Friday, April 4, 2008


I barely missed the bus to work this morning. I could have waited 15 minutes for the next bus, but instead I decided to bike the entire distance from home to work, which I've never done before. Breakfast was a small package of peanut butter crackers and a glass of water, and I filled by 24 oz water bottle with water.

Mountain Charlie Road

The entire distance is 44 miles, which includes a climb from 500 feet to 1900 feet over the Santa Cruz Mountains with an accumulated elevation gain of about 4,000 feet. From Summit Road, I lost 1,100 feet of elevation in less than 10 minutes as I zoomed down Old Santa Cruz Highway at 35 mph (speed limit 25). I stopped at a gas station in Los Gatos (20 miles into the ride from Santa Cruz) for a Snickers bar and some Gatorade. A nasty headwind kept my speed below 20 mph once I got onto Foothill Expressway. My legs started to cramp a little as I approached downtown Palo Alto, so I geared down to spin. I saw a crosswalk light timer expiring and sprinted to catch the light, but I didn't have the legs for it; there was nothing there!

My trip to work took a little over 3 hours, which included two stops to check my map and one wrong turn. I barely beat my boss into the building.

God bless Denise at work, who had a big jar of M&Ms and jelly beans sitting outside of her office as I passed by. Yum!

Photo taken this morning while climbing Mountain Charlie Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


  1. ...after your day of odd malfunctions to only then learn of your grandad's passing, i hope the bosses had no complaints about when you rolled in this morning...

    ...& now that you're sufficiently jacked on all that sugar, fritz, good lord, man i hope you'll eat something substantial...

    ...either way, i like that you made such a major decision as to ride over the hill...that's not just a 44 mile ride, that's a serious climb up & over the coastal range...well done, chap, well done !!!...

  2. how the hell did you take this picture??????????????????????????????????????????????

  3. How did you connect from Old Santa Cruz Hwy to Los Gatos? Los Gatos Creek trail or the short stretch of Hwy 17?

  4. Dontcha *love* riding 'til there's nothing there?

    Good idea, listening to the soul :D

  5. Awesome Fritz! That's the way to start the day.

  6. Sue - yep! I feel good today. I had a good conversation with my aunt also this morning.

    BGW - yeah, the sugar was a bit much but the kids ate up all the Clif bars and fruit and the pickings were slim at the house and on the road.

    Raison - Mad Biker Skilz.

    Murali - from Old Santa Cruz Hwy onto the very short stretch of Hwy 17 from Bear Creek Rd to Alma Bridge Road exit. There's also a dirt trail alongside. From Alma Bridge Road onto the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

    Hwy 17 is technically legal for bikes between Scotts Valley and Los Gatos, but after Lexington Reservoir you lose the shoulder shortly after Alma Bridge Road on that downhill windy curve into Los Gatos. With heavy traffic zooming along at 60+ mph, I'd rather not try it.

  7. I guess I should add a "Dear Mike, are we friends now? I've posted a photo of your bike and your shoes, and I'm even wearing your shorts, jersey and gloves."