While I would never denigrate or impugn my lovely wife's perception of the Summer Solstice ride out of Quincy (as reported below) I would like to take this opportunity to say that I found it to be a delightful ride, full of charming yet ceaseless climbs, descents of suitable steepness, and happy microclimates varying from frigid breezes wafting off snowpack to oven-on-self-clean down in the valley.
I am not usually very tolerant of the heat, so I was surprised by how good I felt going up the big bakey climb. Other than suffering one flat thanks to the long stretch of evil and vicious chip-seal, I quite enjoyed this ride. For other riders' reference, I used a 34 x 27 low gear, and that was just perfect. Most of the hills I could have climbed in a slightly higher gear if I was pushing a faster pace, but we were taking it pretty easy and the low gear let me spin up the few steep climbs, and not get too cooked on the long hot ones.
I'd rate the Summer Solstice (S.S.) route as somewhat harder than the Death Ride (D.R.) route. The D.R. climbs, while long, aren't as steep and since in the D.R. you go back down what you rode up, you get a nice bit of rest coming back down the hills. Those relaxing descents are absent in the S.S. -- the good long descents are steep and twisty and demand your attention (I clocked something close to 50mph on a couple of them, without really going for max speed), and there are lots of small rollers that don't help you out much.
So now I need to figure out an angle to convince Anna it wasn't really so bad, and that we need to go ride it again next year...