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Quadrophenia #1: Highlands Highlands Highlands Highlands (1/10/2015)

Date: Saturday, January 10
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
Pace: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 3 - rolling hills, some steep climbs
Miles: 30

Welcome to the second season of AIDS/LifeCycle Quadrophenia, the hill-climbing extravaganza that will enable you to absolutely DEVOUR Quadbuster this June ... and enjoy it! Compared to last year, this year's rides have MORE total climbing but FEWER extremely steep climbs. We ride only every other weekend and we're low-pressure, so you don't need to quit any other fundraising team that you're on. We just want to make your legs scream now so that they'll smile on the event. Wait, legs don't smile, do they? Um, well, you get the idea.

For our first ride of the new year, we've got a new route that hits a couple of the more well-known moderate climbs around Los Altos Hills, but there's an all-new challenge waiting in the second half of the day.

We start with an easy spin through Palo Alto on our way to La Cresta Drive, a stairstep climb (0.8 mile, 6% average grade) that has alternating steep parts and flat parts. Then we'll climb the southbound direction of Elena Road (0.5 mile, 7%) on our way to Foothill College and then up Stonebrook Drive (0.3 mile, 6%) to the scenic Neary Quarry. We then get some relief with an easy spin to Foothill Expressway and into Cupertino for our rest stop.

Now the real fun begins. Highlands Circle in Los Altos is a brief but imposing 0.2 mile at 11% average. After you get to the top, though, you'll see several side streets to your right as you get ready for your descent. Why climb to the top of Highlands just once when you can get there four different ways? So we'll descend and then loop back around and climb Andover Way (0.1 mile, 10%), descend and then loop back around and climb Regent Drive (0.1 mile, 9%), descend and then loop back around and climb Yorkshire Drive (0.3 mile, 4%), and descend one last time. Whew!

(The alert reader will quickly recognize that any or all of the extra descents can be easily skipped ... or repeated, if that's what floats your boat.)

So now we're done and ready to head home, yes? Of course not ... this is Quadrophenia! We finish our day with the climb of West Loyola Drive (0.6 mile, 8%). Finally, this earns us a downhill ride all the way back into Mountain View and home to Stevenson Elementary. Welcome to the new year!

Ride With GPS reports about 1,950 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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