Andres and Mt. Hamilton

No advice today, just a quick shout-out to my friend Andres in Sunnyvale. Hard to believe but he crashes worse than me and is banned by his wife from road riding, except with me. Talk about the bad leading the worse!

Last Friday he took me up Montebello Road in Sunnyvale, a steep little climb that averages about 10% for 5 miles. Good warmup. Late that night we poured over maps and web sites, looking for a challenge for Saturday morning. We settled on Mt. Hamilton which has a few more miles of climbing, however not as steep. To make it a little more challenging, we added Quimby Road, a real nasty one too!

20 years ago I did the same loop, including the big Q. This bad boy starts with some 7-9% sections for a few miles. This Saturday morning I followed Andres, who somehow is amazingly strong on a road bike even though limited to an exercise bike the rest of the year. Close to the top of the hill, the road leveled out a bit and I almost passed him. Until I saw IT. There was a WALL in front of us. We both dropped into our lowest gears and were soon standing up, pulling on the handlebars, struggling with the 13-14% grade for nearly a mile. At the top I stopped for a banana, but Andres was fine, only having had 2 cups of coffee for breakfast. The 7% grade up Mt. Hamilton felt almost flat in comparison, until I bonked.

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We rode for 35 miles, over 3 hours. I had breakfast beforehand, a Gu, banana, a cereal bar, Gatorade, and nacho cheese crackers, and at least 3 bonks. Andres had his two coffees and kicked my butt. Another great ride!