The finale for the Low Key Hill Climb series is always the biggest mountain in the Bay Area - and a special place of memories for me; Mt Hamilton, home of Lick Observatory. This year was problematic because the LK people couldn't find a coordinator, being Thanksgiving. Ferrell and I were going to do it anyway, because it's such a classic way to start the holiday. Lots of cyclists felt the same, it turns out, and a sort of semi-official race did in fact happen, at 9:30am just like prior years.

A little chilly driving through Scotts Valley, but warmer than last year

Near Alum Rock and Mt. Hamilton Rd; the start

I got an early start so that Ferrell wouldn't have to wait too long at the top. Turkey to be had later in the day.

Skies were clean, and a great view of the Santa Cruz Mtns to the west.

Ferrell catches me before the final push to the top

Some colorful oaks before the turn that first gives you a good view of the summit telescope domes


The last few miles take forever, as the domes are so close you feel you could throw a rock at them, but endless switchbacks still to go.