I was well enough from my recent pneumonia to go for the final Low Key Hill Climb time trial of the series - the big one - from San Jose to the top of Mt. Hamilton and Lick Observatory. Ferrell was into it; this was his 7th, and my 3rd year for this. Counting the ride from the parking spot next to the Subway in San Jose on up to the official starting spot, I got in 5,000 ft of climbing and 42 miles. A good way to work up an appetite for Thanksgiving.

8am - Ferrell arrives and we load up the bikes.

A mite chilly as we head up Hwy 17

Yup; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A couple of scrambled eggs before I left, and my secret-sauce power drink on the road.

Let me think - got everything, Ferrell? Let's mount 'em up. A 2 mile warm-up ride to the official start

At the base of Mt Hamilton Rd, and the start. I went left up the hill and kept going; getting a half-hour head start so as not to slow up the T-day festivities later on.

Above the haze now, with the Loma Prieta in the distant background

Top of the long first climb, gives the first view of Lick Observatory and our destination in the far distance

Beautiful fall colors on the upper half of the race

On the last steep climb, about 4 miles from the top, Ferrell catches me

The maples up above 3,000 ft were gorgeous. Good to focus on beauty when you're struggling for breath

The 40" Dome, getting closer

Looks close - but it's more switchbacks than you think

Outta fluids at this point.

The finish line!

Back from the dead! Not just me, but Lick Observatory too.

Buckling up for the ride down - from the fire station all the way to the top is repaved, and the ride down was pure pleasure, banking and weaving down a thousand verticle feet of switchbacks

Below the fire station, a last photo op

We had strategically parked next to a Subway, to speed refueling immediately after dismounting. A $5 Footlong vege delight, in my case.

Got home and after a short nap, I joined the Delucchi's for a Thanksgiving dessert at Aquarius, on the beach