In a year when it felt like I spent too little time at home due to conferences and trips to Australia, it’s a small miracle to have mustered up the energy to complete at least one 100-km ride per month. Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but sometimes it takes considerable willpower just to show up at the start line. Once I’m there, I’m fine…but getting going can be a challenge.
If I remember correctly, the first ride in this series took place on an icy February day last year. Chris, Katie and I rode Joe’s hilly 100km ride and due to being out of shape, plus the cold, Katie and I almost missed the cut off for the second controle. It got a bit easier after that, but we struggled through that ride. Fortunately, the last ride in the series, completed yesterday, wasn’t nearly as difficult. I took advantage of being in CA over the holidays to sign up for a coastal ride starting in Half Moon Bay. 100 kilometers up and down the Pacific coastline…not a bad way to complete this series.
The San Mateo Coast Permanent has the shortest cue sheet I’ve ever seen; the entire thing fits on less than one page. You go north for 6 miles, turn around, go 31 miles south, and finally turn back around and return 25 miles to the starting point. The down side, hardly a serious one, is that you see everything twice. But honestly, I can’t complain about spending a few hours all along the coast. I’ve missed the Pacific Ocean since moving to Pennsylvania, so I really enjoyed this opportunity to practice a sport I love in a place I love.
The cue sheet states that there is 3100 feet of climbing. Hmmm… I’m not sure that there really is that much. There is one pretty decent climb between Half Moon Bay and Pescadero, and a few good rollers around this hill, but that’s really it. Lots of time along the coast, close enough to hear the waves crashing, look at the drift wood washed up on the beaches, and watch the birds cruising above the surf.
The bean and cheese burrito at the Costanoa Store hit the spot and fueled me for the return trip to Half Moon Bay. I hit a head wind on the way back which almost made me glad to reach the two-mile climb that was somewhat more sheltered. There was also some early fog rolling in on parts of the route heading back north. Even with the head wind and fog, however, I finished in about 5 1/2 hours. Pretty good for me.
I was grateful for the unseasonably warm weather, and happy to have the opportunity to finish my P-12 in such a pleasant fashion.