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Fremont to Mt. Hamilton 85-mi self-supported ride
(Saturday, May 25 in Fremont, CA)

See also my photo album from this ride.

Mission San Jose I left home at around 8:00 and headed southwards, following the route from the Primavera Century past Mission San Jose. In Milpitas, I left that route and continued south. I got a call from Denise and Ralph, who I was meeting at 9:30, saying there wasn't any legal parking at SR130 & Alum Rock, so we decided to meet at Linda Vista School, just down the road from there. I met them around 9:30, we stretched and headed towards the mountain.

Denise and Ralph on Lower Hamilton It was a warm'ish day, contrary to the weather forecast that assured me that it would be "much colder than Friday" - oh well, I needed the heat training anyways :). In short order, we caught Mt. Hamilton Rd. (AKA SR130) and headed up. After a few miles riding through the outskirts of suburbia and McMansions, we were well and truly away from civilization. After a short descent, we rolled into Grant Ranch park. We stopped here for a few to use the facilities, refill our water bottles, and stretch.

Looking down on Grant Ranch from the ridge After Grant Ranch, there's a nice spot of climbing over a ridge, then another short descent to a CDF station, and then the real climbing begins. The ascent of Hamilton isn't particularly steep, but its quite long (19mi, including about 2mi of intermediate descents) and as such, can wear on one! Ralph rode on ahead, while Denise & I took it easy (hey, I still had ~25mi left after I was off the mountain!). It felt pretty hot, and I doused myself with water to keep cool. There were tons of wildflowers all along the road, which along with the lovely views, distracted us nicely. We took a quick break a few miles from the top to snack and cool off, then continued on our way.

The crazy windy road to the summit Before too long, we arrived at the summit! It had taken us 3 hours to get up the mountain, including stops - not too bad for a leisurely climb. We hung around for a while, refilled out water bottles and ate, and eventually headed back down after I admonished Denise & Ralph to be extremely careful.

The descent from the summit to the CDF station is very demanding. The road is bumpy, narrow, with cars frequently crossing the centerline, and chock full of blind corners with gravel in them. We made OK time, though, and stopped at the CDF station to let our hands regain feeling :) A quick climb later, and we were bombing down the ridge to Grant Ranch.

Farmhouse at the top of the climb out of Grant Ranch We stopped again at Grant Ranch to eat and top off our bottles, but didn't stop long. I was feeling pretty good, so I hammered up the final climb, then we enjoyed the fast descent back into San Jose. We went to a yummy little deli and I wolfed down a very large pastrami, roast beef, swiss, and provolone sandwich and a large bag of chips, then we parted ways.

I headed back northward into a moderate headwind, through Milpitas, and into Fremont. I'd planned the route to take the prettier, but less direct roads in the morning, and the faster roads back, since I don't like riding out and back routes if I can avoid it. The only problem with this was that the faster roads through San Jose and Milpitas were booooring. Ah well. Shortly into my return trip, I wasn't feeling terribly well - I think a huge high-fat lunch was not a great idea! Every drink of water made me feel worse since I was so full - yecch! I'd originally been thinking of adding another 15ish miles in Fremont to make it a full century, but given how I was feeling, I just wanted to go home now. After a short, but painful, climb on Paseo Padre Parkway, I was on the home stretch, arriving home at around 5:30.

This was a fun ride overall. It had more suburban riding than I prefer, but I got to ride from home, which is always really nice. On fresh legs, it wouldn't have been too difficult, but I'd done a lot of hard riding the previous week, and thus hadn't fully recovered from the Davis Double the previous weekend.

See the route sheet for this ride.

Ride Stats:
Distance: 87.2mi
Total Time: 9h 37m
On-bike Time: 6h 56m
Average Speed: 12.5mph
Average Speed
(including stops):
11.4mph
Maximum Speed: 39.0mph
Total Climbing: ~6150 ft
 
Difficulty: 4
Support: N/A
Food: N/A
Route: 3.5
Overall: 4


Last modified 08 February, 2011 MST
Copyright © 2009 Adam R. Paul
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