Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bicycling is fun

Los Gatos Creek Trail 15 mph
Not all of my cycling is commuting. I commute by bike because it's fun, but I also put some good miles in just for the fun of it. Today, my fun was riding up Mountain Charlie Road to the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains, elevation around 2,000 feet. It took me about an hour to go the 10 miles to the top, and then it took me 10 minutes to zoom the five miles down Old Santa Cruz Highway to Lexington Reservoir. Just for the fun of it, I continued a little while on Los Gatos Creek Trail, popped out on Campbell Avenue and just cruised around on surface streets until I ended up in San Jose.

You couldn't ask for better weather. It was probably in the 40s when I left this morning, but by the time I reached the summit it was easily in the 60s. Sunny blue skies, no wind, and mild temperatures meant there were hundreds out cycling on the mountain roads and hundreds more cycling, walking, jogging and meandering on the paths. As long as you adjust your expectations and don't get in a hurry the paths are fine. If I want to go fast, I know to hit the road.

I'm a little sore now, but it's a good kind of sore. I'll sleep well tonight.

Don't forgot that by the time you read this on Sunday or Monday that you've lost an hour if you live in the United States in areas that observe Daylight Savings Time. I have some pointers to bike computer manuals here, though it probably needs to be updated.


  1. Nice Panda, btw is that an acronym for something? Also what kind of camera do you carry on your rides and WHERE do you carry it? I always take a camera with me, but I fail to use it a lot...and I would like that to change!

  2. Thanks Jared. Panda Portraits are called that after Megan Ann in your town (Austin), who kind of pioneered these goofy "self portraits of bike and self while cycling." Her nickname on is "faster panda kill kill," people started calling them Panda Portraits and that's that.

    I currently carry a Canon PowerShot A5670 IS with me, which I love. I've carried larger and smaller, but the Canon PowerShot cameras are a nice combination of size and the features I like. I've attached a neckstrap and I usually carry the camera so it's hanging diagonally from my right shoulder and slung behind my left arm (like a messenger bag). Access isn't super fast but if I look ahead I can anticipate shots. Everything I shoot from bike is tagged "bikebyshooting" which you can view at my flickr stream here.

    I also have a small waterproof camera bag for toting when it's a little bit wet.

  3. Wow, Mountain Charlie, that sure brings back memories. I used to train on that all the time when I was riding for the UCSC team -- that had to be my all time favorite climb in the Santa Cruz mountains, only we would drop down to Hwy 9 and ride back through Felton. Those were the days..

  4. I was just thinking the other day that this is becoming my favorite also. Do you cut over to Hwy 9 via Bear Creek? I've been meaning to try that sometime.

  5. Bear Creek sounds right. It's a crazy fast descent; you'll find yourself pacing the cars through a lot of it. Flattens out a bit towards the bottom of the canyon into a series of rollers.