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Quadrophenia #8: Old La Honda Plus (4/18/2015)

Date: Saturday, April 18
Meet time: 8:30 a.m.
Ride-out time: 9:00 a.m.
Meeting place: Stevenson Elementary School, 750 San Pierre Way (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Rain cancels
Pace: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 4 - some steep hills; one long climb
Miles: 65

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 103,000 climbs up OLH! 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. Worried about doing Day on the Ride the day after this? You can do a version of this ride with a little less "plus," but still 53 miles and 3,800 feet of moderate climbing.

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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