The Bay Area is having a great Indian Summer. Temperatures nearing 70 degrees, negligible wind, and no fog.
A great excuse to ride out to the ocean: Fairfax to Bolinas (check out the route and elevation profile).
The ride is about 35 miles round trip with roughly 4,000 feet of hills to climb. The first eight miles cover the route to Alpine Lake, but by continuing up and over Bolinas ridge down to the ocean you add another 2400′ of climbing (and 20 additional hard miles) to that round trip.
I left the house around 12:15pm, but turned around just after leaving to fetch my cheap, plastic windbreaker. For most of the day I wore just a lightweight merino wool t-shirt and a pair of wool knickers (from Bicycle Fixation) with a heavier long-sleeve wool pullover and the windbreaker in reserve.
Loaded for the day, the Ebisu is no lightweight and my largest rear cog has only 27 teeth. Suffice to say I suffered greatly climbing the 1500′ Bolinas ridge on the way back. The truth is, I’m just not in top cycling shape this season and these kind of climbs are serious work.
In terms of food I brought: 2 PB&Js, a honey crisp apple, a couple slices of Havarti cheese, and two water bottles. In hindsight, this was a bare minimum; I should have brought more.
On the way out to the ocean, I stopped briefly at Ridgecrest Blvd, but otherwise rode straight to the coast in less than two hours. Now quite hungry, I ate one of my sandwiches and the cheese. It was good I didn’t eat more, because I would need every remaining morsel for the return trip.
Climbing back up to Ridgecrest (after relaxing at the beach in downtown Bolinas for 20-30 minutes), I starting losing all my power and I could hear Velocio’s words inside my head (never ride to the point of exhaustion; eat before you are hungry, etc., etc.).
Discouraged, as I was within a mile of the top, I nevertheless got off my bike to avoid bonking. Dizzy and seeing spots (at this pullout), I ate an apple and half of my last PB&J (saving the final half a sandwich for the energy boost I’d need to climb the last hill of the ride before descending home into Fairfax). Within five minutes, I felt good enough to continue.
I was super stoked, however, that I brought that plastic windbreaker, because as I flew down Bolinas Rd. in total shade I was amazed how cold my body had become (despite the day starting off so sunny and warm). With the sun getting low, around 4:30pm, I slipped the plastic windbreaker over both wool layers on the final steep descent (which is 4 miles long and where speeds can exceed 35 mph) and was very, very happy…and when I arrived home: very, very tired.