Crazy Training 08 Part 2

Which I quite enjoyed



Im always looking for ways to squeeze in workouts around family and work. I also try to squeeze in some adventure.


Sometimes workouts and adventure squeeze their way into me which is how this story starts.




Camping in Big Basin

Wed planned a camping trip with friends at the Big Basin campground in the Santa Cruz mountains for months.


Last minute, we realized that Isaac, the 13 year old, would be the only teenager, so my wife decided to let him bring a friend. Which was fine and all but left us a seat short in the car with all the carseats.


What to do? A couple calls to friends with less kids came up dry. So I did what any responsible parent who engages in crazy training practices would do. I offered to ride my bike.


To make it sound not crazy, I said Id cheat and take Amtrak to downtown San Jose and then ride from there. How far? Not far at all, only 30 miles. I left out the part about the mountains. And I found a car by-pass in the 10 mile long Los Gatos Creek Trail.


Start of the Los Gatos Creek trail which is off to the right.


The trail was nice, just a lot of foot traffic which kept the speeds down.


Los Gatos Brew Company


Met the family for lunch at Los Gatos Brew Company. I was there first. The bartender recommended the Cider, and I thought it would be a good drink for calories before what was to be a hard ride.



The satellite photos didnt warn me, but the trail west of Los Gatos is non-paved and is considered a mountain bike trail.



Hills like this were impossible with road bike tires. Had to walk up them.


The funniest part of the trip came at the end of this trail. As it ended at HWY17. The satellite made it look like there was the possibility of a left turn onto the highway, but I was looking at a solid wall. A friend later told me they closed those off to discourage people from running across the highway.


I rode a little way down the highway to see what was up ahead as I thought there was a bridge over the highway, but I didnt know how far. Finally I found a spot where I could see mile down the highway in both directions and thought, well if I have to run across the highway, this is the place to do it. So I waited for a break, road across, jumped off leaned the bike on the wall and then sat on the wall. Since the cars were flying by at 55+mph I had to wait for a break to flip the bike and myself over the wall and then wait for another break to bolt across.


*$*^%$* is said, I dont want to do that again in two days to return. Man, I need to find another way.


I road about 500 yards around the next corner and found the bridge that did exist that could have taken me over the highway.


And then there I was riding up Bear Creek Rd.


An attempt to capture the steepness of Bear Creek Rd.


Bear Creek Rd was a bear, especially in the heat. By my guess it was 12-17% grade with no breaks for about five miles. Did I mention it was hot?


A view from the Summit looking to the Northwest.


A view from the Summit looking to the Southwest.



And then to my shock I road by my namesake winery.


I knew I had to go in. I pulled up parked walked in and announced myself I am David Bruce, I thought it appropriate to have a wine tasting.


The employees werent impressed.


Who was impressed were the locals at Joes bar in Boulder Creek. Not only did one of them buy me a beer (Thanks Dave!) but he also gave me an escort up the busy Big Basin Way, by driving behind me with his hazard lights on until I reached the top of the climb.


From there it was smooth sailing downhill into the campsite.


I was greeted with cheers and a Hop Ottin IPA.