I usually dress for a ride so that I’m a little cool at the beginning but comfortable once I get going. Saturday, in an effort to burn off at least a couple of the Christmas treats I had been stuffing in my face for the past couple of days, I decided to head out for a ride.
I met up with Trace at his house and we took off. The goal being a 43 mile loop out Alameda creek, through Niles to Palomares, over Palomares to Dublin, then back around through Sunol and back the way we came.
By the time I got to Trace’s place my toes were cold. By the time we got through Alameda Creek to Niles, they quit being cold and were just numb. The rest of me was plenty warm from trying to keep up with Trace though so all things considered I guess it could have been worse.
Niles canyon is probably one of my least favorite rides as it’s fairly busy and narrow. Unfortunately, it’s also the only way to get to the valley side of the hill from Fremont. So, pretending I wasn’t afraid of the cars whizzing by at 300mph, I sucked it up and headed out on Trace’s wheel for Palomares. (at first I was thinking it was nice that he was willing to pull all the way through the canyon until it dawned on me that since I was in the back, I was more likely to be run over than he was)
Palomares is usually one of my favorite rides. It’s got a pretty good climb, it’s scenic, it’s winding and there’s very little traffic. Today though, and I’m not sure if it’s because I was cold or because with all the Christmas cookies I’ve eaten I now weigh almost 345lbs (ok, maybe exaggerating a little bit) I was not having fun climbing up Palomares.
This is a ride I did this last summer on my single speed and here I was huffing and puffing to get this climb over with.
Eventually though, we got to the top and the fun began. There’s a wide open, fast downhill for the next few miles and even though I could no longer feel my toes, I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the ride.
As the old proverb states, all good things must come to an end, and keeping in this theme, Palomares empties out onto Dublin canyon which of course is uphill. That too though has a downhill side and soon enough we had finished that and were on our way down Foothill Rd headed for Sunol. Just past Pleasanton Ridge park, we caught up to and were passing another rider when we realized it was JoAnn. She jumped on our wheel and we headed through Sunol, down Niles Canyon and then she split off at Palomares where we had been not too long before.
The rest of the ride is mainly about surviving Niles Canyon and then Alvarado Bl….having done that, I split off and headed for home. Feeling pretty good about getting back on track with my eating/exercise balancing act, I walked in the house to find the girls had made a fresh batch of haystack cookies...not sure if you’ve ever had haystacks, but they are the greatest cooking invention ever to come out of anyone’s kitchen...ever!!!!
All in all I had 44 miles and under 3K of climbing. Now, if I’m able to do this twice a day every day for the rest of my life, it might make up for the 37 little haystack delicacies I jammed down my throat...