Ride Recap: HCC Saturday Ride 03/28/2015 – McEwen – Pig Farm – Bears – Grizzly Peak Loop via Fish Ranch Rd

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What’s up HCC!

Another beautiful day of riding in Northern California.  With clear skies to start, the morning was a bit chilly.  We had 11 riders roll out of Starbucks in Hercules at 8:08 am.  We had one new rider joining us, Luke, welcome to HCC!  Luke has been following us on Strava and just started to get into road riding at the beginning of the year.  This route is not for beginners, but Luke, young 22 years old who has been commuting with his hybrid for years, had no problem going up those hills and keeping up with the groups pace.  Well done!

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We had a well seasoned set of riders that started off strong going up the Hercules Hill and continued this pace throughout the ride.  It was great to see Roger the “Hammer”  back on the saddle!  He is back to his old self hammering down on the descents as we worked out way towards McEwen.  The group which usually takes a minute break at the bottom of McEwen opt out on that option and went right into the climb.

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After we’ve regrouped at Franklin Canyon, the fast pace continued on! We had a pace line going with Mario and I switching in the front.  It’s always a fun time going down this road.

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As we go down Alhambra, the group carried a moderate pace as we took this time to catch up on conversation.  Before we knew it, here comes “the pig”  James led the climb to start going at a good pace despite the bruised rib he sustained from a crash earlier in the week.  Kudos to you sir!

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We regrouped at bear creek and see if we can meet Paulo who texted me that he’ll meet us at Pig Farm.  Luke cut the ride short and headed back to Hercules, while the group continued on the three bears unable to get a hold of Paulo.

The bears is always a nice climb, but at this point, having not been climbing for 3 months, I was feeling the bonk coming.  Still tried to keep up with James and Mario in the front.  At the last 50 meters of Mama Bear, James was leading the climb with me right behind. Then Mario passed by and says “Let’s push it guys”, James despite the bruise rib (hurts when your lungs expand specially when pushing hard)  pushed harder to take the KOM!  Nicely done.  Great to see a little friendly competition on these climbs!

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As we regrouped at SPDR and Beark Creek, We saw Gil Ramos from the PJB.  Great to see you Gil!  We also had Francisco and Paulo who found us joining in the group at the same time.  At this point tho., Mario, Ken, and I need to head back to Hercules.

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Chris B continued to lead the ride thru Fish Ranch and Grizzly with a short freeway shoulder action segment!  According to Chris, “The freeway is hard because it’s a 6% grade, it very deceiving false flat.  Then the climb up Fish Ranch rd is hard at an average of 8% with some 13% grade near the top”  The guys took a break at the Steam Trains before heading back to Hercules.

Happy to report that everyone got back safely, Mario, Ken and I finishing our ride at about 11:15am and the rest of the group around 1:00 pm.  Thanks again to everyone who came out to ride!

Next week, we have our B2B ride via Lake Herman, come and join us and enjoy the nice spring weather!  Hope to see y’all then!

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