This ride makes the third and final installment in our Bay Area mountains series. Two weeks ago was Mt Hamilton, last all was Mt Diablo, and this week was Mt Tamalpais. Even though this was the lowest summit, I think it was the hardest ride.
First off, the heat. We got a fairly early start, but it was still 75 degrees already when we started rolling at 8:30. Temperatures were in the mid 90s before we were done.
Climbing out of Mill Valley we hit a surprisingly steep grade before we had really warmed up. We needed to walk up some of it, then I took an early turn with the trailer, and still with all the bags.
Mt Tam has a sneaky approach to the East Summit. You climb and climb and see a bunch of communication gear and think you’re just about at the top. But then you turn the corner, and see that you need to descend down, follow the ridge line, and climb up to the next peak. Then you do the same thing again. Finally you get to the real East Summit, although you can’t bike all the way to the top.
I took the trailer back for the descent. Of course that meant some short climbs, too. It was too hot and too soon after lunch for me to handle it well. Anne helped a bit, until we got to the real descent. There were still a few short climbs, but mostly we could just coast back up them.
We made it down to the Alpine Dam, and Anne took the trailer back for the next set of climbs. Just as we were crossing the dam, I noticed a funny dinging vibration coming from my rear wheel. We stopped to investigate, and figured out it was the spring in my brake pad bouncing off the rotor. I had worn a hole through the pad, and the spring poked through it.
Fortunately enough, just the day before we went to the bike shop and bought spare pads and were shown how to install them, and I tossed the spares in the bag that morning. We weren’t able to get the brake fully adjusted, but we’ll enough. I knew I had reduced braking power, so I made Anne take the trailer for the rest of the descents, which she handled nicely.
At some point, my cleats started popping out of my pedals, too. That meant I couldn’t pull back in my shoes, so my toes were really sore by the end. I guess it’s time for new cleats.
Animal sightings: a turkey on the road that thought it was a bike/turkey land, horses at a stable (supposedly), much evidence of woodpeckers, circling vultures at eye level
Mechanical problems: failed brake pad, failed cleats
Smelliest moment: when I stopped to drink some water I though I smelled pretty bad. Then I saw the very dead deer just off the shoulder
Most daredevil toy: Baby, who got thrown from the trailer twice