Mount Hamilton with Richard

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Well the JOGLE ride is fading into memory but there was one ride still do ...

When planning the JOGLE ride, me and Richard had this idea that after it, we would go over to France and do a couple of the worst climbs of the Tour de France... and the one we wanted to do was Alpe d'Huez.. 21 hairpins (switchbacks) and 2,000 ft of climbing in about 10 miles - after all - we were going to be fitter then we had ever been so now would have been the time to do it... however as you will know from previous posts, Richard got ill and did not finish JOGLE, and stayed in the UK for a while before going back to California.

I visited him in Oct. and he said he had done a couple of rides - and so I started thinking.

Well if I was not going to go to France what could I do - well - I bought a DVD of the cycling up Alpe d'Huez - a virtual ride - so on my trainer I can watch the video and ride up the mountain:

The sad thing is that however hard I push myself on my training bike - I still only do it in 47 mins.

Anyway - after chatting to Richard we hatched a plan - a ride up Mount Hamilton just near him in California. A ride up of 20 miles, climbing all the way, 4,000ft approx. and 365 hairpins, and an average climb of 6.5% - somewhat close to what we needed.

So Nov 13th was planned, the question was would Richard be up for it and and like most of my other training rides would the weather be poor. Friday 13th...

It turned out the weather was going to be good over 70F and sunny and yep, Richard was in good form and had been out for some training rides - so we were all set.

It was going to be about 3hrs up hill ride and then 1hr downhill - then me back on a plane to UK.

We did take a wrong turn at one point - but it was basically follow the road up.

I found it harder than I expected - and Richard was easily in better form than me as with a few miles to go I just could not keep up with him - so he is well recovered and has great fitness.

At the top of Mount Hamilton is the Lick Observatory (the world's first permanently occupied mountain-top observatory) - have a look at its wikipedia entry for its interesting story.

And the views were just fantastic.

And we looked like we felt - we had had a good ride up.

And you can see from the elevation:

...we just climbed and climbed on the way up (yes 3hrs uphill...), and then a 1hr descent.

And that really is my last real ride of 2015.

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