Since my goal was to check out the road conditions on Mount Madonna Road, which crosses the ridge from Gilroy to Watsonville, I left the house at 6:30 am in order to get there and up the climb before the temperature rose above 90. I made it, just barely.
There were road closed signs both at the base of Madonna, and again just before the pavement disappears, but they didn't look too serious. I'm getting very used to ignoring these this year.
By and large, the road was in pretty good shape, with a few minor obstacles. Really all quite rideable.
There was, however, a pretty thick layer of loose gravel in spots, which wouldn't have been too bad except that it was steep enough in spots (over 10%) to make traction on the gravel difficult, especially given that I kept having to wave away a cloud of bugs that wouldn't stop stalking me. At one point near the top I let out a big "Aaaaargh!!" of disgust and walked about 20 yards, hoping that the people I could hear in the park to my left didn't actually hear that utterance of primal annoyance.
However, I think they did -- as I was splatted under the big tree at the top for a snack, a couple of women on horses came out of the park from that side and said hi just as I choked on a big swig of water from my bottle. I sputtered what I hope was a cheerful reply in response, but they just looked at me like I was a bug-eyed alien.
Thankfully, it was lovely and cool on the coast side of the hills, and for once the store in Corralitos was open. Mmmm...ice cream. I bought a big container of iced tea and what I thought was a mint chip it's-it and sat down for my snack. Mmmm...cookie ice cream sandwich covered in chocolate...mmmm.... but wait, this doesn't taste very minty. Oh look -- it's not mint chip, but green tea ice cream in the it's-it! A delicious discovery.
The climb up Eureka Canyon was enjoyable, but bumpy, and it only seemed hot for the last little bit at the top. And of course, the long slog through the suburbs on the way home, but it was (mostly) downhill. Now I just need to plan next week's fun!