Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ten Reasons for Not Doing the Napa Century-2007

A couple of weeks later Holstein Hundred and Tour of Napa Valley suddenly upon us, I signed up for neither. Not buzz from the Club as in the past, especially for Tour of Napa Valley, which used to be PREEMINENT--and Holstein is ridden over much of the same Mt Tam course. In truth I was "death" for 1 1/2 weeks from Mt Tam ride so didn't sign up for Napa--but it also has lost much of it's glamor.

Top 10 Reasons for NOT doing Tour of Napa Valley

1. $65. Weren't Century rides $15-20 just as recent as in the late 1990's. Many DOUBLES (200 miles) are $65--and a self supported Century is $7.50.
2. $5 more for a patch that used to be given away free.
3. Tour of Napa Valley has perfected how to get 3,000 riders on most routes to the JAMMED lunch spot at the same time. I can wait on line and see crowds at Wal Mart for free.
4. Though food is very good--more loooong lines for food at end of ride area.
5. Wouldn't miss the afternoon adventure of pacelining down the Silverado Trail--which is now heavy in winery visitor (drinking) traffic. Though nice wide shoulder, it is frequently BLOCKED by 3 people riding mountain bikes/ cruisers who HAVE TO b.s while riding 3 abreast at 11 mph.
6. Parking is terrible--usually wind up on the side of a hill on weed infested field 1/4 mile from the start. At least the paved lots where residents park are now marked off--nothing like getting yelled at by residents a few years back.
7. Though ride visuals are nice, Silvarado Trail much nicer in early morning on Terrible Two/ Knoxville, and Pope Valley much nicer earlier on Davis Double. (and continuation to Middletown on great road past crowded golf course lunch stop is better still.)
8. Napa's Road improvement program consists of putting white chevrons around all the cracks and ruts in the road.
9. The metric course--which stays among the vineyards, actually nicer than the 100 mile course which goes though suburbia.
10. Though Yountville may need money--don't feel like making a donation when local police line up ready to give "chickenass" tickets (thanks Adam Corolla) tickets to cyclists--especially at 7:00 when there is no other traffic .

Good luck to Mike/ Don riding P-B-P Here they are going over route at going away party-"How Does this Course Go Again?"

We're lucky to have Mt Diablo, all 3,849' tall, laying in the middle of the County. Instead of fighting traffic almost all summer I've stopped off gone up on Tuesday--often joined by Ward--at a recovery pace to the top, and then on Wednesday went "balls out" with the Diablo Cyclists to the Ranger Station (2,159'), as we all chase cyclocross champ Mark and mountain bike camp Jason, and then often continuing on to the top. While most of Diablo isn't steep, to the Ranger Station appx 5% and the rest of the way appx 6%, sometimes I do the ending ramp, @1000' at 18%--twice. Midweek the 11 miles of roads to the top is very quiet with little traffic and loads of bikes--especially before the Death Ride and a midyear Time Trial race--which has everyone out. On the weekend there is a line of cars going to the top for the view--so sometimes I "add on" 20 miles to the Ranger Station, pre Diablo Cyclist ride before cars are allowed in. Here are two photos I took at the top of Diablo within minutes of each other mid August. Looking Northeast it is sunny and warm (Sacramento is appx 50 miles away in this direction) Looking to the West there is a thick layer of fog hovering over San Francisco, which you can barely see. Kind of explains the 30 degree temperature differential.
(September 2007) Mt. Diablo -- Sierra Road Self Supported Double Metric 124 miles, 7,852' climbing, 15.5 averagesolo Mt Diablo to Ranger Station Diablo Cyclist Club ride to Calavaras Ward, Rusty, Beth and I do Sierra Road Bonus Loop (Tom also did it but separated from us)
Kind of a depressing week--Don and Mike dropped out of B-P-B, an SUV started an accident that had another car bouncing off mine on the freeway, and apart from Knoxville Double kind of miffed that nothing else has caught my eye or that of many club members (Doug and I will do Auburn Double Metric) . We had a Club ride scheduled for 80 miles out to the gentle Calavaras climb,, Ward suggested we could add the not so gentle Sierra loop, and then I figured I could add some miles before the Club ride to get a DOUBLE metric century, which meant heading up Mt Diablo before they open the gates for weekend cars..
Day started out "great" on Diablo when a cyclist told me he was bitten by a rabid coyote the prior Tuesday @ 30 minutes after I passed the spot of incident. Then some numnut coming up a steep blind turn (the 1000' level) decided to weave up across the whole road while I was coming down--he was flush across my lane, which got me screaming. Nice turnout for club ride though lacks some cohesiveness with Don in Europe and Jack infirmed--so we split up into a few groups on the fast run into Sunol. Then over the beautiful gentle switchback climb on Calavaras--though ruined by Santa Clara saving $$$ and (as they did on Mt Hamilton a few years back) chip sealing the road--so gravel flying everywhere and turns taken gingerly. At one point there was a pile of gravel on the side of the road that the country then painted the lane stripe over. Good deal.
At end of Calavaras we waited around to regroup while Tom started on ahead--thinking we were going to leave in a few minutes. But took awhile to regroup, and then found out that many people thinking about the steep Sierra Road climb earlier now weren't that enthused. On Beth, who had never done Sierra Road, wanted to join Ward/ I while Rusty yelled at her that she was crazy for wanting to do it. We started off and were joined by...."Troublemaker" Rusty, who also had never done Sierra Road."
Not a hot day but Sierra Road steep, especially at the beginning, and wide open, but everyone happy that we did the 35 minutes of hell. Then a fast back, paceline to Sunol where we sat around the porch of the general store and watched life go by before heading back to Walnut Creek. Total cost for this century ride--about $12.
Ride menu--for self supported Century rides I like to keep track of what I ate, and how the food planning went. Albeit to many calories / carbs on Friday (about 400 calories-100 carbs to many) the food intake came off well--and is a good model for an 8 hour ride.
-Thursday (carb deficeny before loading) 1995 calories--280g (57% carb calories)
-Friday (carbo loading) 3265 calories--605g carbs (74% carb calories)
-Sat-Breakfast 2 hours before ride--635 calories-90g carbsWhole Wheat Waffles(3) -Jelly-Yogert-Banana-Liquid on Ride-@7 total bottles & 1 Diet Iced Tea--1180 calories-275 carbs 7 scoops HEED-700 calories-175 carbs3 scoops Perpetuem mixed w/ one shot (Banana) Hammergel-480 calories-100g carbs (drunk cold on run into Sunol)
-Food On Ride--1325 calories-290 carbs-Cliff Bar, 250 calories-40 carbs (@ Diablo Ranger Station)-Bagel, 360 calories-75 carbs (@ Sunol)-Cliff Bar, 250 calories-40 carbs (@ end Calavaras)-Sports Beans & Banana, 215-55 carbs (before Sierra Climb)-Cliff Bar, 250 calories-40 carbs (@ back at Sunol)Total food/ drink on ride 2505 calories---565 carbsTook two Tums and Two Endurolights at every stop 90g carbs for breakfast a little "light," could have gone to 150g. Conversley, on 8 hour ride with good but far from great intensity, 50g carbs an hour is target, so 565g carbs consumed over 400g target, so both breakfast and ride food/ drink combined got me into target ballpark..

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