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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hill Ride Aborted

My new thing is Road Cycling. I'm trying to avoid the inevitable 30's Programmer Gut (tm) in some sort of semi organized way... so yesterday I set out as soon as the rain stopped and thought I'd let my whims guide me. I started out in lovely (not) Fruitvale, and quickly decided I that I should leave the post-industrial wasteland. Riding in a glorified giant warehouse loading dock/municipal dump clogged with SUV's and work trucks is really not as glamorous as it sounds (oh I hope that crunchy thing i just rode over was broken glass and not a hypodermic needle...) I looked up to the hills and thought, with a stroke of genius, "I'll see if I can find a nice path up to the Mormon Temple. I've always wanted to see the view down from up there". Note to self: next time you venture into those hills, check the graded cycling map before you set out.

There is actually one spot on a stupid steep hill, right here:



...where i sat in a guys driveway trying not to puke, until he pulled up and gave me a knowing glance. Probably not the first chubby guy in total cycling nerd gear huffing and puffing on that hill he's seen. And it won't be the last time he'll see me there either. Stupid hill, I will conquer you! But not today... I turned around and went home.

(You can see my 3 failed hill climbing attempts around "redwood heights" on the map below)

As an added adventure, when I was coming back down on Maple, I encountered a beautiful bit of planning from the City of Oakland. They decided that all they needed to do to cover up the giant (4ft square?) gaping drainage holes that take up the entire median/gutter was to weld a few four-inch wide pipes across it, all parallel to one another, leaving 1 foot gaps between them. My entire bike could have easily fallen right through the grill, and considering that the road was packed tight with the giant SUV's that are so much the landmark of this part of Oakland, this thought was not totally off my mind. I would have taken a photo if I wasn't so preoccupied by not falling in one and being washed out to the bay.

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