A Bridge (not too) Far

The Dumbarton bridge is something I’ve driven over before.  Like, in a car.  I know people ride their bikes across it but I’d never felt called to do so.  If you ride over the Golden Gate Bridge (from SF) you are riding across a national landmark with beautiful views of the ocean and/or Bay (especially if you’ve ridden through the Presidio to get there), then there is a thrilling downhill, and then you’re in lovely Sausalito.  Riding across the Dumbarton you approach through East Palo Alto, you go over marsh, and then you’re in Fremont.  Not nearly as thrilling.  That all being said, it was Saturday and time for another Ride with Chris.  Unusually for Chris this ride was promised to be a fairly flat 50 miles – and it was.  

The weather reports had been looking pretty good.  But when I got out of the apartment at a bit past 9 to ride over things were decidedly wet.  I checked Facebook to see if the ride had been cancelled knowing that it was unlikely.  I decided to ride over to the starting point anyway – if it was miserable then I didn’t have to go on the ride.  I got to the meeting point with my glasses nicely smeared with rain and feeling quite soggy.  However there was blue sky off to the north which was our direction of travel, so things were looking good.  By the time the stretching and safety speech was over it wasn’t quite raining.
The ride started out going up and over Shoreline.  A bunch of folks missed the turn at Charleston but they caught up soon enough.  We rode past the old SGI headquarters (and it will ALWAYS BE SGI HQ, Googlers) and then turned north.  The rest of the ride to the bridge at this point was kinda boring for me.  I dunno, I just didn’t get excited until we got to the bridge itself.
I don’t know why I was excited to get to the bridge – it was pretty simple.  Up and over.  However the road on the other side of the bridge was this super bumpy pavement.  My hands started to feel odd from the vibrations.  I know the bike has a lot of “vertical compliance” but there’s only so much isolation it can do.  (I’m still waiting for my COBL GOBL-R.)  It was so buzzy I wondered if something was going to fall off the bike.  Fortunately that segment was short, and then we quickly came to the first rest stop.  I tried not to waste too much time – a quick trip to the loo, some Shot Blocks, and I was back on the bike.
The next segment seemed pretty short to lunch – only another 10 miles or so. But it also seemed like we had some false flats – it was a bit of an effort.  Although I had stopped only about 10+ish miles back I was ready for lunch.  Unlike my last longer training ride I didn’t skip eating this time and got some Subway for the first time in a long time.  I’m guessing it won’t be the last of this training season.  I had a nice chocolate Cliff Shot for dessert and got on with the ride.
I was a bit worried that the segment from RS2 to the end was 22-ish miles (I think) – a fair distance to go without stopping. But it actually went pretty easy.  It was flat and the winds weren’t too bad.  We went past a landfill that was nice and stinky, and then through Alviso which was kind of an interesting place.   There was a fair bit of time on a nice bike trail that eventually ended in a park…and the park had restrooms.  Yay!  (I never try to pass up a well placed restroom.)  Eventually we were right by the office and went home the “scary” way – on Moffet Park Drive.  (If I ride to work I usually cut out that part by cutting through Lockheed).  Then it was back to downtown Mtn. View via a route that was not what *I* would do, but still got the job done. But it worked.  50+ miles done, a nice 13.8mph average (according to Garmin), and another training day in the books.

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