Upcoming rides I'm leading:
Nothing on the schedule.

Show blog entries about: Upcoming rides | Ride reports | My own training

Quadrophenia #4: Ring of Fire (2/15/2014)

Date: Saturday, February 15
Meet time: 9:30 a.m.
Ride-out time: 10:00 a.m.
Meeting place: Parking lot at Villa and Franklin streets, Mountain View (across from the Tied House) (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Heavy rain cancels
Category: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 4 - several very steep climbs
Miles: 38


The Ring of Fire is one of the most legendary and challenging rides on the Peninsula. And because we're Quadrophenia, we're ready to tackle it as only our fourth ride of the season!

This is not a ride for the faint of heart (or the weak of leg). After 6 miles of gentle warm-up, the climbing begins in earnest with the ascent of Moody Road (0.5 mile, 11%) to Page Mill Road. We get a brief respite through the Arastradero nature preserve, and our next target is Golden Oak Drive southbound (0.6 mile, 11%). Then, after a short but leisurely break comes the one-two-three punch all in a row of Los Trancos Road (0.3 mile, 11%), Ramona Road (0.6 mile, 12%), and Vista Verde Way (0.3 mile, 13%), where we peak at an altitude of 1,425 feet. After all that, we finally get a well-deserved rest stop in Portola Valley, where just one more challenge remains: the reverse (easier) direction of Westridge. We've done it before on the Prelude rides, but chances are that after all that climbing, you'll find it much more challenging than you might expect.

You'll have plenty of time to complete the ride, so don't hesitate to take as many breaks as necessary ... or even to walk some of the steepest bits. (And, yes, some of the steepest bits are very steep.) Just like in the Death Ride, whether you're a one-, two-, three-, four-, or five-hill finisher, you will have plenty of reasons to be proud of your accomplishment ... and you might even have a new local benchmark against which you can measure your future progress.

Ride With GPS reports about 3,750 feet of climbing, almost all of it concentrated in the middle 20 miles of the route; most GPS devices will report a little bit less. (In Strava, I got 3,150 feet when I did this ride in 2013.)

This ride is Caltrain- and VTA-friendly. The first southbound train of the day leaves SF at 8:15 and arrives in Mountain View at 9:29. We're about four blocks from the station.

These rides are for experienced cyclists who know how to safely handle their bikes on climbs and descents. Please RSVP even if you're not sure you're attending. We use the RSVPs to plan support (including free bagels!), and if the weather might cause problems, it's important that we be able to reach you. Also, join our Facebook group to get additional updates and scintillating conversation.

Click here to RSVP
RSVPs are requested but not required.