(May 7, 2005) Santa Rosa Wine Country Century, 125 miles, 4,500' climbing, 17.5 avg, (17.7 until I did 5 mile cool down) with Diablo Cyclist's Ward, Jack, June, Big Chris, Doug, CA Mike
-Got my Diablo Cyclists comeuppance re start time, after indicating that I was going to start at 6:45 as 7:30 too late (after last week's never ending ride), freeway interchange between 680 and 4 closed, and someone decides to block trip out to Lakeville Hwy on 1 lane road by doing 55 the whole way. When we get to Santa Rosa traffic backed up on highway. Registration lines real short this year, but we check in at 7:05 and roll at 7:15. No sight of anyone.
-Figure I have to hammer as after 1st rest stop (Ocean Song) as most of climbing is before it, afterwards with paceline on Ocean and Westside/ Dry Creek road I’d never catch anyone.
-Beautiful morning-pass load of people on the flats, first person to pass me is “Fasta Bortallo” on big climb to Occidental. I work hard to get back to him on climb, we talk for a minute, then he hammers and I can’t respond.
-Pass Leticia and Jerry Kruse whop recognize me when I shoot by and call out.
-Right after Occidential there are 100-200’ stretches that have severe grades-stupid morning thought that I should have brought x23 for this ride. Never was in x27 but used next gear a lot (x24??)
-Stomach churning. See where I went wrong (Joy Road) last year—Occidental actually forks to the right whereas you are coming off a roller and Joy Road is straight up-so probably hammered to get over roller.
-Pass dad sweating like crazy pulling daughter on tandem attachment. Yell out encouragement.
-Pull into Ocean Song 8:37, no Diablo Cyclists. Only 2 porta potties and I get significantly lighter. Just grab 2 ½ bananas and 2 fig newtons, plus gatorade/water refill.
Some of the beautiful back roads to the 1st rest stop at Ocean Song.
-Very sunny up on ridge line-2 guys in local racing kits thunder past, I put in an effort to get back to their wheel and stay with them until the skeleton descent (I stop to take photo of skeleton.) Skeleton before the downhill on steep Coleman Valley Road--the UPHILL would become a signature of the Mt. Tam Double, which was still not even a dream.
-Took camera on ride and snapped a roll while riding.
-Paris Roubaix commentary in my head “catching up to the leaders”
-Lose time along 7 milestretch of US 1, cost. Just slower riders, no one to paceline with . Impetus kind of faded. Eat dry Odswalla-yuck, not what you should eat on the bike. I must be well behind the Diablo Cyclist pelaton now, though I go hard on the uphill once you turn from the Coast to the Monte Rio rest stop., 9:49.
(above) Going up Hwy 1 is beautiful, with Pacific Ocean off to the left--area not heavily developed. (below) Inland town of Duncan Mill--funky sights all over Sonoma County.
-No sign of Diablo Cyclists. Meet director of Sierra Century wearing new anniversary jersey—says they are going fast. Have a warm tortella, banana, fig bar a few fig bars for pocket.
-Cooling off a little through back country roads I don’t really remember. Some with noticeable steep grades, but just for 100-200 feet. Young triathlete, Chis, speeds past me and pulls away on a climb; I worked hard to get back to him, and then couldn’t continue. Then he pulled over and was waiting, I yelled out “good job.” About 10 minutes later he come flying by, this time I get on his wheel, stay with him on the uphill, and we bs about century rides and racing for a few minutes—then he indicates he has to wait for his friend. He knows that the rest of the course is kinda flat until the end--and if I haven't caught up to my group by now "I'm screwed."
Giant Dwarf on the side of the road outside Monte Rio.
-Pull into Wohler Bridge #3, mile 63.68, 11:18, avg 17.1 Big Chris is leaving right when I pull in, I indicate I’ll catch them at lunch. See Ward who tells me to hurry, don’t use the restrooms , use a tree, hurry and grab food. I wolf down banana while pissing on a tree. Get gatorade, and stuff more fig newtons in my jersey. Leave and only Ward is waiting, he said he called out to group, they didn’t hear what he said, and they took off. Up the road Doug is waiting for us, and we 3 manned all the way to lunch. Up the road is Chris pulling June, and California Mike, and we soon pass Sarkis and Don riding their fixed gears.
Women comments she likes the color of my bike—guy (Benecia Bike club) sniffs that the orange bike at his shop is a nicer color. Don’t hang around to hear more from ahole. Yeah-finally catch up with Diablo Cyclists-starting a tradition of whoever starts late has to ride their butt off to catch up to the group. Crowded lunch stop-Big Chris, Jack, CA Mike, Don, Ward & June.
-At one point passed by a paceline of a half dozen cyclists, one tall guy wearing Benecia Jersey. I ride up and yell Peter, but it is not the guy I raced with—guy asks me how I know Peter, tell him and then drop out to regroup with Doug and Ward. On run in to Lake Sonoma Doug and I 2 man, and I spot Bonnie, who then tells me that Donna up the road. Get behind Donna, on the 100 mile course that doesn't go out to the Coast, she does a double take when she looks back. Doug and I continue to hammer in, we pass Jack, and see Ron, Jim and Jeanie?) leaving lunch stop.
-Lunch 85:06, 12:32, 17.5. Like all rest stops metal bike racks and sink by porta potties. Make your own sandwich, I get something boring-wheat roll w/ turkey, roast beef, little oil and tomato, nothing (onions, peppers, pickles, guacamole) I may taste later on. All routes converge here and jammed with cyclists; see Jerry Kruse and Bob, Leticia.
-We start off, some uphill rollers, and Chris is dropping group (I’m staying behind him on the climbs, but not when he hammers on the straights), and we regroup a few times. Supposedly he pulled most of the way to the lunch stop (Also, they left at 7:00 and Doug had a flat.)
By Dutcher Loop we split into two groups, Chris, Doug, June and I in the lead. Chris take long pulls, Doug takes long pulls, June takes long pulls, I take short pulls though I’ll do double duty when going up a hill--where I rotate into 2nd position before going to the back. Gravel on turn on roadway-I almost go down, as almost does June.
-On one uphill roller I go to the front to give Chris some relief, which I am reluctant to do as he sometimes doesn’t see it as relief but as a reason to ramp up the pace to the top. Today he is sitting behind quietly. All of a sudden all four of us have a good working paceline. At a few points a mob of cyclists riding 4 across the road and Chris yells at them when they don’t move after he says "on your left." We are flying. About 5 miles from Alexander Valley School reststop (mile 102) a guy goes flying by, I’m straight onto his wheel. OK, did my job-now Chris can sit on my wheel, and then sprint out while this guy chases and I get a free ride. Look back—no Chris. Shit, so now that I'm up here I gotta stay on this guys wheel. He does a few digs but I'm right on, stay to 2 miles away, he slows, I go to the front, I figure I can pull hard for 2 miles, which I do—but this takes some steam out of my legs. June, Doug and Ward on Dutcher Loop.
-See Donna at rest stop as 100 mile route doesn’t do 13 mile Dutcher Loop, so she is ahead of us again. I had planned to ride back at the end of ride to regroup with her. We leave slowly, I’m waiting for Chris but he indicates he has to take it easy—his heart rate went to 150 and stayed up there. Jack, Dog and CA Mike way up the road, I wait for June and would pull her up but she is seemingly tired. So I ride steadily –try to get CA Mike to pull me to Doug but nothing doing. Get Doug on hill and we ride together, some guy shoots past and I respond and dust him to the top. Doug comes up, no sight of guy.
Later on another hill a UC Berkeley guy flies by, I try to respond,, and while I hold the distance he is ahead of me I can’t close at all.
Finally a tall couple in front, hammering up a climb (continuous short but semi-steep climbs on Chalk Hill.) I’m drafting, and I'm content to do so, but guy motions me forward—so I hammer up hill. He and girl get back to me/ Doug so I hammer up next hill. At controlled intersection, I’m stopping and girl flies by to have momentum for hill after left turn. I jump up and whip past her. At Photocrazy I slow to get photo of Doug and me in picture, but photographer (3:10 is fing around with camera) so no photo. Couple tries to come by and I just hammer until the divided pavement where I make a U turn and yell to Doug in a crowd, I’m riding back, @120, 17.7 mph.
-Ride easily, see Donna about 1-2 miles before Photocrazy, we ride easy and get photo taken. Now a few people weakly hammer past and I just it and watch.
-Two Guinness Stouts from car, one is the real deal (which I spill) one is the draft—yeck. We joing Diablo Cyclist table, great fun, even Donna has good time.
Turns out Big Mike started at 6:38 to make his parent's 50th anniversary dinner, and finished at 2:15!!
End of Post Ride Email to Big Mike
So real strange day-1/2 ride solo, ½ ride with gruppo. Great course, great weather. Sorry you didn’t hook on with Diablo Cyclists but then I wouldn’t have caught them, Final stats 7:15-3:35 w/ bonus so appx 3:20 without. 76 minutes rest stops, so sound kinda similar to your 6:38-2:15, 55 minutes rest stops (don’t know how you did ride with only one stop), 17.7 avg before I looped back for Donna. In terms of speed/ conditioning my best ride of the year—now really sorry I didn’t do Devil Mountain Double last week.