Yesterday's ride was a retro renegade ride. Since there was TRL training this weekend, there wasn't going to be a usual Guinea Pig ride, so one of the Blazers decided to host a renegade ride. He went with the GP ride that got rained out a few weeks ago. This was perfect for me because it was actually the route that I missed because I had family in town. I'm so glad I got to check out this route because it was a gorgeous ride.
The ride started out with a little more renegade then planned. We actually headed out in the wrong direction. I kept looking at my route sheet, thinking that we weren't going the right way but everyone else near me didn't realize the error. At the first traffic light we hit a red light and someone finally agreed that we were not going the right way. Oh well, at least the way we went met back up with the planned route. We have the tendency to head out of the meet-up point the same way for almost every route, so when a route takes us a different way it usually has to be over emphasized that we are going to head out in a different direction.
Once we got back on route, everything went well; that is till we hit Altamont Road. Altamont started out fine with a gradual hill; but as you can see on the elevation chart above, it gets steep very fast (see that nice big hill around mile 6). I did a little cross training towards the top. It definitely was a nice day for a hike :) or as I deemed it, a hikecyle.
After the climb up Altamont, we had a pretty crazy downhill on Page Mill. I am not a fan of the fast downhill, especially when you throw in a few hairpin turns. I'm just starting to get more comfortable with going around 30 mph on downhills, but adding in sharp turns still scares me. I started going too fast for comfort so I wanted to slow myself down, and tried to feather the brakes. That was helping, but with one of those hairpin turns quickly approaching, I held the brakes. The result was a high pitch squeal. Not good, that meant my brakes were starting to overheat. Luckily there was a road that I could bail out on before the turn. I was able to stop my bike so that I could continue on down the hill at a slower speed. One of these days I will be able to handle the downhill better. When I have some more money to spend, I also plan on taking the Savvy Bike 201 Climbing + Descending.
After the first rest stop at the Arastradero Preserve, we headed out to Alpine Road and turned left towards Roberts Market in Portola Valley. As I was pedaling along on Alpine, I started to get this feeling that I was getting heavy. I knew my legs were tired, but I just felt very heavy and didn't think it was my legs that were really the problem. At the stop sign we turned right and headed down Portola Road. The downhill was a nice break. As the road started to head back uphill, another rider passed me and I realized I was feeling heavy again. I happened to look down and found out that I had a flat tire. I'm so tired of getting flats! The pro to this situation, I've gotten pretty good at changing out tubes. In no time I was on my way.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. There were a lot of turns on this route, which caused several people to get lost or make multiple U-turns. I only had one issue in which I passed up a turn; however, knowing that the area was in a grid layout, I just went up the block, made the next two rights and got back to the road I was meant to be on in the first place.
All in all, I ended up with a very beautiful, scenic 36 mile ride with an awesome group of friends.