I never do ride reports, but I'm doing one today because this was my first Skyline... and I have Learned Lessons™
If you have never done Skyline, as I never had, here are my first impressions. Your mileage may very, I'm not a particularly zippy rider. Also, there may or may not be hyperbole in the following text.
Got up at 6:10am, a LATE start for me on a ride day. Usually have to haul across the city, but today I get to join the ride in my turf. Awesome. Sadly, I have two songs stuck in my head, Friday by Rebecca Black, and some track by Black Eyed Peas with excessive use of auto-tune. Horrible. These do not exit my brain during the entire trip, but form a 3 hour, hellish medley of chaos and suffering.
You know how they have recommended doses on Aspirin bottles? They do not do this on mojitos. This will become apparent later.
Nice, leisurely stroll from Stern Grove out to Skyline Blvd. Very pleasant, slight downhill, brisk. Feeling pretty good. Make it to John Daly & Skyline way ahead of the regular group, and have to pee already. Go to the viewpoint to take in the sights and give a what's-what to California by tinkling into the San Andreas Fault. Angst about having to leave Seattle now reduced a little bit more.
DG, Darrin and Lance arrive. Time to climb.
From the SF2G Skyline description: It's not easy, but not ridiculously hard either.... BATMAN'S BALLS!
This felt like the longest climb of my life, though looking through Strava later I found some longer one's I had done recently that didn't seem as difficult (see: Mojitos)
The gang waits for me at the top and reassures me that this is the first of two climbs. I learn soon that this really just means this is the biggest climb and there is one more big one, but there are like 40 more in between them.
Everything's going smoothly, lovely weather. San Andreas Trail is fun. Scenery is nice, hey this is great. Stop off to get some water... then... what... WHY ARE WE ON THE FREEWAY?!?!?! Adrenaline gets me safely to the next exit.
Hillsborough Rollers next (not a fan.) At some point somewhere around here, I think, the temp drops to about -100 degrees for like 20 feet. I think I got snowed on. Then its instantly warm again.
It is at this point that I Get It™. Awesome, fast descents. I've never done the dam, but I though the detour was fun (until the climb, again got to see my ridemates disappear into the horizon.) Cañada: 10.5 Megatons of YES. Crystal Springs Reservoir, hello. This ride makes Bayway now seem kinda gross.
Moutain Home Road might be my favorite segment of the commutes I've done so far. One lane, mellowish flat or downhill in most parts. Enshrouded by trees like a scene out of Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Absolutely beautiful.
Some more awesome descents. Wishing Bayway had descents like this, but as my CPA says "You don't have to pay it if you didn't make anything."
My takeaway, my opinion only: you pay your taxes in spades on this ride and get rewarded handsomely for the effort. A+++++ EXCELANT EBAYOR
I plan to make this a regular part of my SF2G repertoire, but right now I just feel the legs burning.
Awesome ride, everyone, thanks for navigating me to the G!
Update: After waiting 20 hours for the usual Strava iphone freeze-up routine and sync, I finally see my stats. JD to BGS, 131st overall. You may be thinking, Matt, that's horrible. Until you realize there are over 6 Billion people in the world. Then you realize 130 faster people doesn't seem so bad. ;)