Ride Recap: Four Bears & A Happy Pig

In two words: [x] building, where x = {character, muscles, VO2, confidence, ego, delusion}

It was really the wrong time of year to lead a ride like this; it was short and sweet but long on the climbing. RideWithGPS said over 4k of vertical but when the day was done it was “only” about 3,700 in under 35 miles. How did we do that? By climbing the Three Bears, Pig Farm, Reliez, Deer Hill, Happy Valley, and then Papa Bear. It wasn’t the total vertical that made the ride challenging; it was the steepness of the grades. They are all short but they are all double digit (well, not Baby and Mama Bear perhaps). The worst was Deer Hill, where Garmin said it was 15% (and I believe it!) But all the others were well north of 10% too.

Roger surprised me by saying he was game to do the ride after we had ridden a 40-miler the day before. The only other person mad enough to do this ride was Dylan, a former Spoker, who was awesomely enthusiastic about doing such a tough ride. We kept it at a B-pace and ended the day with an average of 11.5 mph, which is right on the spot. We survived those climbs by doing them all at a reasonable pace and not gunning it. We also rested at the top of each and every climb, taking plenty of time to imbibe and chat. Dylan hadn’t done most of these climbs before so I inflicted the full history lecture on him. Maybe that increases the TSS?

We lucked out with a cold but very sunny day with calm air, perfect for all those hills. We got back to Orinda and Dylan had to run. But Roger and I got lunch at one of our local and favorite eateries, Geppetto’s, which has delicious sandwiches and soup.

My legs were very tired afterwards!