Peninsula Velo Saturday Ride

10Jun07

One of the million variations of “The Loop” in the Woodside/Palo Alto area, this ride is a team training ride for the Peninsula Velo cycling club, and starts at the 92/Canada Road car park area, pictured here. It’s pretty easy to find the group, just get there at 8:00 and look for some red/black/white Peninsula Velo kits milling around and getting ready. If you miss the 8:15 time, you can catch them at Buck’s in about 15 minutes.

RIDE MAPS

“Map my Ride” Map
“Google Earth” Map (download)

RIDE DESCRIPTION

The group meets at 8:15 on Saturdays when there’s enough light and racing is in season. This ride seems not to be as intense as the Tuesday and Thursday rides, as it has rest/regroups at Buck’s restaurant parking lot and the Chevron in Woodside on the way back (top of Whiskey Hill road). Group seems not to mind people just tagging on–there are a few riders from various teams and unattached riders in every ride I’ve done.

Starts out very mellow as the group warms up and makes its way down Canada toward Woodside and 84. Then a 5 minute “regroup”, which is really just a wait for any stragglers in Buck’s restaurant parking lot. Then it heads up 84 toward La Honda, but takes a right on Kings Mountain road, where the pace begins to edge up just a notch. Then take a left on Tripp road, where again the group ambles along. Then you’ll reconnect with 84, and move rapidly along the straightaway, with little room and a lot of a-hole drivers who don’t care for a big group of cyclists forcing them to slow even a little.

BEGINNING OF THE BURN

The group then takes a left on Portola just when 84 starts to move skyward, and the pace increases notably, winding quickly through the turns, up over the rise at Mountain Home road, and then a hard right towards the turnoff for Old La Honda. Pace continues to gain all the way along Portola as the grade steepens along the guard rails, with the occasional flyer going off the front. Good place to stretch the legs, but it’s all coming back together at the Alpine road intersection.

Hard left on Alpine. Catch your breath and enjoy the speed on the descent, because there is going to be an acceleration at the hard right onto Arastradero, and the first really hard pressing of the pace on the short climbs immediately following the turn. Everybody screams down the other side of the rise, and a few might sprint(ish) for the sign at Page Mill.

LAST PUSH

Regroup at the stop, then save a bit for the rise on Page Mill, where the group will press the pace again. Left on Junipero Serra, and a relatively calm but strong paceline will quickly get you to the turn at Alpine. Save it on Junipero, as the climbs coming up on Sand Hill road get faster and harder, and can turn truly gut-busting over the last rise before the descent to the turn at Whiskey Hill. Keep every bit of speed you can on the sweeper from Sand Hill onto Whiskey Hill, as they will press the pace hard here. The first rise on Whiskey Hill will often drop about 2/3 of the group, then a few guys will form a regroup, then someone will take a flyer one the last rise back into Woodside. Keep it in the big ring and dig, and you can stay with it. If you’re feeling it, this is a good time to really let it loose.

Stop and catch your air at the Chevron. 5 mins here, then gently up Canada Road again, until the top of the first set of risers, where the pace will start burning and a paceline will form. Drive on in a paceline until the last two climbs on Canada. The first rise will break up the group. Try to stay on the front and create a re-form, then drive another big ring climb to the finish. Someone will go for the “line” and if you’re feeling good it is the time to really let it rip.

Good fun ride, a great pace usually that pushes me hard, but doesn’t kill me. Solid interval training and a great place to brush up on those group riding skills. You need to focus and work hard to get the most out of the ride. Be careful and respect the group!

RIDE STATS

Distance:
34 miles (55 kilometers)
Climbs: No significant climbs. Rollling with some risers.

———————

The Good: Good roads and shoulders (mostly), good pace, strong riders, nice variation in the pace. A good group will paceline strongly and make it hurt.

The Bad:
Invariable jerk drivers on 84 and Portola in the narrow sections. Be careful. Can be cold and windy if fog bank is hanging over the hill at the start/finish.

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