With daylight saving time in effect, I couldn’t start the 102-mile Mt. Hamilton ride until 8 a.m. under clear skies and temps in the low 40s. By the time I had climbed a mile on Mt. Hamilton after a six-mile warmup my fingers thawed out. With the coffee buzz in effect, I hammered up the road just like the days of old.
Although it had rained a fair amount a day or two ago, wildflowers were nowhere to be found except for some California poppies on the descent into Livermore. But talk about nice weather. A breeze kicked up near the summit as temps climbed into the mid 50s.
Plunging down the east side I stopped to enjoy the view of the distant Sierra, shrouded in clouds. About two miles down I saw the spring running fairly well, but not needing water, I didn’t stop.
In San Antonio Valley I had the pleasure of seeing the elk herd. They show up from time to time, at least on my annual schedule they do. This was the largest herd I had seen.
At The Junction store I noticed construction across the road. It’s a Santa Clara County maintenance depot under construction. They lost their lease on Del Puerto Canyon Road and decided to buy some land. Inside I bought another cup of coffee ($1.50). It would serve me well through the rest of the ride, including an absence of the usual leg cramps. Droves of cyclists went the other way on Mines Road as part of an organized ride.
Arroyo Mocho Creek barely had water in many sections, but where there was water the bullfrogs made their presence known. Lacking Internet access, about all they can do is croak a melodious song hoping to attract a mate. Life without Match.com: It must be tough.
I took the Arroyo Mocho Trail through Livermore, completely avoiding street traffic until Stanley Boulevard. More good news. Stanley Boulevard bike lane is 90 percent complete. I zoomed into Pleasanton with a tailwind on a spacious bike lane.
Finally, riding up Calaveras Road I found renewed strength and powered my way to the summit. Reminded me of old times.