9/6/06: Old La Honda With a Twist (32.67 Miles)

I wanted to do another steep route but and wanted to put some miles on after having mostly rested for two days, but I didn’t feel up to trying something new like Montebello or Kings Mountain. I decided to climb Old La Honda, but then turn left on Skyline and come down Page Mill instead of making a right and descending Highway 84 as I’ve always previously done.

I climbed Old La Honda in exactly 30 minutes and I basically felt good. I basically took it easy up but I did have to scramble at the end to hit the stop sign in 30 minutes. That said, having reached the top I felt like I could have pushed much harder and maybe shaved 30 seconds to a minute off my time.

After a brief break at the top I turned left on Skyline towards Page Mill. Its not an easy stretch of the road by any means. Its about 5.5 miles and it mostly up hill. The climb isn’t as bad as Old La Honda but the grade is close and its 5.5 miles feels a lot longer than 3.3. That said there are a handful of short descents which provide welcome relief but by the time I reached Page Mill I was pretty tired.

Page Mill is a tough decent because it is very wind and very narrow. Also, it is about 8 miles long and my hands, neck and shoulders were killing me from squeezing the brakes for so long by the time I reached the bottom. However, I did notice something interesting at the top of Page Mill… it isn’t that steep for the last 1.5 – 2 miles. I know that it is an extremely tough climb but it looked like something that might actually be with in my reach sooner rather than later. Hmm. Anyway, after descending the main steep section of the road and passing Arastradero, the last little hump before hitting Foothill Expy was just murder. I was really pooped as I slowly rode home through Palo Alto.

Here are my stats:

2h 39m 57s

32.67 miles

12.4 average mph

32 max mph

918 calories

125 avg heart rate

173 max heart rate

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