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Altamont Pass Double Metric preview (updated Thursday night)

The weather is looking great for this Saturday's second annual running of the Altamont Pass Double Metric Century.

If you've never done this ride before, you're in for a treat as we venture into parts of the East Bay that we almost never reach by bicycle from Mountain View. If you're a returning rider, I've made some minor changes this year that should make the ride even more fun:

-- The climb up Norris Canyon has been removed! Instead, we'll head back to Hayward via the Dublin Grade, which is certainly no slouch of a climb but isn't nearly as dastardly as Norris Canyon.
-- This change also brings the total distance of the ride almost exactly to 125 miles, not the 130 miles that we ended up riding last year. Those extra miles can make a difference!
-- Our ride-out time is half an hour earlier so that we can take maximum advantage of daylight.
-- Just to be a little nasty, I've added the short climb to Ohlone College right around mile 100 of the ride. The flipside is that doing so keeps us on nicer roads and avoids the construction mess on Driscoll Road that is still there a year later.

Temperatures in the East Bay are looking somewhat warm but not as stupidly hot as they were last year. The current forecasts suggest that Livermore will be somewhere around 93 degrees when we pass through at midday. This means that proper hydration and electrolyte replacement will be absolutely essential.

And again this year, if you want to ride but don't feel like doing the full 200km, there's an 84-mile option that skips the Livermore and Altamont Pass portions.

Please plan to arrive at the meeting point in Mountain View no later than 5:15 a.m. I want us to ride out on time at precisely 6 a.m. so that those who need maximum daylight will have it. And the police station next door is not open that early, so we won't have any restrooms available -- take care of your needs at a gas station or 24-hour restaurant before you arrive.

This is a fascinating ride that gives you fantastic preparation for the longest day of ALC, and it's also a gentle introduction to the world of randonneuring -- long-distance, non-competitive, endurance cycling. (I am member #5074 of Randonneurs USA.) Join us!

Details (including a route map) and RSVP are here.

Photo: Descending Altamont Pass during the 2008 ride

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