9/7/06: Kings Mountain (32 Miles)

Today I rode up Kings Mountain (Google Map) for the first time. It is a great ride and I’m happy that I finally decide d to give it a try. Yesterday I did a lot of climbing having gone up Old La Honda and then up Skyline to Page Mill and my legs were very tired but for some reason I was very drawn to the idea of giving Kings Mountain a shot.

I started out going up Sand Hill Road and I struck a conversation with another cyclist who was heading up to Old La Honda. He was in great shape and had just set a recent best of climbing Old La Honda in 19:30. I’ve recently been riding it around 30 minutes and over the course of talking with him I probably tried to keep up with him a bit too hard. My legs really hurt on the short climb up over the actual Sand Hill. I was basically resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to climb Kings and I settled for just heading over to the road to check it out a bit. As I took Whiskey Hill into Woodside, my legs started to feel better and I thought that maybe I would try to ride up to Huddart Park as a preview for an attempt later in the week.

After passing through Woodside I turned on to Kings Mountain road. The climb itself doesn’t start until just after Tripp road and it winds 4.3 miles up where it eventually meets Skyline acros s from Tunitas Creek Road. When I did get to the climb I was pleasantly surprised about how gentle it was. I was in my easiest gear but it wasn’t hard climbing. I took it slow because I kept expecting the next bend to get much steeper. I felt fine when I got to Huddart Park so I decided to keep going. The road eventually started to feel like Old La Honda in terms of steepness but I was feeling okay and after having gotten a couple of miles up the road I really wanted to make it all the way to the top. Eventually, I made it to the top. I was tired and proud that I had climbed Old La Honda and Kings Mountain in consecutive days and that I could ticked off another steep road. I don’t know my exact time on the climb because I didn’t expect to do the whole thing when I started so I didn’t take my time at the bottom, but I think it was about 40 minutes.

Kings Mountain is a little bit different from Old La Honda in that it has very few houses or any side streets on the climb. Also the road is smoother, wider and less windy than Old La Honda. It is a full two lane road 90% of the way and couple of sections even have a little bit of shoulder. One point of annoyance was that sections have been recently been repaved and I picked up stickum on my tires as I crossed them. It might have just been my imagination but I sure felt like I was working a lot harder with that sticky stuff on my tires and it made an annoying whirring noise. Also, the stickum picked up gravel, which made smooth sections fairly bumpy. Eventually, the stickum wore off, but it sure was a frustrating to be struggling up an unfamiliar road with all of that crap stuck to my tires.

After reaching the top of the climb I made a left on Skyline. From Kings Mountain to Bear Gulch really felt like a climb. It wasn’t too steep but my legs were gassed so I took very slow. After Bear Gulch, is an awesome descent of several miles to Highway 84. The road is steep but doesn’t have many sharp bends so you can really let loose and I hit 47.7 mph at one point. There are 3-4 bends that do require braking but it is still probably the best decent I found in the area and a nice reward after having done all that climbing.

I didn’t write down my stats but they’re still in my cyclometer so I’ll post my ride stats tomorrow.

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