Ward's Century (and general ride) Guidelines.
1. Hold your line and don't do anything stupid.
2. When you get passed on the road, don't repass everyone at the next traffic control (stop sign/red light) so you get repassed as soon as everyone gets rolling again.
2a. Don't try to use the shoulder to sneak past faster riders who are stopped at a red light/stop sign (applies double to know-it-all tandems).
3. If you get passed by the paceline, join at the end. Don't try to bust into the middle. It's dangerous and messes up the rhythm. (Applies double if you are going to get gapped and force everyone to work extra hard to come around you to close the gaps).
4. If you are sucking wheel on our paceline for miles, then try to race around without taking a pull or giving a wave you will be chased and sat on until you die.
5. Leave the iPod/MP3 player at home.
1) Davis - Elmira School
2) Elmira School - Wooden Valley School
36.42 miles; 1630 ft.; 18.2 mph
3) Wooden Valley School - Solano Lake Park
22.55 miles; 1440 ft.; 17.4 mph
4) Solano Lake Park - Davis
21.43 miles; 240 ft.; 19.6 mph
TOTAL: 105.5 miles; 3480 ft.; 18.4 mph
We were not really planning on doing this ride since the weather can be iffy this time of year. As a result, we planned our self supported 200k (Solano CC to Middletown) last weekend as a year ending long ride. I was traveling last week and when I got home, the weather looked like it might be good so I emailed Jim and Jay. Jim and Jeanne were registered and Jim guaranteed a wind free day. On Friday the weather still looks good so on Friday evening I call Jay and we decide to go. I make some PB&Js and bag up some drink mix to carry in case we cannot register and need to ride self supported.
So it's Jim, Jeanne, Jay, and Ward in for the century (which one of these is not like the others?).
On Saturday morning I get out of the house late and drive fast.
As I approach the start, I see Jim & Jeanne parked on the side of the street so I pull in behind. I gather my stuff, check the tires, and run off to registration to see if I can do a day of the show. They take my $$ so I dash back to the car to remove the sandwiches and bars from my pockets, 5 pounds lighter already.
Back to the start and we see Sacramento Doug.
We're ready to go but the slackers (100- miles) are not here/ready. No big deal as today's ride should go quickly and it's still early.
I need to pee. The orchards look good but there is too much mud. Where the hell is that rest stop?
I really really need to pee. The orchards look good but there is too much mud. Where the hell is that damn rest stop?
On Vaca Valley, we get passed by a gaggle of riders. It looks like one guy doing all the work with a dozen hangers on. As soon as the guy at the front eases off. the paceline turns into a clot with no one else willing to work. When we turn south on Pleasants Valley, Jay goes around them and takes a dig just to stir things up. What a troublemaker.
Along Lyon Road (next to I-80) Jay and I stop for a nature. While we're stopped Doug rolls past and slows while we catch him so we can ride together.
Coming down the hill on Vista Grande (tract house heaven) for the right turn onto Waterman Blvd, some guy ignores the stop sign and passes the group by swinging to the left then out onto Waterman where he would have been crunched if there was any oncoming traffic. A woman with a unicorn (?) on her jersey rolls through the stop sign behind him. We quickly catch these two and I sit on the woman and let the guy work. And work. And work. When he started to look shaky I start my Phil & Paul commentary, "And they are really starting to suffer at the front of the peloton, will the sprinters teams come to the front to help?". The woman started to laugh, but she did not go to the front so she must not have been on a sprinters team. The guy visibly slows, so off we go. As I pass he says something like, "help at last". Well, if you had not violated Rule 2 then help would have arrived much sooner.
We're trading pulls on Wooden Valley Cross and Wooden Valley proper. Jim is powering along in the big ring while lot's of folks are trying to jump on but nobody sticks. After we ease off a bit some guy in a white jersey gets on the train. He's back there for a long long time.
I'm thinking we're on Wooden Valley Road when we're really on Wooden Valley Cross Road so I miss the approach of the county line and there is no Stephen Herrick memorial sprint. I later notice that the county lines are marked on the route sheet, maybe I should look at that once in a while?
I'm taking a pull when I get stung by a bee in the little opening at the top of my left glove. I got stung a couple of weeks ago (Amy's Ranch Ride) and had a severe reaction which required lying down (since I could not stand up). The group was worried that I was going to have problems but I figured I had at least 20 minutes any issues would arise (or sit down). So let's get to Wooden Valley School before then. When we slow down to discuss things the white jersey guy passes without saying a word and without looking over. I see that he's wearing ear buds.
So sorry, that's a rule 2 violation and you will be chased. There is an extra penalty for the Rule 5 iPod violation.
I jump immediately (to the apparent concern of my group) and stick on this guys wheel. He gives a dig or two (and looks back after each) but it's no problem to stay glued on the back. Jay soon appears and shortly afterwards takes a flyer. My guy does not (cannot?) react and I sit on him for a bit longer. I have time to notice he's got the full Assos getup, socks, shorts, & jersey. He takes a few more digs but is starting to wobble a bit. One more wobble and I go and am quickly on Jay's wheel. I look back and Fred is fried (no where to be seen).
We pull into the Wooden Valley School lunch stop and they have security guards protecting the bananas from the poachers. I take my bottles and Jay's and go in to fill them up, then pass them over the fence. I ask around for antihistamines but there are none to be found. I take a couple of ibuprofen and hope for the best. Grab a bit of ice from a cooler and put on the sting. The food is guarded better on the Foxy's Fall than the Gold in Ft. Knox (Ward photo)
I make a last visit to the little house of blue water so I'm last out of the stop. Then I can't get clicked in as I've gotten mud in my cleats. So that delays me for a minute or two more while I find a stick and try to clean things out. As I start I see Jay circling ahead. He probably thinks I'm passed out in the mud.
The road starts climbing immediately and, even though our legs are stiff from the lunch stop, we are passing lots of folks. We gather up Jim & Jeanne but I'm feeling good and don't want to slow down so Jay and I keep a moderate pace up the climb. We rode this section of road last week so I know what to expect and can enjoy the rolling sections of the down hill. There is no hurry so I coast down most of these. We finish the final descent through Muscowite corner and look for a shady spot to wait for Jim & Jeanne.
After regrouping, we roll along until we reach the start of the climb up to Monticello Dam where J&J fall back a bit. Jay and I ride hard (well I was riding hard anyway) (pumpkinnote: An EZ climb--I brought the speed down so Ward could stay with me up the climb and he returned the favor scrubbing speed on the downhill so I could hang) and we're gathering in lots of folks. (Looking at my data, the first part of this climb only has 450' vertical gain, it seems like more when you're on the bike). One guy in a Death Ride jersey decides to sit on and he's there for a while. He drops off a bit on the descent to the marina but reappears on the rollers along the lake. He tells us we're doing a good job and takes a short pull, then he blows and is gone. We do the last of rollers and Jay takes a pull before the descent; then we're at the bottom and all the climbing is basically done.
We look for shade and wait for Jeanne and Jim. Jeanne arrives first and tells us she cannot stop since her cleats will not release (more mud from the lunch stop). So we roll slow while Jim catches up.
We cruise along Putah Creek in the low 20's. Then the Davis Bike Club racing team zooms by with a big group of dingleberries in tow. In the spirit of keeping together, we stick with our more moderate paceline.
As we get to Pleasants Valley Road, Jay pulls into the store to get an ice cream bar (pumpkincycle correction: iced fruit bar) while we "official" riders head to the park for expensive bananas. Jeanne gets one foot out and is able to stand while she loosens the other shoe and takes her foot out of it so that she can work on the mud issue.
We hang out at the park for a long time. What's the hurry, there are only 20 miles to go and it's not even 2 o'clock.
I hear people talking in hushed tones about some scary climb that is coming up.
Jeanne and Doug at the last rest stop by Lake (large pond) Solano. (Ward-o-photo)
So this scary climb that had lots of folks worried is the rise right outside the park. It's hard only because legs stiffen a bit when you sit around. About 100 feet of vertical and not particularly steep.
A few small rollers but nothing "attention getting" on the run into Davis. We keep our speed in the low 20's and the four of us trade pulls. I'm feeling a bit tired and I think my turns are getting shorter but I don't want to let the speed down.
We have an ever growing parade behind us as we pick up slower riders on the way into town. Everyone is well behaved and there are no rule violations as we roll into Davis. At one stop light some guy (from Grizzly Peak Cyclists?) thanks us for all the work and shakes everyone's hands.
I tell Jeanne that we are a lucky bunch because "even our women will kick your ass."
I check my average speed and the Cateye says 18.3 mph. I don't want to loose any of that so I accelerate fairly hard away from the traffic lights (and try to stop late). Jeanne rolls up and asks me what the heck am I doing.
Final stats are from the Garmin (which was not activated until we started rolling and does not include trips to/from the car at the ride start and trips to the plastic houses).
I iced the bee sting area when I got home and before bed. Two days later and my hand is still noticeably swollen and very itchy. F'ing bee.
A great ride and a good last long ride of the year (unless we do another one next week).
Pumpkincycle 2 cents on following blog>>>>