DST: 17.5 mi
Route: Route: Portola Loop “the easy way” (up Alpine, down Sand Hill).
I went riding last week and did the Sand Hill/Whiskey Hill/Woodside loop, but the weather was iffy and it was sprinkling by the time I got back, so it didn’t really feel like a spring ride. I also felt like I was really struggling with the climbing, while today, despite (or maybe because of) doing a long hike yesterday, I felt strong and steady. I can tell I’ve still got a ways to go to really be in shape again, though!
Today it was sunny, warm in the sun but with a cool (and strong) wind, and everything looked shiny and green and new. I saw swaths of California poppies and other wildflowers, great views of Windy Hill and the East Bay hills, a lizard, a big black beetle, and a deer. It was a really fantastic ride. I took Alpine up because it was windy and Alpine is less exposed and doesn’t have crazy steep parts. At the top I paused to take a picture (may post it later if I remember).
The other interesting thing about the ride was that because of the major tailwind I had on the way back (wind out of the northwest), I exceeded 30mph three times, and hit a max speed of 37.1mph on the steepest downhill section of Sand Hill. I then hit 34 on the approach to the 280 interchange and 31 on the top section of the final descent into Menlo Park. Fun!