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

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DBD4 ride #7: Kings Mountain and West Alpine (9/14/2014)

Date: Sunday, September 14
Meet time: 9:40 a.m.
Ride-out time: 10:00 a.m.
Meeting place: Stevenson Elementary School, 750 San Pierre Way (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Rain cancels
Category: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 4 - some steep hills; two long climbs
Miles: 69

Description:
This year's finale to the DBD training season is a whopper of a ride. You can Have It Your Way ... as long as your way is hilly! (The good news is that today's ride contains about as much climbing as on Day 1 of the event, but compressed into 69 miles instead of 100.)

Our first main climb of the day is Kings Mountain Road, a 4.1-mile Category 2 climb that averages about 7% and is mostly a steady grade all the way up. To get there, however, we first have to ride to Woodside, and we've cooked up a crafty way through part of Portola Valley with a short but rather steep climb that surely will wake up any tired legs.

After we reach the summit of Kings Mountain, we turn onto Skyline Blvd., where a few hundred more feet of climbing awaits before taking us down to the junction with Highway 84. We'll descend 84 as far as the village of La Honda, where it's time to stock up for our big climb of the day: West Alpine Road. This 7.4-mile climb averages only 4%, but that's because it starts rather mellow and has some intermediate descents in the second half. Some parts of West Alpine reach 9% to 10%, and it plays with your mind as you reach one false summit after another on your way to the top.

Next, we'll return to Skyline Blvd. and head south, again for a few hundred more feet of climbing until we reach the intersection with Highway 9. We'll be climbing Highway 9 on Day 1 of the event, but today we'll be descending it. This is a good chance for you to scope out the lay of the land ... and to get the latest info on the roadwork situation. There are at least two major construction zones on Highway 9 where traffic is reduced to one lane and is controlled by signals with a wait cycle of several minutes, so don't expect to set any PRs on your descent today.

We arrive in Saratoga Village, ready for our final rest stop of the season. After that, it's an easy ride back to Mountain View ... well, except for that little hill on McClellan Road on the way to Foothill. We haven't done it all season, so why not now! You are now ready for DBD4.

Ride With GPS reports about 6,300 feet of climbing for this ride.

Our new location is an easy 1.1-mile ride from the Mountain View Caltrain station; the first southbound train from San Francisco arrives in Mountain View at 9:29 a.m. We've adjusted our meet time so Caltrain riders can make our meet time.

Toilets and water are available nearby at Stevenson Park; Safeway and Jack In The Box are a half-mile away at Shoreline Blvd.

Click here to RSVP now
RSVPs are recommended but not required.

DBD4 ride #6: Old La Honda plus (9/7/2014)

Date: Sunday, September 7
Meet time: 9:40 a.m.
Ride-out time: 10:00 a.m.
Meeting place: Stevenson Elementary School, 750 San Pierre Way (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Rain cancels
Category: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 4 - some steep hills; one long climb
Miles: 65

Description:
Our big climb of the day is legendary Old La Honda Road, viewed by many as the benchmark climb of the Peninsula, the place where you go year after year to gauge your progress. How popular is it? Strava has logged more than 84,000 climbs up OLH! If you're training for DBD4, chances are you've already been up it at least once on your own. But today's ride isn't just Old La Honda; the "plus" is that it comes in the middle of today's ride, with a healthy serving of hills both before and after the main event.

We start by heading to Palo Alto and La Cresta Drive. Next, it's into Los Altos Hills for Natoma Road. Then, it's the back way into Neary Quarry. Then Ravensbury. And, mercifully, a rest stop. We might have cycled 18 miles so far, but we're actually only about 5 miles from our starting point!

Rested and refueled, we're ready for more. Barley Hill. Elena and Taaffe. Arastradero Nature Preserve. And finally we're ready for Old La Honda, a moderate 3.1-mile climb that gains about 1,250 feet without ever becoming stupidly steep. And today we'll also get to enjoy the amazingly scenic descent down the backside of Old La Honda as well! This takes us to Highway 84, where we'll do the very gentle 3-mile climb back to the summit before descending into Woodside and our second rest stop.

We're almost done, but we've got a couple more little pieces of fun on the way back. We'll revisit the Southgate/Eleanor hill we did a few weeks ago, and we'll climb the mostly gentle Concepcion Road in Los Altos Hills. That leaves just 7 miles to home, and it's almost all flat or downhill. What a workout!

Ride With GPS reports about 5,400 feet of climbing for this ride.

Our new location is an easy 1.1-mile ride from the Mountain View Caltrain station; the first southbound train from San Francisco arrives in Mountain View at 9:29 a.m. We've adjusted our meet time so Caltrain riders can make our meet time.

Toilets and water are available nearby at Stevenson Park; Safeway and Jack In The Box are a half-mile away at Shoreline Blvd.

Click here to RSVP now
RSVPs are recommended but not required.