June 28, 2014

The Golden State

Oaks and rolling golden hills at summit of Willow Springs, Morgan Hill, CA
We gathered today to bid farewell to a club member who is moving back to the Pacific Northwest. There could be no better send-off than a group ride (and, of course, lunch). My ride buddies and I got a head start; the rest of the group caught us at the top of the first significant climb. Lagging behind after that, we managed to arrive in time to catch the lunch party winding down.

More often than not, I have seen deer in the brush as we pass from Sveadal into Uvas Canyon County Park. Today's encounter was exceptional: a multi-point buck and his doe stopped to study us as they crossed the road. Fortunately I have only met them while climbing this stretch.

Chesbro Reservoir, Morgan Hill, CA. Water level at 4.8% of capacity.
The water level in the Chesbro Reservoir is at 4.8% of its capacity. If the people who drench their lawns with drinking water saw this, would they finally let their grass turn brown?

Fresh arrows on the road and a red silhouette of the Statue of Liberty suggested that an organized event was underway. We met three riders following the course of the Morgan Hill Freedom Fest Bike Classic. “The guy at the rest stop said this just kind of rolls,” one complained at the top of Willow Springs. I smiled and reassured them that they had ascended the easier side and could look forward to a nice downhill. (Before climbing Llagas. I didn't mention that.)

Whereas we were (not) looking forward to the stiff headwind we would face on our return to San José. It is ever so. Relentless. Eleven miles. A truck hauling tandem trailers stacked high with bales of hay briefly sucked me toward the lane of traffic as it passed, and I caught an unexpected taste as stray pieces swirled around me.

Some 51 miles with a modest 2,085 feet of climbing through the redwoods and golden hills of summer. I would not want to relocate.

No comments:

Post a Comment