So it was the toughest ride I did last year, the Giro di Peninsula, and I was glad to see that this years date did not conflict with San Francisco Pride weekend. We did it last year as a Different Spokes club event, so there was a large group of us (well, two groups, the young and fast, and the rest of us.) What made it so hard? Well, a number of circumstances, I am guessing. A lot of climbing, coupled with several weeks (post-ALC) that I had not done any riding, and a very hot day (in the afternoon.)
Bill, Patrick, Michael were the only ones interested in doing it again, although I found out later that Jeff & Scott did a modified metric century. While it was a small group, that helped, as we moved along at rest stops much quicker. It’s a nice route, this year had a few changes from last year. The ride starts at Bay Meadows race track in San Mateo, and we head up to Crystal Springs Reservoir and then south on Canada Road to Woodside. We did not go to Portola Valley and then back track to climb Old La Honda to head to the coast this year. Instead, we went directly up Highway 84 from Woodside to Skyline Boulevard and down the other side to San Gregorio.
Then on to Stage Road (instead of the actual route, which told us to go to Highway 1, then head north) to Tunitas Creek. None of us kept track of the mileage, but I think Stage Road ends up being a short cut. Tunitas Creek is a 9 mile climb, not particularly steep, but long. Fortunately it’s shaded. Once we got to the top of Tunitas, there was no sign of Michael or Bill (well, we really didn’t expect to see Bill.) So we descended Kings Mountain Road back down to Woodside. We headed back to Portola Valley to do the other loop of the day, around Altamont Road down to Foothill Expressway and then back to Portola Valley. While it did get warm, it was no where near as hot as it was last year. On the second pass thru the Portola Valley rest stop, the food was not quite as appealing, in the hot sun.
It was nice to finish the ride at 3:30, instead nearly 5pm last year. They were pretty much out of food the year before. They had pasta with red sauce, pesto pasta, two kinds of ravioli, Italian sausage, salad, and ice cream. This may be what we missed out on last year. It’s a very scenic and enjoyable, albeit tough, ride covering a lot of Peninsula territory, and I’ll definitely do it again.