MPH
  • Average Speed 11.9 MPH
  • Inspring People Met 1

This ride was essentially a redo of Training Run III; however, this time the road bikes made all the difference on the hills over Candlestick. Plus, we discovered the awesomeness that is the Bay Trail and picked it up just before Coyote Point.

We were planning to make this a light ride since Leah was running a 5k the next day.  We wanted to take it easy so her legs weren’t worn out, and thought a fairly flat, 30-mile ride wouldn’t be too bad.  When we arrived at Seal Point for a much needed bio-break, we met a man who was en-route from San Jose to SFO. Not only that, he makes the 120 mile ride, 5 days a week.  According to his “log book” he had put some 280,000 miles on his old beat up Diamondback mountain bike over the last 25 years. After hearing his story, we decided that we could make it a couple more miles to the San Mateo bridge. Short story shorter, we ended up hitting the San Mateo Bridge almost exactly at the 20 mile mark making it a 40 mile day. Whoops, sorry Leah.

Could be the weather, the new bike, or the choice to hit the bay trail but this time around this was a really enjoyable ride and I have a feeling it is now part of our regular rotation.

Also as a side note, on the way back we stopped at a McDonalds for another bio-break (what else is McDs good for when on the road?) and I must say that walking into a McDs fully decked out in sweaty exercise gear while people jam meat/soy filler into their gullets is awesome! No really try it sometime and you will discover the level of stink-eye that we experienced. LYCRA MAN SHAMES YOU!

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Training Run III – Bayview to Coyote Point

Training Run III Key Data:

  • 29.6 Miles
  • 2 Hours 43 Minutes
  • Top Speed 27.1 MPH
  • Average Speed 10.9 MPH

Somewhere I had heard that there are bike lanes to SFO; lanes presumably for us city folk to arrive for our cross-continental  flights in a sweaty, eco-friendly, no-carbon-commute mess. When it comes to planes I am a big kid; something about giant machines accelerating and launching themselves into the sky strikes a chord with my inner eight-year-old. I have spent many hours at Bayfront Park in Burlingame, as it provides a fantastic view of SFO flight traffic. All that in mind, I decided to plan a 30 mile out-and-back route south through Daly City, Brisbane, South San Francisco, Millbrae, and Burlingame. The route followed the Bay which I figured would provide some nice scenery. With 20 miles already in, a 50 mile weekend sounded awesome. Besides, what else was there to do on Christmas Day?

Let’s start out by saying I don’t hate this route; however, it is loud, it is ugly, it is mostly flat (except the “Russia House” hill), and it is boring. On the other side, the wins are long stretches without traffic signals, the flatness, the lack of traffic, and OMG 747s TAKING OFF IN YOUR FACE YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

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