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Quadrophenia Prelude #2: 7 Hills of Los Altos (11/8/2014)

Date: Saturday, November 8
Meet time: 9:00 a.m.
Ride-out time: 9:30 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: 3 - rolling hills, some steep climbs
Miles: 25

Think riding in the South Bay is flat? A visit to Los Altos will change your mind in a hurry. Today we'll conquer seven of the more notable Los Altos Hills ... but don't worry, there are still many, many others waiting for us when the main Quadrophenia rides begin in January. And while there are a couple of steep bits today, none of the hills are particularly long.

We begin with La Cresta Drive, a stairstep climb of about 0.8 mile with alternating steep and flat parts. Next is the moderate southbound climb of Elena Road and Natoma Road, about 1.8 mile total but with a bit of a break in the middle. Then, after a nice invigorating descent, we'll climb the somewhat steep Westwind Way -- although you probably can get a good running start to get you at least partway up before having to summon the granny gear. After that is southbound Alta Tierra Road, which averages only 8% over just 0.1 mile, but the first few feet are quite an attention-getter.

You've earned a break by this point, so we'll stop briefly in downtown Los Altos. Then, because we still have three more hills to go, it's back to the climbing! Next is the gentle to moderate Barley Hill (followed by the fun, very steep descent on a narrow path), the easier side of Quinnhill Road (0.2 mile at only 8% average, but the last few feet are very steep), and finally Valley View Drive.

Whew! That's seven hills. But just for fun, we'll finish by doing the loop around the Los Altos Golf & County Club on Loyola Drive. Now we're ready for the final four miles back into Mountain View ... all gently downhill!

Ride With GPS reports about 1,625 feet of climbing for this ride. Toilets and water are available nearby at Stevenson Park; Safeway and Jack In The Box are a half-mile away at Shoreline Blvd.

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