Portola Loop

It’s been difficult for me to get back in the saddle this year. Being laid off from work, and taking time to travel around the country, hasn’t given me much time on the bike. I also ran into some mechanical failures with the bike, causing further delays.

Although we no longer work together in Palo Alto, we have been reluctant to ween ourselves of the fantastic bike riding available in the peninsula hills. Here we are getting ready for our “usual” 17-mile ride on the popular “Portola Loop” as it is known to the locals. Dino is riding a brand new Giant TCR Carbon bike, which he waited something like 3 months for it to be shipped from Taiwan.

This ride is always fun, because it goes up and down hills, has a long section to do pacelining, and is generally a fast course of decent length. The ride also passes by the Stanford Linear Accelerator, where every day, scientists collide atoms together at high speed, because they can.

The hillside to our right is a preserve/refuge which has a paved trail for hiking or running. The nickname of the trail is “the dish” because at the top is a big satellite dish. I have “run the dish” a couple of times, and it’s a tough uphill loop.

I think I’ve gotten pretty good at holding a camera backwards and taking a shot behind me while riding. It definitely takes a little bit of luck to know where I’m pointing the camera. Digital film helps too, I don’t care how many times I push the shutter to get the shot.