Sunday, August 24, 2008

Walnut Creek to Calavaras to Sierra Road Century

(August 23, 2008) Self Supported Century, 100 miles, 5725' climbing (Rating 217), to Calavaras as Diablo Cyclist Club Ride, over Sierra Road and back with Joe and Ward. Nuttin to train for, but getting beaten up on Sierra Road (3.8 miles, avg 10% grade) seemed like a good idea. So Ward and I made sure we had our x27 this year, and after our club ride through Sunol and then over the gentle, winding, shady, beautiful, rustic (a great road when they are not chip sealing) Calavaras Road. Don and I talked about a strategy for next year's Mt. Tam Double to keep Joe out again--we have to get Big Mike, and Ward and 250 other riders to sign up for the Mt. Tam Double before Joe does (and then they can switch to the 60K like the riders who gamed the system this year and insured we didn't have a full starting field; special thanks to the dual bogus entries of Rick & Yoko and Peter & Trudi who each killed 2 entries.)

After the driveway regroup Joe, Ward, Dave and I started down to Ed Levin Park for water, and then zoomed downhill to Milpitas. Jeeze--Dave is doing Sierra Road on a recumbent!!!!!!!--NO NO NO NO NO. He's much to smart for Sierra Road--he was just traveling with us to visit family in San Jose. Great day, sunny and warm but not hot. So we stopped for drinks at the gas station, and vowing not to attack and blow up, we started up.

Maybe the worst thing about Sierra Road is that the steepest section is at the beginning. Then the second worst thing is all the false flats. Finally it is unshaded and quickly became HOT. Route profile & Joe and I at the top of Sierra Ward (Ward-Photo)

This time didn't start strongly which worked nicely--as I didn't blow up. Hot but nice view of San Jose valley. Joe waiting at the top with the cows, Ward soon joining us. Then the fast, fast, fast downhill (past the DMD "I'm not petting the fn goat" spot), quick turn onto "the wall" which is a mini bump compared to Sierra Road, and then the fast winding downhill on Calavaras--our speed checked with the chip seal remnants and the occasional car that comes around the hairpin reminiscent of roads in Italy (beautiful, scenic, rolling, and no center line.)

Joe, Ward and I paceline back to Sunol where I got another frozen Coconut Bar and ice tea and sports drink--weather is deceptive as I can't drink enough. Sunol with the train station and park across from the general store (and diverted main road traffic) is a throwback to small town America--kinda mellow to sit on the porch and watch time go by. Beautiful run down to San Ramon where there are only 3 stop signs, and the usual red light-red light-stop sign-red light-red arrow-red light section afterwards. Great ride-weather was perfect, but somehow my hydration sucked, and I was downing liquid all night--next day found out that this hard century (course 20% harder than Tour of Napa Valley**) left Ward in the same condition.

(**Based on course rating which rates century based on miles and climbing--list will be posted soon.)

No comments: