$5,000 prize for the QOM on iconic Old La Honda Californian climb
One of the biggest cash prizes in cycling has just been announced, $5,000 USD to the fastest female to ride up the ‘Old La Honda’ climb this year!
Just west of the tech valley in Northern California is the Santa Cruz Mountains, which boast some of the best Bay Area road cycling climbs. The roads north of Santa Cruz need to be ridden, even the names evoke a certain appeal; West Alpine, Tunitas Creek Road, Old La Honda, Kings Mountain Road, East Zayante and China Grade.
Old La Honda isn’t the toughest climb you’ll do. Far from it. But what you’re battling on Old La Honda is not the grade or the height, it’s the thousands of riders who’ve done it before—and yourself. With more than 16,000 efforts, this is one of the most ridden segments in the world on Strava.
Old La Honda Road climbs up out of Palo Alto, to the ridge west of Silicon Valley, dumping you out almost unexpectedly on beautiful Skyline Boulevard, where tracks in the dirt belie the thousands of previous visitors. The road isn’t much to look at. It’s wooded, and while that means nice shade (it’s cool even on a hot day) and pretty trees, there are hardly any vistas to speak of. It gets darker as you go higher, as patches of redwoods become a forest of them. The road surface is smooth, though it narrows to one lane. It’s just three miles, with 1,660 feet of elevation.
The current QOM is held by Courtney Nelson who rides for Team Twenty20 with a time of 17 minutes dead, the segment on Strava is 3 miles with 1,660 ft of climbing, at an average of 8%. The famouse climb is located in Silicon Valley, just outside Palo Alto in the Portola Valley.
The current men's holder is no other than Worst Retirement's Phil Gaimon.
Mark Slavonia from Slavonia Investments in the San Francisco Bay founded the challenge and said, “I’m offering a $5,000 prize to the female athlete who holds the fastest time up the iconic Old La Honda climb in Northern California on April 15. I’ve always wanted to do this, and now seems like a good time – the biggest bike race in the world right now.”
"I would like to increase the bounty if anyone wants to join me, and others are encouraged to replicate this structure on their own favorite climbs. Please keep it safe out there in the extraordinary time, choose only safe and slow segments, and ride carefully to avoid injury."
"Each effort must be reasonably verifiable – that is, the rider should show a track record of high level performances, and the GPS file may be scrutinized for tampering. No e-bikes or drafting behind motorized pacers allowed. Gender qualifications will follow USA Cycling’s guidelines. I reserve the right to make the award in my sole discretion. Ties on Strava will be split evenly. If the QOM is not broken by April 15, the prize will awarded to the current QOM, Courtney Nelson."
"I’ll also be producing and installing a commemorative plaque that will salute the winner at the top of Old La Honda. Go get ’em, good luck."
Full details here: http://markslavonia.com/qom
Coronavirus and Cycling in California
40 million residents in the state of California have been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus, although exersize is still allowed including cycling.
Please be aware, understand, and respect public health restrictions, and if you are going to ride, please do so with extra caution. If in doubt stay at home on your cycle trainer, practice self isolation whilst training outside.