I brought my game today for Bike to Work Day. I woke up at 4am and rolled out the door by 4:30am, and made the trek all the way from San Francisco down to Morgan Hill. A long 82 mile hustle with 3600' of climbing, a puncture, some headwind and a race against the clock.
There were prizes involved for the longest commute, as well as first timers at Specialized. I knew once I got that puncture 20 miles or so into my ride I knew I wouldn't make the 9am cutoff time, but I wanted to make it into work before 10am.
I started in absolute darkness, especially near the West end of town, and south along Highway 35. Luckily I had my Niterider front and rear lights all charged up. My absolute favorite part of the ride was when I reached the base of the Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir, soon after flatting. There was a fun, swooping trail that hugged the water, covered by trees.
From there it was a series of rolling hills all the way to Woodside before turning uphill and into Stanford. Juniper Sierra and the Foothill Expressway had super wide bike lanes, as well as a few Bike to Work sponsors along the way to help riders refuel. I remember seeing Tesla Motors, smiled, and kept rolling.
I cut over to Stevens Creek into Cupertino and began a long, boring stretch towards Monterey Road. Too many stop lights and heavy traffic kept me from maintaining a good tempo. I need to figure out a better route through Silicon Valley, one that's more scenic and direct. Once I get to Monterey Road it's another long, straight-shot to work. I actually had to stop at a 7-Eleven to refuel. I spent so much energy getting out of the city.
I roll into the taped off parking lot, underneath the big finish arch, but nobody was around. I had missed the party, and it was only 9:30am. I guess the weather kept people from hanging outside. Still, I was quite proud for making the long haul to work. If I hadn't flatted and knew where I was going a bit more I certainly would have made it in time. I came in with the longest commute of the day, and certainly not my last.
After a long day at work I reluctantly got back onto my bike and pedaled into the strong headwind back to San Jose. I wasn't going to make the trek all the way home by bike, and decided to catch Caltrain, which drops off a block away from our new place. I got home and collapsed on the couch. It was quite the day.