Go up

I found a really great pandemic bike route yesterday and I think it’s going to become a replacement for the old golf course route that I have used for so many years. The golf course route has two iterations, Wanky Super Power Loops and Wanky Super Power Loops + Kickerz.

WSPL’s involve going up the short wall on Via Anita from PV Boulevard, bearing left on the continuing sharp uphill on Via Capay, then taking Via La Selva all the way to PV Drive North. From there you hop over Via Valmonte to the golf course onto Paso Del Campo and go around the golf course, exiting at Malaga Cove Plaza, looping by the flags and back to the beginning on Via Anita.

There’s no severe climbing on this loop but it has a bunch of elevation and after several laps you are worked. To add in the Kickerz, instead of exiting at Malaga you continue up Via Del Monte, turn left on Via Somonte, take it back around to Del Monte, and then descend back to the plaza to begin another loop. With Kickerz it’s a really hard loop, especially if you do it six or seven times.

However, after years and years of that loop I’ve finally gotten tired of it. There can be a lot of traffic and there is a much better loop right outside my front door that I highly recommend it. Do four of these and you will know you’ve ridden your bike. Each lap is ten miles and 1,450 feet of up-ness.

You start at the intersection of Old Hawthorne and Highridge and go up the little hill on Alvarez. Then you begin the most dangerous part of the whole ride, the sharp descent down Monero, crossing Granvira Altamira, and bomb down Ambergate to Golden Meadow. I can’t tell you how deadly this descent is. You quickly hit 40 and jam up into a hard left that you can make without brakes only if you go full lean.

I don’t recommend that.

The road is lined with houses and all it will take is one car easing out of the driveway or turning left from Brookford onto Ambergate, when you are at max speed, and you will be killed. At best.

It is crazy hard to ride the brakes on this descent but you have to. You go left on Golden Meadow and the “ride” really starts. You pedal for a minute or two until you get to Abbottswood, a completely beastly climb. It is for sure one of the hardest climbs on the peninsula, and it’s long.

At the top you jog right and then right again on Hawthorne. You get a long downhill, gradual at first and then max speed all the way to Monaco. Hope you enjoyed the descent because you go left at the light at Vallon, then left again on Marne and begin the bitter climb all the way back up to Crest. This one is simply a beast. Long, steep, with one brief flat section …

On Crest you go right. You’re still going uphill for a couple of miles but it feels pancake flat after Abbottswood and the Monaco climb, at least until you go left on Whitley-Collins. This short, steep, bear of a kicker is well known throughout the peninsula and the object of countless Stravver attempts.

Turn right on Highridge and continue all the way back to Old Hawthorne and start over.

I did four of these loops yesterday for 40 miles, 5,800 feet, and 3:40 of riding. The bonus? You don’t even have to pedal hard to be completely whacked.


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6 thoughts on “Go up”

  1. tbernhardt100

    So much great climbing on our side of the hill, without even having to go down to the PV Drive level. Your loop above incorporates a lot of what I like to call the “Dancing Alien” ride, my go-to lunch ride when I only have about 1.5 hours and want to climb. Less than 20 miles more than 3100 feet of gain:

    1. tbernhardt100

      (I do like the Wanky Super Power Loops + Kickerz loop, though — haven’t lived here long enough to get bored of it, and it can be a nice change of pace from the FLOG.)

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