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Stevens Canyon - July 16, 2009

Distance: 26.7 miles Ascent: 3871 feet Moving time: 3:12 hours

I got out after a couple of very hot days. The temperature still hit 100 degrees according to my thermometer, but it was definitely cooler than it had been. The route was nothing new: through Fremont Older, up Montebello Road, down Stevens Canyon trail, and back home via Mt. Eden Road.

At the top of Black Mountain I really noticed how it is now definitely summer now. All of the green grass is long since gone. What were once lush green carpets over the hills have now turned into "amber waves" that make California "the Golden State".

I have been watching the Tour de France bike race on TV. I noticed that some of the hills I climb are steeper, but I am so impressed by the speed that the racers climb the hills. They go up the hills 3-4 times faster than I do, their flat speeds are higher than my downhill, and their downhill speeds are strictly insane. They do this day after day, in good weather and bad. In my good form, I look like one of the exhausted riders on the tour. In fairness, my bike is quite a bit more rugged, I carry all of my own water, food and spare parts, I am much older, I seem to have fewer high speed falls and don't get to draft off of other people or ride on smooth paved roads with no traffic, but their performance is still pretty phenomenal.

This ride put me over 9,000 mountain bike miles. It also put me over 200,000 vertical feet this year. This is a new personal best for a single year and it is only July.

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