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played hookey-5 hr 1 mile ride w/ (lots of) photos...(20 posts)

played hookey-5 hr 1 mile ride w/ (lots of) photos...DougSloan
Dec 27, 2002 9:06 PM
Ok, the 1 mile was vertical. Actually 85 miles as the road goes. Yes, sort of slow, but I'm out of shape and I stopped to take pictures. Just thought some of you might want to see what it looks like here between Fresno and the mountains. So, here goes...

This is looking over some new construction (lots of it here) up to the mountains. The peaks you see are between 10-14,000 ft.

Here's a shot over some dormant grape vines. Lots of these around, of course. As you head up the foothills, the ag changes from largely grapes, tree fruit, and cotton to cattle ranges.

This is on the narrow Millerton Road, sort of a back way lots of cyclists take up to the mountains. Just rolling terrain at this point; few cars.

This is Humphrey Station, a good first place to get water, about 25 miles into the ride. There are lots of fire stations in the country, and it seems a lot of taverns pop up right next to them and take on the fire station's name. This one is a favorite hangout for the Harley crowd on the weekends, too.

Here's the steel Bianchi on it's first long ride after being built up. It rode great. Only problem was chain skipping from an older Ti cassette and a new chain. That was interesting getting up the hills. It didn't skip in the big ring -- needless to say, not much knee healing going on today. The fit was great. I felt more comfortable on a bike than I've been in years, except I found that SLR saddles are not for those who have not been riding much.

cut me off -- more...DougSloan
Dec 27, 2002 9:07 PM

The rocky peak you see just to the left of the utility pole is about 1500 feet above from where this was taken. I'll go about a thousand feet above that in the next hour. Its along Tollhouse Road, which is pretty famous around here. It goes from 2300 feet to 4800 feet in 6 miles, and finishes you off at the top with 18% grades for 1/2 mile.

Town of Tollhouse. Clock starts here. They server Tollhouse cookies here at the Climb to Kaiser, which ascends this hill.

Lots of high voltage lines around coming down from the hydroelectic plants. In the next few pictures, you can see them up and down the mountain. It's interesting to look back down on them, for they give you some sense of proportion.

In the next few photos, you can see the switchbacks up and down the hill if you look carefully. It's depressing, though, when you see riders well up ahead when you are on group rides or races here. Up ahead is where I saw a mountain lion once.

The power line tower you see in the center of the photo near the switch back is the one I took close-ups of above. This is only about 1 mile up the road, so you can get a sense of how fast it climbs.

Typical mountain switchback corner around these parts. These are a blast coming down.

Again, the same power line tower near center. Getting higher and higher... This also shows a switchback just below.

Switchbacks get a little steeper through here, as you can see.

Remember the peak I pointed out above that was next to the utility pole? Here is is closer. The road circles the mountain and goes above this peak on the other side.

cut me off -- more...DougSloan
Dec 27, 2002 9:08 PM
The snow appeared this time around 3500 feet elevation (I started at 300 feet). You start seeing more and more big pine and redwood trees as you ascend from here.

The range containing Mt. Whitney is off in the distance. I don't think you can actually see Whitney from here, though. These are 14,000+ foot mountains. No roads go across.

The ranger stations come in handy for water sometimes. This one is around 4200 feet.

I've crossed highway 168 and I'm headed down the mountains on Alder Springs road, now looking north. Same damn power lines. It's much, much colder on the way down, especially on the north side of the mountain. It's even cold here in summer. The route peaks here around a mile high elevation.

Little treacherous on the way down. Can easily hit over 40 mph, but not today. Too much sand and water on the road. They don't use salt here, just sand on the snow.

Gratuitous self portrait. Wearing a new River City Cycles wool jersey from Portland, Or. Really cool (warm) jersey.

That's it for the photos. I realized I would have to push to get home before dark, as I had no lights. Wasted a lot of time taking pictures and screwing with the rear derailleur. My longest ride in over a month. I'm tired.

Dec 28, 2002 10:15 AM
Here in Calgary you coulda ridden on the road up till yesterday when we got a couple cm of snow. Argh!

Wonderful ride and pictures. I'd become an addict of the route if I lived there! -nmTig
Dec 28, 2002 1:55 PM
Color me green with envy ... and a touch of frost bitej-son
Dec 28, 2002 6:59 PM
Great pictures, and it sounds like you had a fantastic ride. Not bad for the weekend between Xmas and New Years. I'm sure you remember Christmas in the midwest. So I've not much to say about my recent rides.

The area you live in is beautiful. My sister lives in Clovis, and loves it. Close enough to everyting (San Francisco, Yosemite etc.) but far enough away that traffic isn't hellacious and one can actually afford a house.

Glad to see you're riding again ... but slumming on a ferrous frame?! Trade the C40 for pampers ; )

Hope the young one had a happy first Chrsitmas.

re: played hookey-5 hr 1 mile ride w/ (lots of) photos...The Human G-Nome
Dec 27, 2002 10:33 PM
hey, great ride report Doug! did someone get a new digital camera for christmas?
you would think soDougSloan
Dec 28, 2002 2:16 AM
Naw, had it for over a year. The timing is very suspicious though, huh? :-)

Looks great, why didn't you invite the rest of us!?? (nm)dave_w
Dec 28, 2002 2:20 PM
Sure is beautiful up there. What was the temp at the top?koala
Dec 28, 2002 3:59 AM
not sureDougSloan
Dec 28, 2002 7:33 AM
It was 61 degrees in the valley; normally, the temp drops about 4 degrees every 1000 feet, so maybe around 40? I think it was colder on the north side, though, in the shade and with all the snow keeping things cool.

thanks for the great picsgtx
Dec 28, 2002 10:44 AM
Man, you're making me homesick for California. Doesn't look like there is much traffic on those roads (and I bet you have some great mtb trails up there). And I'm glad to see you've finally seen and the light and have started riding one of those boat anchor steel bikes. ;)
Great pics - I really like seeing the different...PdxMark
Dec 28, 2002 11:06 AM
ecological zones (trees) as you gain elevation. I really enjoy rides through oak-scattered foothills, too. Glad you were able to get out for a ride after too long a break.
Great pics - I really like seeing the different...DougSloan
Dec 29, 2002 10:34 AM
That does make it interesting riding up in the hills here -- from desert, foothills, pines, then sequoias, with temperature changes accordingly. When snow doesn't prevent it, you can go from 300 feet to 9300 and back in a day. It's especially refreshing to get up into the cool, dry, pine scented mountain air in the summer when it's 100 degrees in the valley.

Let me get this straight..........Len J
Dec 29, 2002 12:43 PM
It's December....
You do an 85 mile ride.....
with a mile of cloimbing......
and average 17 MPH.....
and, oh yea, you've put on 18 extra pounds.....
Yea, you really suck, I'd give up riding if I were you. LOL. ;-)

You are an an animal. If I put on 18 pounds & didn't ride much for three months, I'd be lucky to do 30 miles of flats.

BTW, Great pictures, that really looks like a wonderful place to ride.

didn't even think about itDougSloan
Dec 29, 2002 4:01 PM
I haven't even put a computer on the bike, yet, so I didn't even think about average speed. Hmm. Wonder if we might go faster without them?

I'll let you in on a secret. I've been hitting the Computrainer for killer 10-25 mile workouts. My favorite, at least for conditioning, is to set the pacer guy at about 30% higher watts than I can average alone, then try to stay in the draft the whole time, until I come around with 1/2 mile to go (all on flat ground). This forces you to go pretty hard, and severely punishes easing up at all. The computer realistically sets the resistance according to how far you are drafting behind the pacer; if you fall off much more than 15 feet, it's pretty hard to catch back up. This makes the time pass really quickly, too. I guess that helps to keep the VO2 up a little. Just finished a 10 miler doing just that.

Also, there's something motivating about getting outside for the first time in a while, you know.

Sounds like...........Len J
Dec 29, 2002 4:13 PM
you have figured out a way to stay in "reasonable" shape, without the time committment. Not only VO2 but muscle also. Now if you can work on one or two endurance rides a week you'll be fine come the doubles. Good job,life is about choice, isn't it.

Imagine how fast you would have gone without the extra "ballast". LOL winter is a killer on weight, especially as we age.

Computrainer sounds like a good investment.

Getting outside is the best. I rode every weekend last winter for the first time in decades and (once I got thru the ordeal of getting ready) loved every minute of it. I've found out that, with the advances in clothing, I can ride in anything down to about 20 degrees wind chill, with relative comfort. It really is freeing to be outside, riding, after a week couped up in an office.

Family life is great isn't it. At your son's age, every day is a new experience.

Good post.

great seriesmoschika
Dec 29, 2002 4:48 PM
i don't miss fresno but these shots do bring back some memories. man i wish i was as out of shape as you claim. i never did much road riding on those roads but we used to drive them for the mtbing up around shaver and huntington and random pullouts along the way.

the weather looked great. it remember it only happening a few times a year that you could see the mountains from fresno.
beeee-yootiful, Do(u)g! keep 'em coming. nmJS Haiku Shop
Dec 30, 2002 6:32 AM
Thanks for the great picshrv
Dec 30, 2002 9:05 AM
They had me chomping at the bit for next season when I can start riding in the Mt. Hood area again, which I do weekly in the summer, including my after work long ride. Can't wait!