Even though I'm not on the OTC Team (On The Couch), it looks like I'm going to be riding with those foolios at the Tour De Cure. My brother enticed me with an Epic 'Cross "training" ride that would span about 40 miles or so. Here was the loop:
Home to Captiola Village
Capitola Village to New Brighton Beach
Ride to Niscene
Climb Niscene to Sand Point
Sand Point to Buzzard Lagoon
Buzzard Lagoon to Old San Jose Rd
Old San Jose Rd to N Branciforte
N Branciforte to Home
After hitting the scenic route via Capitola Village, we entered Niscene and started ascending. Right before the climb, my foot slipped off my Crank Bros. left pedal. Upon inspection, my pedal spring had broken! At the entrance to Niscene, there is a bike shop called Epicenter Cycling and my brother brought up the idea of riding back down and asking them if they could "help a brutha out". We rode back down a couple of miles (one footed) and entered the shop. I told the young man at the counter what the situation was: we just started our ride, I was out from San Jose and if he could somehow accept PayPal for a new set of pedals.
The dude offered me a test ride pedal to finish off our ride and when I would come back to return the pedal, I'd obligate myself to buy a new set from him - DONE DEAL! He spun on a replacement and we were back on our ride! Needless to say, I will be giving a very, very positive Yelp review because of this hook-up. Dude saved the day - we thought we were done.
I'm stoked that Epicenter gave me the hook up because the ride was truly epic. We climbed all the way to the top of Niscene, decended down and even hit a few creek crossings - the 3rd being at least a couple of feet deep. Here's the video of my brother:
Somehow we spit out at Buzzard Lagoon and took the pavement all the way back. On Old San Jose Rd. my brother took his "emergency $5" from his seat bag and went into Casalegno's to see what he could buy - and at $1.99 a pop, 24oz. of Pabst Blue Ribbon hit the spot, right before a long nasty climb up N. Branciforte, which finally descended back into town.
For all those who are poor climbers, I have to say this - I wouldn't have been able to do this ride last year. The last time I did the Niscene climb was on my geared MTB; I was granny gear all the way up and I was having a very hard time, taking breaks and drowning myself in water. Yesterday, I didn't have an issue at all. So, no matter where you are in your climbing ability - STICK WITH IT. Keep going and eventually you get better. Keep riding and don't get discouraged with your fitness. I can atest to the fact that you will eventually get to a place where you are not stopping and taking breaks and you become your own King or Queen of the Mountain. :)