Saturday, June 25, 2005

Terrible Two 2005

(June 25, 2005) Terrible Twos, start w/ Domo Tom, Steve and Jack, finish with Jack, 208 miles (special edition with 10 bonus miles), 16,480' climbing, 14.8 mph, 5:30-8:43, 82 of 227 riders

As didn’t want to do DMD where it gets dark around 7:00—knew I’d have to do this one if going for Triple Crown.

Known for heat on the afternoon climbs, but weather report for 60’s and 70’s with morning fog. One jersey, vest and arm warmers, and buff was fine—but had to keep stopping and put on vest throughout the day. Often cold, never freezing. Right calf/ knee got tight. Weather kept changing.

Trinity Climb-Overcast & fog up and down
Geyers Sun on climb-overcast and cool on downhill
Skaggs-Sun on climb-cool on downhill
Stewart Point-Partial sun on climb-cool on coast
Coast-Overcast cool but not freezing, tailwind
Ft Ross-Overcast but steaming warm

Seems that each year there is a ride I do that makes me a little nervous—which is good motivation for training and then get preoccupied with trying to figure out how I’ll do ride in reasonable time. This year the ride to make me nervous was the Terrible Two—though I didn’t get nervous enough to lose that last 5-7 lbs I’ve been carrying. Truth be told, the climbing-16,000 feet—didn’t worry me, it was the 208 miles of this original edition. After all, I had finished Davis twice feeling like crap and barely hanging on, and Davis is the EASY double while this was one of the two hardest.

To prepare I read half dozen Terrible Two web ride accounts from the web—unfortunately half the stories ended in a DNF. Downloaded and studied an elevation chart profile of the course which showed 8 relatively short (2-4 miles) but steep (many sections of 20%) climbs. As wanted to finish course by 9:00—right by nightfall, I came up with a pace calculator based on the stories and elevation profile. Some of the “universal truths”—the 2nd half of the ride much harder than the first (1st 109 miles, 7500’ climbing, 2nd 91 miles 9000’ climbing), with the downhills e universally treacherous (windy, pothole marked, gravel laden.) The Skaggs climb was often over 100 degrees with the Coast very very cool. And as "luck” would have it—for the 30th anniversary of the ride the organizers were going back to the original route—which added 11 hilly miles (“adding appx 45 minutes”) to the course. (Note: they remeasured the course and discovered the regular route was only 197 miles—not 200.) Finally, everyone universally took a page out of Jack’s textbook and said to hustle in and out of the 6 rest stops en route--the first being at mile 50!

Luckily I like climbing and hot weather—though most Diablo Cyclists looked a me like I am crazy and didn’t know what I was wishing for. The saving grace was June, who is a super climber while tentative on the downhills—she said she didn’t like Davis, found it hard, while she had a great time on the Terrible Two.

So I figured out that to finish by 9:00, before nitefall and an hour before the coveted free tee shirt deadline, the prevailing wisdom would be to conserve energy to the lunch stop, and get there by 12:50. And spend less than 90 minutes total at all rest stops.

The 4 big climbs of the Terrible Two. TRINITY (3.2 miles, 8% average) is fairly steady with some steep sections that gets your from the Sonoma Valley to the Napa Valley--the downhill is fast, wide open, curvy and damp. GEYSERS climb is also fairly steady--now warm, with a double summit. Probably my favorite--the downhill sucks over a road under ill repair. Right after lunch is the longest climb of the day, SKAGGS--which is hot, steep, and also double summited. The worse is FT. ROSS--only 2.5 (10.5% average grade) miles but after 170 miles, its uniformly steep and seems impossible. Graphs from Santa Rosa Cycling Club website.

Other training included some epic rides. Week after Sierra Century did a 100 miler with Jack and Big Mike, then next day went back to Gold Country and did my own Terrible 2 with 3 epic climbs—including Charleston Grade. Then I came in first on Wednesday night Ranger Station slugfest, first on Diablo Cyclist ride with bonus miles on Morgan, and next day 2nd on flat Diablo Cyclist ride on rollers with 4 racers and two triathletes and Big Mike. I was happy as was doing long miles at speed, and seemingly ready for 200 miles of hell.

Weather report called for patchy clouds with morning fog and partial clearing with 60’s-70’s. So much for an Indian Summer Terrible Two. But I didn’t want to bring tons of clothes to weigh down my pockets while climbing, my exercise induced asthma would flare up if cool and damp until it hit the magical 70’s (on Thursday it was less than 70 Santa Rosa until close to noon), and I tighten up when cool and feel real loose when warm. Of course I rather it be in the 80’s than 100’s, but given a choice I rather it be 100 than in the low 60’s—but it looked like 60’s would be the call of the day.

The day before got to expensive crappy motel (Ramada-Ronhart park)—thanks NASCAR--whose scores of fans jacked up motel prices. . Cambria Bike shop used to be by motel, now moved to other side of tow. Took a ride from motel to Willowside School to loosen up—20 mile roundtrip was horrible, narrow country roads jam packed with cars. Roads had no shoulder or a shoulder/ bike lane that would suddenly end. For once riding near the venue was worse than riding in East Country.

Was going to eat at Tuscany Italian restaurant but got email from Steve Berry a few days before that said he would probably eat at Mary’s Pizza Shack. Niceness of Diablo Cyclists have slowly moved me away from “loner” mode after Pumpkincycle chicanery, so I contacted Tom, Jack and Steve re dinner palns—first two coming up later in the day. Steve was already eating but invited me over. I hardly ride with him but he has sent some very informative emails in the past and rides with an ACL brace which I can relate to.—wasn't sure I would recognize him at restaurant. But found restaurant and Steve was looking out for me, he was eating with a guy who regularly does 800 mile brevets and would race the course the next day. Steve gave me lots of encouragement and said I’d do fine, he said it with so much conviction I almost believed him. 'But but but—if I suddenly collapse like I did in Davis…' was always in the back of my mind.

Back at tiny motel (world's smallest room for 2 people) met up with Tom who brought his Seven instead of a vintage steel bike—he was going as light as possible for this one. Tom is about equal to me on the climbs (better on the short ones, less so on the long ones) , much much better on the downhills, and probably a little quicker on the flats. I have more endurance. In short a real good rider, and he DNF last year.

Only woke up once, didn’t need the MP3 player and got almost 5 ½ solid hours of sleep.
Over to the Willowside school at 4:50 which was already packed with riders. Between getting number pinned onto jersey, depositing lights for designated rest stop (either #5-Ft Ross or #6-Monte Rio; I was living brave and had them sent to Monte Rio, as people said you don’t want to climb Ft Ross with added weight and if you need lights leaving Ft Ross, with 28 miles to go, you will miss 10pm cutoff for DNF (this year 11pm with added miles, but who wants to ride country roads for 2 hours at night.) At 5:10 some people in lot said :10 minutes to THE SPEECH.” I went over at 5:25 and was way in the back of a huge pack of cyclists—could hardly hear organizer. He was talking about mile neutral lead out through town, to be careful on descents, and how course was re measured for this edition and they found out that they were 4 miles off. Great the course was just 7 miles longer than usual. Later Jack told me that the error was at the beginning, so it was 11 miles longer—in the past riders did 197 miles—not 200.

Start in huge pack with many riders not holding a great line. Some riders jumping in oncoming traffic lane and then jumping back in at last minute when they pass a few riders. I am tempted to be aggressive and move up a few riders at a time, and to move up on small rollers out of Santa Rosa, but I keep reminding myself that this is not a 48 mile race, this is not “won” in the first half, my goal is not to beat anyone (except Jag-wire Jeff's first TT time) but just finish while not being half dead, I see Steve up ahead but about a dozen riders between him and me and I’m taking the passive approach, Jack looks real determined and in his own zone, Tom and I bsing while I watch for the speed up and slow down, speed up and slow down and FULL STOP. The pace car is supposed to be tripping lights but we hit a few red ones along the way.

Soon out of Santa Rosa and mob still as tight and unruly as before. Some guys aggressively ride though, and on Bennett Valley uphill rollers I start moving up slowly. One or two steep sections and then there is a gradual breakup. Steve and Tom right in front in a paceline and I’m about 15 seconds behind chasing by myself. Not a good move for conserving energy but we’re not going that fast and a tailwind. All of a sudden Steve’s group goes one way, some riders behind them yell wrong way and they take the other side of the fork. Then boom-we hit Trinity Grade, I shift and click-click-click-drop my chain and can’t recover. Stop-put chain back on but am on a 10%+ grade, have to go downhill ('what is he doing?' other riders probably wonder) so I can get to a flat section and clip in.

Start going up but chain drop has unnerved me and the air is thick with fog, not the greatest for my exercise induced asthma. I went by lots of riders but not really digging in, a few riders passed me on the climb and thinking back to the Death Ride repeated the mantra-“ride at your own pace-ride at your own pace.” A few times took deep breaths and my glasses steamed up.

Passed one of the Fighting Bobas, fun group race team from last year's Tour of Unknown Coast with “How Ya Doing” plastered on their butt. This years slogan on butt “What's Not to Like.”

Seemingly finished the 3.2 mile Trinity Grade (8% average, max 15%) unscathed but set no time record up it. In any event 1 of the big four climbs done, this was easy. Now remembered it was twisty and fast down to the Napa Valley and the description was spot on. And as an added bonus it was super foggy outside and couldn’t see 50’ in front. A few guys came by on the downhill but I was seemingly in no mans land—the racers/ climbers had already gone and I was at the head of the 2nd tier riders. I kept riding the brakes, listening to the squeak from the wet brake pads hit the wet rims.

Then found out what Terrible Two is about. At start there are lots of surly riders-preoccupied with finishing, mass start. But en route you forge alliances, seemingly with the same people you will see over and over and over. On Hwy 29 I hooked up with 3 riders and we rode hard, each sharing the pacemaking, until we caught up to a large paceline that had been about ¼ mile in front of us. We latched on right before the Silverado Trail turn, and after we hooked on we were content to sit in the back.. A guy named “Norris” (late found out he's the Campy Only guy) and two guys in Death Ride jerseys (one the Blue Lakes jersey) did most of the pulling, some times the yo- yo on the back was so bad I’d go onto the road to slow down, be tempted to go to the front but remembered to “conserve energy.” One time a guy with a Quickstep kit went to the front and picked up the pace but he was a rarity and promptly he came back in line. Hit rest stop #1-Calistorga (mile 51) at 8:23, 17.1 mph average. +17 ahead of my planned 9pm pace.

Rest stop impressive, you call out number, workers cheer you on. Premeasured endurolights and tums, packets and big jars of Hammergel. Mini cliff bars and usual centuy food. Only disappointment that no Cytomax (ha-reading this years later), only Gatorade and Hammer Nutrition products—all which warn you that if you switch from them to a simple sugar product during a ride terrible things can occur. So if you get sick of HEED or Sustained Energy you are stuck—and I still had Cyotmax in one of my bottles.

Saw Tom at rest stop and after 9 minutes told him I was going and he followed. When we left a wave of cyclists were now arriving including a 70 year old (at least he looked 70) that some workers fondly called “the King.” For a while not pacelining, impetus had left and Tom and I just bs’d for a while. Though some vineyards where some big dog named Buster was chasing after another dog on a leash—to the amusement of the NACAR type owner while terrified woman of the smaller dog called out “please get your dog away from us.” A little climb out to the Alexander Valley, then a sudden downhill that Tom took well and I didn't. I saw him up the road hook onto a 2 man paceline, and I’m in no mans land. Knew that I couldn’t catch him on flat terrain and didn’t want to use up needed energy so just sat tight until a 4-5 man paceline came buy. I hop on the end and rode in the back until we were back with Toms’s paceline. Here we all started rotating, and as luck would have it I went to the front on an uphill extended roller. I felt good and I didn’t want to slack so I just kept the speed up from where it had been on the flats, soon I had enough and looked back and everyone had dropped off. I waited, reintegrated and took another pull and soon dropped off. Next time we went though I just pulled for ½ mile. Tom said “you don’t pull for long, do you.” Heck, with a 7 man paceline we should all be taking short pulls. In race-1/2 would be an eternity.

I don’t recall how we got there but soon we hit “The Geysers." At the start of the climb the sun came out, my breathing became better, I loosened up, and I pushed up hard. We rode for awhile with a guy who had a Litespeed Siena—bought it because of daughter with same name, and then we talked about Italy. Soon we reached first summit, fast downhill which Domo Tom rode away from me on. Second summit and I pushed hard to regroup with Tom—going by two guys from morning paceline with Death Ride jerseys. If this was the hardest climb, damn, this ride will be easy, I thought. Sun is now out strongly, I bug Tom about his wearing wool jersey. We get to about 300’ of the summit rest stop and Tom says "race you to the top." He wins, stupid thing to do but lots of fun. In at Mile 81 rest stop at 10:41, +19 ahead of schedule. 15.7 average speed. In rest stop for 12 minutes—take a V8 but it doesn’t sit well with me so I don't have any others. Reload hammergel, endurolights, stuff pockets with mini cliff bars and more gatorade.

Rode much of the beginning of the ride at the same pace with Doubles Vet and Campy Only guy Eric. He kept getting photos of my bike at rest stops--no doubt because of it's Campy Record seatpost. I actually would have been in one photo at the top of the Geysers climb (arrow) but of course blocked by another rider. (Campy Only photos)

The next part of the ride was damn scary, diving into the Geysers crater on a steep, bad twisty roads covered with potholes and cracks. Strange illusion—after steep part it seems like road goes uphill but you are flying. Here Tom shot on way ahead of me, I didn’t even have the illusion of keeping up. Then, all of a sudden a “slow” spray painted warning would appear on the cracked pavement, and the cracked pavement would suddenly end and a 100’ stretch of gravel would begin. Thank buddha for gravel riding in Italy.

Passed a woman in a Terrible Two jersey on a slight uphill and she secretly gleaned onto my wake—I didn’t know this for a couple of miles so I didn’t say anything when dodging a pothole. When I discovered her she thanked me for the pull—no problem. Then a downhill section appeared and she easily passed me—and a guy wearing a nice looking orange jersey from a Mountaineering Store shot by and I was back all alone.

Soon a slight uphill and I easily rejoined orange jersey and woman. Luckily we were soon back on paved Dutcher Creek rollers and three manned towards lunch at Lake Sonoma, across from where Santa Rosa Wine Country ride turns around. Hit the lunch stop at 12:18-109 miles in the books (was so busy in 3 man paceline had no time to really celebrate 100 mile mark) +32 ahead of 9:00 finish pace. 16.4 average. My bike at the lunch stop. (Campy Only photo)

Domo Tom already has big sandwich. But big climb of day is starting-Skaggs Sprigs, so I just go for one slice of bread and a few slices of turkey. Great not to be eating a cliff bar and hammergel. I see Ish-he had crashed on a tandem, tire blowout from brake overheating on fast section of Geysers. Little bloody but OK-but his ride is over. I tell Tom I’m leaving as Jack must be up the road, but Jack still at rest stop. I’m leaving anyway, don’t want to get tight, feel good, sun is out-“time to go” Only 15 minutes at lunch stop.

Sun is out and now I’ll find out what is beyond Lake Sonoma rest area—on Wine County Century we turn around and head back the way we came. But this isn’t the Wine Country Century. The frighting Skaggs starts off gentle and finally warm. I roll up sleeves, put on some sun tan lotion as I’m cranking up hill. About every minute I see another rider on the climb and I go past with ease. I pass the guy in the orange jersey. One guy goes flying by me and I decide to pick it up a notch—with Phil Ligget’s description of Museeuw in the back of my mind “Museeuw is now in trouble, but there he goes again….he NEVER GIVES UP—EVER” and I catch up to him. Turns out young guy is riding with a low 39x25. Ouch. We eventually make a left turn on a narrower road and the grades start picking up. Meanwhile I’m munching a Cliff bar on the climb like I had on the others—which saves time at the rest stops.

See water stop set up but I don’t need water. Nice—finally-downhill with nice quick glance of Lake Sonoma off to the side. Downhill ends to quickly and it is back to climbing. Climb goes on for awhile and I’m feeling great—van off to the side of the road with water but I again decline to stop.

Now big descent starts-wide open, but as soon as I start going down I’m cold. And kinda hungry. I pull over for third time tody to put on vest—when sag wagon pulls behind me to see if I am OK. I am but figure that while I’m stopped might as well get a water refill, which they do nicely. I ask if they have any food and more mini Cliff bars—which I’d eat en route to next rest stop. Great great support. After appx 3 minutes at impromptu water stop I’m off and suddenly I am tired. Not weary tired but sleepy tired. I think I’m at work and it is time for my afternoon nap.

I’m riding all alone and could have pushed it up to 17-19 but just tooling around at 15—thinking that if tarps set up at next rest stop I’m going to lay down for 15-20 minutes—like I had done at Fiddletown a few weeks ago. I am really battling staying awake—which is a new feeling on the bike. Ironicaly everything else doing OK, meditarsal cushions on arch seem to be working well, right calf is a little sore from the cold, my arms are hurting a little from riding in the drops on the cold downhills, and left instep kinda sore—but these are not big problems compared to my need to sleep. Soon “Norris” (turns out to be Campy Only Eric Norris comes by) we chat and I pick up the pace to match his. Traveling a nice strectch of tree lined road with creek off to the side—kind of like Volcano run, and soon at Camp Gualala. Mile 137, 2:53-42 minutes ahead of schedule which would be the high point of the day. My bike at the Guala rest stop--more interesting photo if camera was pointed 45 degrees further right and I'm seen dozing in a chair. (Campy Only photo)

Hit bathroom and got rid of a lot of Cliff bars. Then headed over to chairs (no mats) and made a deal with myself to sit quietly for 10 minutes—no looking at food or eagerly wanting to jump on bike and leave. After about 5 minutes Jack pulls in—I say hi but stay quiet—want the full 10 minutes of rest.

I’m staring into space and woman rolls in and asks workers how she is doing. They answer “Rebecca—except for a woman on a tandem you are the 2nd woman to come thought.” Wow--I'm keeping pace with teh 2nd woman on the course. Throughout the day workers will know riders and riders will know other riders—as someone said not a lot of people do these rides. Then Jack pulls in. After 10 minutes I finally move—now sick of Gatorade so vow just to use water the rest of the way. They also have a choice of a strawberry Hammergel and chocholet—I fill with chocklet which turns out to be a mistake-it is like drinking Bosco. But taking a page out of CA Mike’s playbook, I get a regular rootbeer and drink half of it—it taste great. Jack has lost track of Tom—he started Skaggs climb ahead of Jack but Jack hadn’t passed him and I didn’t see him go by.

17 minutes in the rest stop—by far the longest of the day.

Jack and I start out together and noticed that after each rest stop (except Lake Sonoma where you immeidately hit the Skaggs Spring climb) kinda lazy and some of the impetus is gone for a few miles. As Tom and I had done after Calistoga rest stop, Jack and I spend a few minutes bs’ing and riding at a slacked off pace. Then we hit a bunch of uphill rollers and the intersection where we’d ususaly go straight and hit a 1.6 mile, 10% grade “The Wall.” But today the ride was back to it’s original course, we turned left, and a bonus 11 miles that wasn’t nearly as steep as the wall, but relentless in and of itself. On the long uphill I rode away from Jack and hooked up with 3 guys—two of whom I had ridden with earlier in the day. (Mountaineering orange jersey guy and 25 cassette guy) On the short flat sections I’d ride with them, I’d go out on the uphills, they’d catch up on the downhills. On a long downhill I said that I’d see everone later—guy in Sacto Wheelmen jersey who I bs’d about the Sierra Century jersey said “right,” but sure enough I was soon off the back and had to scramble hard to get back with gruppo on next uphill. They all complained that they rather do the steep wall and be done with it than this additional 11 miles of attention getting hills. Finally we were at the top, and the blast of cool air from the ocean was hitting us. I pulled over—gruppo went by to start downhill plunge, and for fourth time today stopped to put on vest and arm warmers. Rebecca and big guy from last rest stop went by and sped downward. I followed and—surprise—road was actually paved.

Glad I had stopped to put on vest and arm warmers—not cold or foggy but overcast and noticibly cooler. Wound up coming out at Sea Ranch, left turn onto Hwy 1 South, which creates a series of rollers while the ocean crashes onto large rocks. But once again, nice tailwind going my way (had lucked out in last two Wine Counrty rides and Tour of Unknown Coast—getting tailwind on the Pacific) Looked down the coast—trio I had ridden with about ¼ mile away—starting 18 mile coastal ride to Ft Ross and next climb from hell. Rebecca and Big Guy about 500’ up the road, so I put on the afterburners and put in an effort to catch up to them. Thinking about it—all hard efforts today were good tactical decisions to catch paceline in th front. Hooked onto the back, big guy doing all of the pulling. Turns out that both real friendly and this was a EZ event for them. Guy put on pro races and did Boston-Montreal-Boston. Rebeecca had done Bres-Paris-Bres. Both 800 milers.

Coast is overcast and cool but not foggy and cold. Occassional car passes-maybe one a minute. We’re bs’ing and when big guy looks like he is losing some steam I go to the front. He tells me about Mix Canyon Road in Vacaville—supposely a 25% at the top—when the Navigators saw that they scrambled to put a 28x on the back of their bikes for a race. Rebeccca told us about B-P-B.

All too soon we were at Ft Ross rest stop. Both thanked me for helping pull—big guy was real happy there was no headwind. Supprisingly big guy and Rebecca weren’t riding together—this ride is about making stratigic alliances whenever you can. Unfortunatley only 1 porta potty and everything from breakfast wanted to come out. Jack rolls in about a minute later—I look at him and say “time to go.” Jack says he is feeling a little low oin energy, but he leaves w/ me as I tell worker about revenge I just enacted on Jack for bypassing Davis Double reststops. In at 5:34, 9 minutes at rest stop, 36 minutes ahead of 9:00 pace.

As leaving mile 172 at 5:43 I start imagining that can do the last 36 miles in two hours. HA. Ft Ross climb is all that it is cracked up to be. A super steep "The Mt Diablo ramp section" is right at the beginning, which catches me by surprise. It is now real cool and foggy again-glasses steamed up. When I go to stand and power over climb my lower back ties into a knot.

Huh—it isn’t the SI joint—my lower back hurts—badly. So this is where I collapse on this double-huh. I go and stand again to make sure-OH SHIT. I sit forward and keep bowing towards the bars, like usual, but back is killing me—though better when seated than standing though front wheel is lifting off ground when sitting..

I get off bike, take a naperson, and do some stretches. Jack comes along “You OK!” he calls out. Tell him my back just gave out but I’ll be OK and I'll catch up to him. After a minute I get back on bike—it still hurts but a little more flexible. I also find that if I sit straight back, like I’m riding no hands, helps. Air is damp but I’m sweating bullets, Repass Jack and hit anothr steep section. Thinking about getting off the bike and walking but no fn way—even if odometer keeps showing 3-4 mph—I can’t gett any power.. On map climb is only 2.5 miles (average grade 10.4%), Trinity was 3.2 but seemed much shorter—this is going on forever. Another steep section, I start doing a wheelie so I have to stand—OUCH. Reach the top—get off the bike—do about two minutes of streches and then soft pedal starting the downhill. Jack is soon back on my wheel.

Rolling, curvy downhill starts. The good news is that my back feels great when I stretch out in the drops, and the sun comes back. The bad news is that the curvy. Steep downhill surface is “not the best. “On your left” Jack Passes with big guy from the coast—on the uphill roller I scramble to catch them and pass. “On your left,” Jack passes on the downhill again. This goes on seemingly forever. I tell both of them that I’d love just a nice flat portion of real estate where I could spin and loosen up.

Jeeze—for once I get my wish—we get on the Cardoza highway and have about 9 miles of flats. Everyone takes a turn at the front and we pass one rider who hops on, and then another who hops on…we pick up about a half dozen riders including Rebecca who had left the last rest stop 3-6 minutes before we did. It is now close to mile 190 and I feel so much better than at Davis—when I get to the front I stay there for last 2 miles into Monte Rio rest stop. Workers clap when we come in-9-10 paceline strong-I am stoked, as I thought I'd be dead by now. It is 7:29—last 22 miles took us almost 2 hours. Now only 16 minutes ahead of 9:00 pace, but I feel real good.

At Monte Rio-like all the other stops, worker grabs bike and voluenteers to fill drink—I just want water. Bags O lights and tee shirt waiting for us, I just use 1 of 2 lights I brought for front and back, and return other lights and tee shirt where they’ll bring it back to the start. Some good trail mix—I’m sick of cliff bars and hammergel so I get a few portions of it. Look at Jack and tell him to sound the alarm—“time to go” and we’re off after just 7 minutes at rest stop. But shortly stop again as Jack needs to change glass lenses—another 3 minutes.

Hit Occidental rollers, elevation chart says average grade 2.5% but feels a lot steeper and they are right. If at beginning of ride or in a big paceline we’d have zoomed over it but now we’re not doing much more than 11mph. No one is in front of us, and no one coming from the rear. In the twilight, with heavy stands of trees, it is now real dusky. We are on Bohemian Hghway when Jack says that “he is not sure this is the right road.” Oh crap—this zaps a little energy.

I recognize this section—back 6-7 years ago, when Frank, Verena and I got off course on the Santa Rosa Wine Counrty Century, and were scared to do 100 miles, this is where we backtracked to get back on the 60 mile route.

Jack and I finally get off the uphill rollers and start the downhill rollers on Graton Road. Finally a non steep, non twisty, paved road. I am motering—so is Jack, and we pick up two riders along the way. One rider, Max, askes if we did the DMD. He says this ride is harder due to the steeper climbs. (Finishing times show the TT to be faster than DMD. TT winning time 8 minutes faster, #4 rider who did both did TT 19 minutes faster, though #20 rider who did both finished DMD 25 minutes faster. Steve finished the TT 93 minutes faster, Campy Eric 116 minutes faster--not sure faster translates to easier though.) Jack and I just missed making the sprint to the stoplight crossing Highway 116—which had us waiting for 2 minutes, and in retrospect killed our chances to catch the next group up the road who finished 2 minutes ahead of us

In any event we four manned while Jack and another rider got into a heated discussion on how to pronounce Guerneville Road. Heck, I didn’t care, we were on track, I felt great and we still had daylight. As a precaution I turned on my front light, zoomed as hard as I could when I go to the front with 2 miles to go, and pulled our mini paceline into the Willowside School. checkin "119" I yell "118" Jack yells out. Sounds cool.

I felt great and was pumped. Psyched—turns out new jersey is NOT R Crumb tee shirt look alike as I didn’t like that design or old rose, green, white jersey. The new one is a great looking orange and back one. Put bike away and got two helpings of lazanga and mexican payeta. Saw Dan and Doug who had written TT story on web that I read. Steve had come in about a half hour after Jack and I. Saw Bob M. by decaf coffee machine—he came in a little after me. A real respected rider, so I knew I had done well. We got a reading on Tom who was an hour out—he came in about 10 minutes before the free I DID IT Tee shirt cut off—he had thrown up, bonked and gotten lost. Some other rioders came in complainming that the were only a few minuts late for the tee shirt—but no allowances made.

Turns out 82nd place—upper 36%. Less than a half hour off of the top woman finishers time, and 2 minutes behind the 78th place gruppo—damn stop light. Not bad for rest stops-Calistoga 9m, Geysers 12m+1m vest on downhill, Lake Sonoma 15m+3m water stop, Camp Gualala 17m+1 m vest on downhill, Ft Ross 9m+1m stretch half way up climb and 1 m stretch on top of climb, Monte Rio 7m+2m Jack glasses. About 78 minutes plus 2 minutes at Highway 116 red light—and seemed to get shorter as day went on.

Went back to motel—unpacked and saw Toms car sitting outside. Went downstairs after 10 minutes and Tom had phased out @ drivers seat. Reminded me of college days when someone would get plastered. I carried his bike upstairs and he tumbled into bed without watching any old movies. Next day I left seedy motel early so I could meet up w/ Big Mike, Donna, John et on Delta Pedaler coffee break—only problem, on a beautiful day only 2 Pedalers were at the coffee stop.

Love the beautiful orange and black jersey with the grim reaper—only problem is that is says we did 200 miles and we did 207 (jersey is year specific) and it says it was 100 degrees and it wasn’t even close. Funny, when I saw that I thought for first time all day about Jo-Jo and Whiny Mike, who talked about the 100 x 100 (miles by degrees) ride they did the two years I couldn’t ride—though second year it wasn’t 100 degrees or when it was 100 degrees they didn’t do 100 miles, or something like that. Excitedly, I tried to get them to recreate the ride in 2003 so I could try it, but it was just anyother little secret thing with them, so they’d just talk about it but wouldn’t do it again when I could ride it. (In retrospect, apart from "Gruppo Pumpkincycle chance to shack up Deathride" we never rode 100 miles as a trio.) But now, three years later, had done a 200 x 85 and you know what they could do with their 100 x 100.

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