8:35am and riders are getting ready to go. A number of people leave considerably earlier than this, and we'll see them coming down as we head up. There are actually some folk silly enough to ride up early enough to see the sun come up!
No photos for the first part of the climb this year; too foggy and too out-of-gas trying to keep up with the fast guys! There is a notable lack of photos taken when I'm pushed to the limit. This photo is at the top of the second climb, with Mount Hamilton visible in the background.
You would think this yet another beautiful sunny day. And it was, at least once we got past the fog, which ended at 2000ft.
It must be a guy thing. Bill, the guy out in front, kept his distance from me the entire second half of the climb. You'd think that, over 7 miles, I could close the gap... and a couple times it seemed like I was making ground. But in the end he stayed out in front.
Well, OK, Bill looks to have increased the gap on me quite a bit in this picture!
This is a tough picture to get, when taken from a moving bicycle. You want to get the rider on the road above you when he's in-between the tree branches, with Mount Hamilton in the background. Almost got it.
At this point you feel like you really are getting close!
Brrrrr. The only spot where you really felt cold, "running the chute" just before the final turn up to the observatory. This was the only evidence of snow on the way up, but the tremendous amount of sand everywhere let you know that there had been a lot more recently!
One of many Chain Reaction customers seen on the road today! The telescope on the right is worth checking out; it costs nothing (seriously, no slots for quarters!) and you can turn it in any direction, checking out riders far below or the snowpack in the Sierras many miles away.
Todd far right, then Kevin K, Mike R and Mike J
Mike S, another Chain Reaction customer, arriving at the top!
Shadows & Fog as more riders arrive at the top
The free telescop put into use
Mike R getting ready for the ride down. You'll note that everyone here had put on their jackets, getting ready for the expected cold descent. The reality is that it didn't get cold until the last 6 miles or so in the fog.
Heading back down the hill
Over-the-shoulder shots sometimes come out at pretty goofy angles, this one being typical. You can see quite a few people out on the road now, many coming down the hill, a few heading up.
Not too much longer before you enter the fog! Interestingly, the fog was thicker later in the day, on the way down the hill, than it was on the way up.
Did I mention the fog? The last six miles were not fun, as the road was slick and you couldn't see much ahead of you. Today was very typical of a ride up Mount Hamilton, with the uphill part being much more enjoyable than the descent.