Alright, 3400m of climbing today! Goal achieved of matching a day in the Alpes during the Hautes Routes this summer. Although we did a few more kilometers than the Hautes Routes stages it was worth it with some great views out on the coast.
Again we headed up the classic Old la Honda, but this time we dropped down the western side of the hills out towards the coast. Down, down, down to Pescadero Rd and out onto the flats. In the trees and shadow is was cold and damp, a cool breeze blowing in from the coast and north. In solidarity with the rider’s suffering in the cold of Het Volk Geoff had forgone a rain cape for this ride. I’m pretty sure he froze on this descent, and there were a couple more to come on the day. Chattering teeth let me know that he was still with us on the descent.
Finally though we were out of the trees into the sun, and then out to the coast. We lucked out with a brilliant tail wind out of the north, which helped us keep up a steady 40+km/h. A great way to shorten how long the ride would take us. With cliffs to our left and the sea pounding the shore to the right we sped south towards Santa Cruz for our coffee stop of the day.
One thing we all know as cyclists is that what goes down must come up. And on this ride you actually have to go up twice. That’s why there is so much elevation gain on the day. First we tackled Bonnie Doon, climbing 774m. Then, with no other choice as a way back to Palo Alto, we descended back down 660m, before climbing back up another 640m to the top of HWy 9. Up, down, up and then finally down and back to Palo Alto. A long day, but we did the elevation gain we were looking for and gave Rob a taste of a day in the Hautes Routes!