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Quadrophenia #7: Midpeninsula Monsters (retry 4/5/2014)

Date: Saturday, April 5
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 - three very steep climbs
Miles: 51


Today, we travel into new territory to conquer three of the most challenging climbs on the Peninsula. And because we love you, there's also a little bit of climbing on the way there ... and again on the way back. Because the first 11 miles and the last 11 miles of this ride are almost flat, there's a lot of climbing packed into those middle 29 miles!

After an early rest stop, we'll move right into our warm-up climb. We'll do the steeper direction of High Road, a quiet residential street that branches off Highway 84 on the way to Woodside. It's a little tough getting to the top (0.7 mile, 8.0%), but the reward is a long, moderate descent back down to Alameda de las Pulgas.

Now we're ready for some fun. We'll start up Edgewood Road in Redwood City, but before we reach the main Edgewood climb, we'll instead take a right turn and climb the appropriately named Crestivew Drive (0.5 mile, 11.2%). Then, after a jaw-dropping descent on Brittan Avenue (0.4 mile, about 15%), we'll turn around almost immediately and climb Melendy Drive, a 1.2-mile hill rated at a very deceiving 9.6% grade because it contains several much steeper stairsteps along the way. At an altitude of about 900 feet, we'll ride along the crest of the foothills and eventually reach the screaming descent of Ralston Avenue in Belmont and our well-deserved second rest stop.

Don't eat too much, though, because one more monster remains. Club Drive is 1.3 miles at 8.7% average, but the middle part approaches 19% in places. This takes us right back to the top of Crestview Drive, which we'll descend this time on our way back to Edgewood Road.

Remember that Edgewood climb we skipped at the beginning of the ride? No such luck this time; we're going all the way to the top at I-280 and then down to CaƱada Road for a gentle ride into Woodside, where a quick rest stop is available if needed. But don't dilly-dally, because there's one more piece of fun: On the way down Highway 84, we'll take a right turn on Southgate Drive, one of those secluded areas you've gone by a thousand times but never quite felt the need to enter, especially considering the short but steep climb that greets you immediately upon entering. We'll enjoy the quiet beauty of the area for a couple of miles and make our way to Stockbridge Avenue, where we descend to Alameda de las Pulgas for a quiet return to Mountain View. The monsters have been tamed!

Ride With GPS reports about 4,770 feet of climbing; most GPS devices will report a little bit less.

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.

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