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Saturday, November 19: Three Sisters and Wetlands Park, 36 miles

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DBD/Seismic Ride 4: Crystal Springs (8/13/2011)

Date: Saturday, August 13
Meet time: 8:00 a.m.
Ride-out time: 8:30 a.m.
Meeting place: Three blocks west of the Mountain View Caltrain and VTA station, in the overflow parking lot at the corner of Evelyn Avenue and Franklin Street. (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Heavy rain cancels
Category: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 3 - rolling hills with some steep climbs
Miles: 60

Description:

This is the fourth in a weekly series of eight training rides to help you get ready for the Double Bay Double and/or Seismic Challenge. These rides will gradually increase to about 80 miles and will take place every Saturday from downtown Mountain View.

Although this ride doesn't venture much beyond the Peninsula foothills, we'll visit them over and over and over again in a day with lots of small but significant climbs. In order of appearance, we'll go up West Loyola Drive and Taaffe in Los Altos Hills, Bunker Hill, Polhemus, and Highland/Jefferson, plus all the smaller climbs between those points. This is an ideal route to help you get ready for similar climbs in both DBD and Seismic. The good news is that the last 15 miles are mostly downhill and flat.

Total climbing is about 3,600 feet. Be sure to bring plenty of water and electrolyte replacement, especially if it's hot. The route has many turns, sometimes in short succession, so it's essential that you have a map holder or binder clips so you can safely refer to your route sheet while riding.


RSVPs are requested but not required.

How much climbing is that?

So, you say you climbed 6,500 feet today? What does that mean? The sad answer is that, depending on what tools you're using to calculate elevation gain, it could mean just about anything. The major ride-mapping programs report vastly different climbing numbers for the very same route, as recorded in a GPX file for a 50-mile ride that I did today.
  • Raw GPX file: The file collected by my Strava Android app recorded 4,026 feet of climbing. This is already understood to be an unreliable number because the phone is not always a trustworthy source of accurate elevation.
  • Strava: 2,868 feet, using the USGS topographic database.
  • Map My Ride: 1,955 feet, computed from the GPX file.
  • Map My Ride: 1,969 feet, drawing the route myself in the program.
  • Ride with GPS: 5,275 feet. Its elevation profile is much more jagged, suggesting that the total is so much higher because no smoothing is done on the curves.
  • Bikely: Could not import the GPX file. However, Bikely is down so much these days that it's really not worth using anymore. (Update: I was finally able to draw, but not save, the route in Bikely, and I got 2,579 feet.)

When someone says a ride has a certain amount of climbing, it's important to know what they're using to measure it, so you can make an informed comparison. I've used Bikely for the past several years because, despite all of its faults, it produced elevation data that appeared to be very close to reality. Nowadays, however, I'm trying to use Strava when possible (but I'm still too cheap to pay for its premium service).

DBD/Seismic Ride 3: Kings Mountain (8/6/2011)


Date: Saturday, August 6
Meet time: 8:00 a.m.
Ride-out time: 8:30 a.m.
Meeting place: Three blocks west of the Mountain View Caltrain and VTA station, in the overflow parking lot at the corner of Evelyn Avenue and Franklin Street. (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Heavy rain cancels
Category: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 4 - long hills; steep climbs
Miles: 54

Description:

This is the third in a weekly series of eight training rides to help you get ready for the Double Bay Double and/or Seismic Challenge. These rides will gradually increase to about 80 miles and will take place every Saturday from downtown Mountain View.

Kings Mountain is one of the signature climbs of the Peninsula, topping out at an elevation of 2,421 feet. (That's just a little bit less than Mt. Tam!) It's a long but mostly consistent climb of about 7%, so it's not stupidly steep. But you definitely need to pace yourself to have enough energy to make it to the top with grace and aplomb. After reaching the summit, we'll head back into Woodside on the Highway 84 descent, and then we'll travel up CaƱada Road so we can descend Edgewood as well. After all that climbing, we'll do an easy return to Mountain View on Alameda de las Pulgas and Foothill Expwy.

Total climbing is about 3,200 feet. Be sure to bring plenty of water and electrolyte replacement, especially if it's hot.


RSVPs are requested but not required.

DBD/Seismic Ride 2: Stevens Canyon (7/30/2011)


Date: Saturday, July 30
Meet time: 8:30 a.m.
Ride-out time: 9:00 a.m.
Meeting place: Three blocks west of the Mountain View Caltrain and VTA station, in the overflow parking lot at the corner of Evelyn Avenue and Franklin Street. (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Heavy rain cancels
Category: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 3 - rolling hills with some steep climbs
Miles: 50

Description:

This is the second in a weekly series of eight training rides to help you get ready for the Double Bay Double and/or Seismic Challenge. These rides will gradually increase to about 80 miles and will take place every Saturday from downtown Mountain View.

This week, we head up Stevens Canyon to the end of the paved road -- a gradual but persistent climb that takes us to an elevation of 1,125 feet. Next, we'll climb Mount Eden (but not Pierce!) and head into Saratoga for our first rest stop. Then it's over to Los Gatos and back into our second rest stop, which will be at the same location. (A savvy cyclist can figure out an easy short cut.) We finish with an all-new out-and-back climb: Prospect Road to the Fremont Older Open Space Preserve. After that, it's an easy return back to Mountain View.

Strava reports total climbing on this ride of about 2,870 feet. Take it nice and mellow, or hammer away on your own ... it's your choice.


RSVPs are requested but not required.