IC3 Mount Hamilton Loop [Specialized Tarmac]

Strava Data

Note on Strava data:

Unfortunately I had a bit of a mishap with the Garmin and the mount broke on a cattle guard on the descent of mount Hamilton. I managed to coble something together to keep it in sort of in place but I hit a bump on Mines road after the last climb and the thing powered off so I  lost 18 miles worth of Data. It was a really hard 18 miles too.

The ride:

When I arrived in Pleasanton at around 6:45 it was still really dark and unusually warm. I was sure I had overdressed for the day and this really turned out to be the case. I was absolutely roasting on the climbs. When I set off to go to Bernal to meet the rest of the team it was still really dark and I had no lights with me. I was worried I was going to get run over or arrested but fortunately it was ok. We had about 30 riders turn up although only 11 did the full loop.

The pace was fast from the start and I was having to push really hard on Calaveras just to keep up. My pulse nearly hit 180 at one point which isn’t the best way to start a long ride but I hung on to the leaders. Hamilton was shrouded in fog at the base and the pace was pretty quick. I found my pulse nailed into the 170’s for much of the way up and with about 5 miles to the summit I got dropped and had to just ride at my own pace. My average pulse for the last 6 miles was 176bpm which is 10 mile TT pace for me and 95% of my max.  That meant payback later in the day.

The descent of Hamilton was horrendous as it was very wet and there was a lot of loose rocks on blind corners. I descended slowly and stopped at the bridge waiting for a regroup after getting a flat. About 5 people decided to ride on slowly to the junction (turned out not to be that slow) but I lost them due to my Garmin issues. I was eventually joined by another rider and then some heavy hitters caught us. The pace to the junction was really quick and I ended up getting up into the red zone again just trying to hang on.

The climb after the junction was pretty quick and I think I was about 3rd or 4th over the top but my legs were feeling a bit smashed. The next section along mines road was a stonking fast paceline and I began to get a few twinges of cramp.  Unfortunately I lost a bit of concentration and let a gap go on the descent and then when I tried to get back on up the last little climb before the long descent my legs started cramping. I eased off for a minute but the group just disappeared into the distance.

Fortunately they waited for me after the bottom and I rode to the finish with the group. I felt ok apart from my legs that were very sore. It was a really good ride and a really hard one. I certainly have a lot of work to do before Snelling.

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