My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ride The West - Day 17 - Carmel Valley, CA to King City, CA

Today was a short mileage day by our standards ... only 56.5 miles.  We climbed over 3,200 feet and almost all of that was in the first 20 miles.  As we have grown accustomed to, it was chilly (in the 40's) and foggy at the start.  The fog would burn off as would our layers by the first SAG near the top of the climb.  My breathing is off due to the cold/cough I am struggling with, so I took a more subdued pace up the climb.  The grades were reasonable, but had a few 10-14% sections that really pushed me to the limit.  We followed a river bed and had the road mostly to ourselves.  I rode the majority of the climb alone, although a lot of folks were nearby.

Up And Over The Hills We Go
The Long and Winding Road Points Upward
The SAG was a few miles from the summit of 2,500 feet.  The descent was almost 10 miles long and fairly technical.  That means the road was narrow with lots of twists and turns. My brakes got a good workout.  There were several cattle guards along the way.  You can ride over these but it rattles you quite a bit. Perhaps pig could do a better job than me?  The views of the Santa Lucia Range and valley below were stunning.  I picked up Leo on the descent and toward the bottom we found the Oregon boys, Don and Jim.

Great Views As I Started The Descent
Heading Down Into The Valley
Pig Might Navigate The Cattle Guards Better Than Me
Part Way Down ... "California Or Bust" (I Think It Was Both)
The valley roads were not without some climbs of their own, but nothing big. The mountains remained all around us, with vineyards and agriculture everywhere.  The road finally flattened out as we approached the small town of Greenfield.  The four of us stopped for a nice leisurely lunch.  Tracey came in a little later and joined us. I should have ordered the loaded potato ... it looked awesome.

Don Passes A Neat Vineyard With A "Lighthouse"
Vineyards With Mountain Backdrops ... Cool
Cliffs Too
Leacving Greenfield, Leo and I had some fun fighting for position on the road.  Mike Munk was strategically positioned for another photo.  I called out "Mike, he's bothering me ..."  We all got a great laugh.  A few last hills greeted us as we left town.  My energy level was increasing and I powered through them. 

LOL ... Mike, Leo's Bothering Me (Courtesy of Mike Munk)

The Last Climb ... Leo and Jim Out Front of Me and Don (Courtesy of Mike Munk)
The last 10 miles were filled with agriculture and field after field of crops.  My 2010 North roomie Dave was great at identifying them.  We saw lettuce, broccoli, garlic, and onions.  The onions were really fragrant. The road totally flattened out and seemed like the Maryland Eastern Shore (minus the mountains on all sides!).  I put the hammer down and was pumping it out at 22-25 mph.  Not to be outdone, Leo put in a chase on his trusty Bike Friday and caught me just before we turned for the town of King City.

Crops A Plenty
Watering Time
Before stopping at the hotel, I went in search of chocolate milk and postcards.  No postcards.  Chocolate milk was finally found on my fourth try at a 7-11.  We had dinner a local diner.  My chicken parmesan was big enough for two.  More climbing tomorrow as we head for Pasa Robles.  Here is today's map and data - http://connect.garmin.com/activity/224396925.

Too Much Food ... Even After Burning 4,000 Calories
Good Night Moon ... Goon Night 20 Mile Climb ... Good Night Cough ... Good Night Leo

1 comment:

  1. Hope you are feeling better, Mark!

    ReplyDelete