Tag Archives: bay trail

The Last Two Weeks – Canada & Wine Country

Training Run XIX Key Data:

  • 60.24 Miles
  • 4 Hours 34 Minutes
  • Average Speed 13.2 MPH
  • Top Speed 31.1 MPH

Well not actually Canada but Cañada Rd. down by the lovely Crystal Springs Reservoir, a great road that is apparently popular with those working on their intervals. Every Sunday in Spring and Summer a long straight, relatively flat, section of the road is closed to auto traffic for the enjoyment of all. To get there we first hit the very familiar Bay Trail and hooked right to cross San Carlos on Edgewood. Also very familiar these days… heat, lots and lots of hot exposed riding. Our favorite thing in the world is becoming an unavoidable aspect of our experience. Things I hate while cycling in order, wind then heat. Oddly enough when it’s hot out you find yourself wishing for wind and when it’s super windy/freezing you wish for heat. Together these things are nice (maybe?) but as separate things to contend with, swearing will commence. I digress, there was heat in them there foothills.

Training Run XX Key Data:

  • 41.41 Miles
  • 3 Hours 9 Minutes
  • Average Speed 13.1 MPH
  • Top Speed 31.3 MPH
Fast forward a week to this past weekend and Team Springer rejoined with the Batistas to form a cycling Voltron (like a peloton but with anime robot cats) up in Russian River wine country. We rolled into the hotel parking lot and immediately disembarked to attend a release party at Hawley Winery. Well we ended up showing up to the event right as it was ending but the good folks at Hawley filled our faces with cold water, “hella pulled chicken,” and chardonnay. The post chardonnay return trip back to the hotel was somehow much more enjoyable, I wonder why?

Training Run XXI Key Data:

  • 29.45 Miles
  • 2 Hours 4 Minutes
  • Average Speed 14.2 MPH
  • Top Speed 31.5 MPH

Day 2 up in Healdsburg, Team Springer & the Batistas met up with Leah’s co-worker Brian who is also training for the ALC and went off on a short stint through green vineyards. It was a lot of fun having so many compatriots to chat with and afterwards an equally fun lunch full of the requisite burgers.

Also we managed to sign ourselves up for the I Care Classic century and the Strawberry Fields Forever metric century. Team Springer will be busy right up to the ALC.

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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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Back in the Saddle Again

Also known as our first “Century Weekend,” also known as Training Run VIII & IX. After taking a week and a half break to discover Spanish culture (in Spain of all places) we quickly realized that the clock is ticking and there are not that many weeks left until ALC; so, we got on the bikes and decided to ramp up our training to get ourselves back on track. The primary goal over the weekend was to put in two significant back to back rides to better simulate the 7 days straight we will experience on our way to LA. What we encountered was a test of chamois and bodily endurance, take that for what you will.

Training Run VIII Key Data:

  • 62.64 Miles (A new Team Springer record!)
  • 6 Hours 8 Minutes
  • Average Speed 10.2 MPH
  • Top Speed 32.6 MPH
We had intended to meet up with the actual ALC training rides that leave from the Sports Basement by the Marina, this past weekend’s Saturday ride being a combination of Hawk Hill and the Tiburon Paradise Loop; however, Team Springer isn’t necessarily known for being early to rise. We got out of the house a little over an hour after the official ride had left and decided to copy the route with the minor addition of roughly 21 extra miles that it takes to get from our Bayview home to Chrissy field and back. All along the way we kept running into the ALC Sweepers who were hanging out to catch any stragglers which was somewhat pleasing; yet, we were in no hurry to attempt to become part of the ride. The major pro and con of this ride is Hawk Hill, which involves a really tough segment of steep grade hill. The con is that you have to ride up the hill, the pro is that you get the view from the top and a really fun descent back down!
The rest of the ride after Hawk Hill was essentially a redo of Training Run V.

Training Run IX Key Data:

  • 47.57 Miles
  • 4 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Average Speed 11.2 MPH
  • Top Speed 24.1 MPH
  • Tires flattened by unseen small bits of broken glass 1

After putting in the first 62 miles on Saturday we woke up even later on Sunday with a mind to accomplish at least 20 more miles for the weekend. The Bay Area weather decided to cooperate and gave us a perfect warm sunny day so we set off towards the airport and the flat Bay Trail thinking that the lack of hills would offer a nice recovery ride. That same weather convinced us to go much farther than we had originally intended and we ended up stopping near the Oracle campus and one of it’s many pedestrian/bike bridges. As I was following Leah on the way back somewhere near the airport, I began to hear a PSHEW PSHEW PSHEW PSHEW noise coming from my front tire, a fantastic signal that I was losing air rapidly. After stopping in the parking lot of a not so great looking Mexican restaurant complete with a couple fighting in their car right next to us (awkward), I discovered a piece of brown glass wedged into my tire. Out comes the 270a290128e9012 tool multidevice I carry for such occasions and my latest toy, a CO2 cartridge inflator (screw pumping). In short time I had the tire replaced, I had the tube inflated, I had a short but effective reminder that CO2 cartridges become about -40 degrees when you let the gas out, and the fighting couple continued to fight (still awkward). After that the rest of the ride home was uneventful; however, I did begin to notice that my body was starting to breakdown somewhere around the 100 mile weekend mark. My sit bits were beginning to hurt, one of my calves started to cramp, and my hands were screaming a symphony of carpal tunnel destruction from gripping hoods and drops and flats for nearly 10 hours over two days. Somewhere in my mind I was reminded of this set of cycling rules (not entirely serious….. maybe) our friend Ken had sent us, specifically rule #5 which states, “Harden the f**k up.” All signs point to the fact that the more you ride, the less it becomes a game of physicality and more of mentality, I’m sure a million marathon runners would agree with some similar mantra.

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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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