Mike Holt // Grand Epic
Doing one of these rides has been on my bucket list the couple of years but hasn't worked out. When the opportunity came up this year, I was all in.
I rode with Michael Best, Dustin Rauser, and Adam Garelli. I choose to ride a gravel bike with 700x35 tires. It was a good call and handled the dirt sections well. We left the Target parking lot around 7:30am.
Its a long ride and for me I was looking forward to the roads I hadn't been on. Once we got north of hwy 92 everything was new until we got back on hwy 1 south of half moon bay. I liked these parts. The planet of the apes climb was a good one, not too hard and not too easy. The coast trail through half moon bay reminded me of the bay trail. I didn't know this trail was here and its nice alternative to riding HWY 1.
I think we screwed up by not stopping in Half Moon Bay to refuel. The bike hut saved our butts. They are limited in their selection but the malt balls and pretzels hit the spot.
Next up was Tunitas but it wasn't the hardest part of the day, El Corte de Madera was. By this point in the ride your legs are heavy, the body is sore, and cramps are coming on. The last thing you want to do is climb over or under a tree, or 50 of them. Wasn't expecting that.
We were on the edge of sunset when we finished Corte Madera and had to make the tough decision to cut out the last part of the route. We finished the ride going down Old La Honda and then working our way to Foothill Expressway and back to the cars. With only 1 bike light it was a good move because it was completely dark once we got to the bottom of Old La Honda. For the day we still managed 130 miles and over 13,000feet of climbing.