Rode up Mission Peak with PeterE (<a href="http://twitter.com/evilops">@evilops</a>) for the first time this morning.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/8103725814/" title="Mission Peak with Ptr by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8051/8103725814_1f15c6a7c5_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Mission Peak with Ptr"></a>
It was a very challenging ride -- not only because of the steepness of the trail, but the wind was unreal. After about 10 minutes, the air changed pretty dramatically. It went from the fairly cool humid Bar Area air to a dry wind from the opposite direction it normally blows from.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thenobot/8103710411/" title="Mission Peak with Ptr by thenobot, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8469/8103710411_a7444d5ea9_z.jpg" width="640" height="478" alt="Mission Peak with Ptr"></a>
Several times on the climb we had to stop due to dust/rock/sandstorms that the winds were creating. At one point a gust knocked Peter right over! It was some serious wind.
We managed to climb to the northern "shoulder" of the Peak, then proceeded around to the back (east) side. Our plan was to ride to the south side of the Peak and then climb to the top. Halfway up the final ascent, we decided to call it quits. The gusts up there were unreal. Combined with the technical terrain, we weren't really having fun any more. So we turned around and went down the hill, taking the Grove Trail down past the old farmhouse, which is a fun technical downhill section.
At one point I was caught up in a super strong tailwind, which kicked up massive amounts of dust. I was riding in the center of this swirling, billowing cloud of dirt and sand. At one point I couldn't see the trail ahead of me, so I got on the brakes and watched the cloud recede into the distance. Crazy stuff.
Never a dull moment on the Peak!