Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tour de Peninsula

Last night my friend called me and asked me if I wanted to accompany her, her husband and her 10 year old son in the annual Tour de Peninsula bike ride today. They were planning to do the 33-mile ride.

I had planned to do between 30 and 40 miles anyway so I agreed. I reached Redwood City at just past 8 am. I parked in a K-mart parking lot, about a mile from the start.

The first thing I did was to go and register for $40. I soon found my friend and her family in line to start. We were among about 150 odd cyclists making the 9 am start. Starts were in waves (I think), with the first people having gone at 8 am. We were soon off. After the first mile her husband took off with her son and she and I brought up the rear.

The course was hilly. The first major hill, a mile long one with an average grade between 7-9%, was up Ralston Ave. We crested soon and found her husband and son at the first aid station on the top of the hill. I chomped down a Powerbar and drank some water. I also used the port-a-john and we were off again.

Ralston Ave becomes Polhemus Road on the other side of I-280. The descent down Polhemus was a blast. We soon made the turn onto Crystal Springs Road, a mile long climb (3-5% grade) up to the South entrance to the Sawyer Camp trail. The rail had been closed for the race and it was a blast negotiating turns at 16-18 mph without having to worry about any oncoming traffic, on foot or otherwise.

We were soon at the other end of Sawyer Camp, 6 miles from the South entrance and onto Skyline Blvd. We went 280 again and onto the descent back to the South Gate of Sawyer Camp trail and beyond. The descents were so enjoyable. I reached speeds in excess of 40 mph today on some of them.

We were soon biking on Canada Road. Made a left turn up Edgewood for the last climb of the race and then it was a breakneck descent again for the next mile. A few more miles and we made the turn into Sequoia High School for the finish.

We finished the race at just past 12 noon. 3 hours for 33 miles. Not bad.

Her husband and her son came in about 15 minuts after us. Her son is an amazing athlete! He biked 40 miles (he added another 7 miles AFTER finishing the race) in his first ride of anything over 15 miles. What an kid!! He is indeed his mother's son. She has done 6 marathons and 1 50K. She is currently training for the Miami Half Ironman.

After eating of some of the goodies in the finish area and picking up my T-shirt, I got on the bike with the intention of adding a few miles before going home.

Few miles? It turned out to be another 17 miles!!! I got back to my car with the odometer reading 50.09 miles! Holy smokes!! I sure am obsessive about these large numbers am I not???

My legs were not feeling as good as they had the Sunday before but they did not feel all that bad either. A good sign I should think.

Anyway, all of this biking is surely going to help me next month when I attempt to finish my first 100-mile run (Rio del Lago, Sep 23-24).

We shall see.

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