After ascending 1+ million vertical feet in 2011 (on track for 1.5 million for 2012), I confess that Old La Honda Road is not as interesting as it used to be, especially after 153 or more ascents of it in 2011.
Now in 2012, the challenge is even greater, and this is why I have ordered the Moots Psychlo X RSL cyclocross bike (see also Moots Psychlo X RSL build). (Thanks to Neil at PAB for putting the cyclocross thought into my head).
With a cyclocross bike, I can hit dirt/pavement/dirt/pavement, etc. As one example for SF Bay Area riders, I can hit Portola Valley to Alpine dirt to Monte Bello dirt to Montebello Road, come back through Russian Ridge, drop down Crazy Pete’s to Alpine Dirt, hit pavement again, and head home. Now that’s fun.
And a cyclocross bike has tire options that are a lot more reassuring on wet or icy winter roads than road bike tires.
Sure, a hardtail mountain bike like the Moots MootoX RSL can also go like stink, but a cyclocross bike is lighter and faster and different.
And different is the name of the game when the training load can potentially lead to boredom after months of training. As well as the cross-training effect of using all muscles just differently enough so as to increase strength by keeping the body guessing a little, something I definitely noticed in late 2011 when switching between road biking to mountain biking.