Regrouping at the Highway 84 (background)/ Old La Honda (part of road barely seen to the left.) Rusty the happiest in the group as he is wearing an orange jersey.
We started towards Pescadero, the road would slow a little with scattered uphill rollers thrown in. We kept a big paceline, with Jim, Ward and I, the three riders clad in a new Diablo Cyclist jersey, doing most of the work. A little before Pescadero we detoured away from it on the Cloverdale and Bean Hollow back roads to do a loop to the ocean and the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Todd went to the front on the flat part--suddenly there were some sharp rollers and even sharper downhills and all hell broke loose, which got my dander up. Left in the back coming off a steep roller I motored to the front and Vic, Gavin and I raced to the Coast--a potential sprint was avoided when we spotted Rusty and Sara 100' ahead making the turn up Highway 1 and we decided to sneak up behind them.
Pescadero has a fun picnic area behind a store with made to order sandwiches, baked goods...as the rest of the ride is climbing I try to eat light here. But I get a bad case of brain freeze when I slowly fill up my water bottles (fill cap and pour, fill cap and pour) from a spigot 2" off the floor when there is another one in the picnic area a few feet off the ground. Then I get a banana and carrot muffin, not noticing that the muffin is wrapped in plastic as it has layers and layers of frosting on the top. The muffin is a mess and I try to eat around the frosting; a good chunk of cream lands on my shorts. Sara declares that "I must be happy to see her" (I am--in the Belgium vest.) Jack talks about doing bonus miles up the Coast to Half Moon Bay, but is is so overcast and depressing near the water that I tell him that I'm in for bonus miles, but want to do the Alpine Road climb where it will be warmer.
Only flat portion for the remainder of the ride--about a mile roll out to Stage Road. Looking forward to seeing the seminal folk art--the 20' rebar skeleton holding a machine gun. But it went the way of the house with the 1000 pink flamingos--and now it was was gone too. (Who would YOU rather have as a neighbor--one with 1000 pink flamings or a skeleton statue holding a machine gun.) Stage Road is a double peaked climb, perhaps each 2km, that ends in a twisty descent, and I wanted to be on the descent without being passed by the calvary, so I started up hard--Joe with me and we started bsing until the pelaton started closing in, and then we took off. I'm happy to say that none of the crazy downhillers passed me on the descent to San Gregorio.
Another short (1k?) but steeper climb back to the Coast--I rode up at Jim's pace as Gavin and Rusty behind waiting for Sara who slowed down when she jumped to the Swiss squad. Another fast descent on Highway 1--at least its a straight shot. The rest of the Club (except for Joe--he went AWOL) waiting to regroup after the turn onto Tunitas Creek Road.
Unfortunately cheapass Antioch opted out of the country animal control system and run their own--which means they're underfunded and do nothing. Their response to my complaint--peopel can have 10 fowl in their yards and if I think they're making too much noise call the police or file a suit. The police are dramatically undermanned and say its an animal control problem.
(1st photo Ward's composite, 2nd is mine)
Tunitas Creek Road starts off a a slight grade (less than 2%), stays about 3-5% for the rest of the first quarter, kicks up significantly in the middle, and returns to a slight grade for the last quarter. Jim goes hard at the beginning and leaps from the pelaton, and I just stay with him. With climbing bonus miles coming up might as well take it easy. When we hit the middle section Jim falls off and Jack comes by so I ride his pace--until he stops for a cyclist with a flat and no tire iron. I ride easily until Ward comes by, I ride with him for awhile but after 1/2 mile I tell him I'm going to circle back downhill for Jack. I start to but Rusty is coming up fast, so I do a full circle and fall behind Rusty and Ward. Rusty is fun to ride with but he'll easily get my dander up. Through the remains of the steep section Rusty, Ward and I are just bsing through the narrow heavily tree lined road. The road starts to flatten out and Rusty suddenly launches an attack, he can put out alot of watts and is quickly down the road but I slowly reel him back, and by the time I pass him I'm going full steam to the end. Thanks to Coach Rusty doing fun intervals.
Jack on well shaded Lower Alpine Road.
Two thirds of the way up there is a clearing at Portola State Park/ Pescadero Creek County Park
(seems like central-west San Mateo is one big park). Much of the tree cover disappears; you can see the road continue to go up. Now it definately is warmer, many great views, and the climb is a steady grade (but not killer.)