Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Mountain biking in the Santa Cruz mountains

You probably saw my post back in November about my work situation. Well, one of the things I've been doing since then, while not working on my resume or LinkedIn, is going out on my bike four to five days a week. I'm better shape than I have been in years (four years, to be exact). My weight is down (of course, with more to go) and I have finally had to move down in waist size. But one of the greatest delights has been mountain biking in the local mountains. There are two-thousand foot climbs within a few miles of my house. I have enclosed a few pictures for your enjoyment. They were taken in late afternoon, so the valley is still in the sun, but mountains blocked the sun from the trails. And if the trail looks steep, it actually is: it was almost a 20% grade at the places I stopped for the pictures.

Here is a view of south San Jose.

This is a view of San Jose proper. The downtown is on the left and the city sprawls around it and to the right.

I know that I will have to go back to work at some point, and my job search has begun in earnest now. But it is wonderful to take breaks from all this and concentrate on climbing crazy hills.

Oh, and one last thing. Peter gave me a Garmin Edge 500 bike computer (with GPS) for my birthday, along with a subscription to Strava, a website for downloading, analyzing and comparing ride results. I now work on both endurance and speed, and it is wonderful to come back from a ride, download results, and see the number of personal bests that I have broken in that day's ride. I generally have at least one personal best each ride, and some days have had over five in one ride. In fact, this ride up Kennedy to the top of Priest Rock was one of those "five best" days. But I know that I can do much better still.


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