Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Ah, Pescadero. One of the classic climbing races in Northern California. I've ridden the Pescadero loop many, many times -- forward, backwards, as part of epic rides -- but somehow I've never put the race on my race calendar. I'm not sure why, since I've raced all the other climbers' races: Wente, Berkeley Hills, Sea Otter......even though I'm not a 100-pound climber-girl.

This loop was my first "big" ride way back in 1999 -- on my 35-pound 1990 Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike. I even have photos somewhere (hard copies) to commemorate the event. I was training for the California AIDS Ride. I think I'd been riding all of two months at that point. I participated in this particular training ride with my then-boyfriend. Actually, I had broken up with him a few days prior, so he was then my ex-boyfriend. It was an emotional ride for me. I recall at one point, climbing Haskins Hill, crying and feeling so desperate, that I threw my bike in a ditch on the side of the road, sat down, and bawled my eyes out.

Today I rode the Pescadero loop with one of my coaching clients and her boy. She's considering the race, so we took this opportunity to recon. the course together. Pescadero is a challenging race. The three main climbs are tough at race pace. The grind up 84 will wear you down in the wind unless you can sit on a wheel. And if you can climb with the leaders, you need to be a skilled descender to stick with the pack after the climbs.

But the views, especially on a clear day, are breath-taking.


ps -- I really miss the flamingo house.


Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

at least there are good views :-). I've been brutalizing myself with the climbing races this year...and I am NO 100 pound climber either! If only there was a race where you could just descend and not would rock!

CyclistRick said...

Yes, so sad when the Currie's sold and the new owners got rid of the flamingos :-(

That is a beautiful loop, and I will soon get over to ride it a few times in May. I have registered for the race (35+ group) so I will get brutalized on those climbs over and over in mid-June and need to get the legs ready as well as refamiliarize with the course.

chatterbox said...

yes, well, after doing the race, I'm convinced the only way for me to do the route is for fun! All I remember of the great views on race day is burning legs, pounding chest, wind ringing in my ears, deep, deep hunger and suffering and crying when the suffering finally came to an end. Oh, and then there was that 12 mile ride back to the car that I thought would never end....

Now, I went back some time in the fall and do remember those wonderful views and chatting with my friends as we easily pedaled over the climbs.

velogirl said...

Doc Kim, I'm with you. Descending races would kick a$$.

Rick, I think there are still 4 or 5 flamingos. It's just not the same.

Chatty, I think the reason I've never raced this one is I love the loop and we have lots of history. I don't want to kill that with a bike race.

marscat said...

i hear there's good artichoke bread
at Norm's Market...

good reason to do it.