Local roadies all want to ride out 68 and go "over the grade". They say it with a gleam in their eye, like it's something. Pardon me while I snicker. Cloacal roadies, get real! Carmel Valley is where it's at. Sure, there're the wine-drunk tourists sometimes, but over all the experience is much more good. You can talk about how 68 has such nice pavement after the winter's redo, and how it has the wide shoulder...and get blue in your face as you ignore the issue- commuter traffic and buses and trucks and the grade sucks, homie. It is hot, it is exposed, and it backs up with assholes driving way too fast teaching you a lesson by passing within a foot of you. And, then, you're up and over and down and you have CV to ride anyhow. (buzzer sound.)
On the other hand, shifting into your big ring and smoothly pedaling circles out the valley gets you past the village in practically no time and from there it's no-traffic one-lane goodness. To wit, Cachagua:
where you can get your hot exposed climb on with minimal cars, nice grades, and fantastic descending on the backside. Scary twisty and quick.
So I did that. But the ride was too short, even though my lily-white, coastal-fog-softened pins were talking. As I was headed West, I opted for a further climb up the South side past all those steep false summits. Hopped a gate that wouldn't open, and rolled through some more:
oak land goodness. Summer is here and the time is right, for riding in the streets. ~70ish miles of street biking.
At home afterwards, I stretched hamstrings and adductors and foam-rollered the legs. It helps. Don't sleep.
Finally, in the interest of Summertime and more info than you deserve or desire, I made the BBQbaked black-eyed peas from the Vegan Soul Kitchen cookbook by Bryant Terry. Fucking delicious.