Last weekend we celebrated Loes’ birthday with a bike ride to a nearby park south of Cupertino, California. Our original goal was to go a bit farther than the park we went to last time. However at the junction where we should have turned left I was convinced we had to turn right. Instead of a relaxed twenty minutes ride we spent the next hour clambering 600 meters (2000 feet) elevation with 9% average grade and some stretches exceeding 18% inclination.
On our way up we overtook a friendly middle-aged korean couple three times. The first time we passed them I told myself how great it was of them to be taking on this difficult climb. The second time, after they had overtaken us minutes earlier while we were choking and out of breath, I got thinking about the hare and the tortoise and the wisdom of people who pedal slowly on a climb like this. The third time I was too ashamed to think anything else and I just smiled and wished them a nice climb.
After five and a half miles we reached the top where a gang of uncool clouds were enjoying a majestic view of Sillicon Valley’s bay.
The weather had became more and more inclement as we went up and we decided to not risk turning our descend into a Russian roulette of turns over a wet road. On the way down I burned more out of my brakes than I had done in the year and a half that I have had this bike.
The next day, while riding it to work, my bike told me that it was sorry but it didn’t have higher gears. Apparently my quadriceps had leveled up after the previous day’s ordeal and the comparatively flat trail to work had became easy peasy. Sadly the effect wore off by Wednesday.