The Climbing Begins

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 26, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today was a wonderful day. It started a little later (around 8:30) and was a little shorter (around 50 miles) than usual. However, it was our first day of real climbing - yet, it was only a taste of tomorrow's torturefest. 

Sacramento has developed an incredible 30+ mile bike trail that ran from right behind our hotel all the way out along the American River to the beautiful Folsom lake. It was so peaceful to be riding a quiet, smooth path early in the morning. We were taking it easy to prepare for tomorrow. What was most amazing, however, was how many people we passed as we rode down the trail. There were literally hundreds of people out exercising and commuting along the trail as we rode down it. I was amazed - it was early in the morning on a weekday and there were just so many people out being active. We even passed a four ladies who had to be over 70 years old who were taking a break from their morning bike ride. 

After Folsom lake, we got on Auburn Folsom road and rode up to Auburn (go figure). Thats where the elevation gain at the foothills of the Sierra Mountains came in. We climbed up to Auburn, but only covered a tiny fraction of the total climbing we have between sea level (Sacramento) and the Lake Tahoe area (tomorrow's destination). It went alright, but I know tomorrow is going to hurt. Fortunately, the weather was absolutely beautiful - low 70s with clear blue skies. 

The town of Auburn itself is really pleasant. There are two parts, an old and a new town, and both are very nice. The old town has a western, gold-rush kind of feel; it's a little cheesy, but it's fun. We had pizza at a place called Old Town Pizza, where Scott treated himself to almost an entire pizza while I had a tasty salami sandwich. The hills in the town are so steep though; it was absolute murder climbing up to the hotel after filling my stomach at the pizza parlor and then the drug company. 

All in, we finished pretty early. I had time to get some comfy gelly handlebar tape, sit in the jacuzzi and attend a flat tire clinic. Today was great, tomorrow will be painful, but has the potential to be even better. I can't wait to see the mountains, even if I have to work like crazy to get up them.

Distance: 51.38 mi - 197.20 total
Time: 4:07:40 - 14:28;18 total
Elevation Gain: 2,592 - 8,099 total
Av. Speed: 12.4 mph - 13.6 overall
Av. HR: 127 bpm - 132 overall
Calories: 4,316 - 14,313 total
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