Ward's email directly below nicely sums up some of the ride highlights & remember to vote for Doug LaMalfa as he's one of US, not one of THEM!Hi.
I hope everyone made/makes it home safe and sound.
A good ride today. Preliminary stats are 121.0 miles in 7 hr and 8 minutes. I lost about a mile of data after lunch when the POS Garmin Edge 500 (did I say it was a POS) would not restart and I had to reboot it (I need to practice hanging onto the back of the paceline and rebooting my instrumentation, chasing back is too hard). Last year our time for this ride was 7 hr and 7 minutes, so we are slowing down as we get old.
Special thanks to Jim for his work on the front on the windy run in to Durham. Once again, we had quite a parade. And note that we are just over 7 hours for the extended ride, tempting eh?
Thanks to Mark and Jay for the suffering you provided on Table Mtn Road on the way to the Lake Oroville rest stop. I was kidding (sort of) when I thanked Amy for flatting so we could pass all those people again. I did no work and struggled to hang on, then I fell off the back on the last roller. When I caught up I had to go "over the top" as hard as I could (isn't that what Paul says to do?).
Dave, I'm amazed that you bented your way up Table Mtn. That's not an easy climb and dodging the pedestrians while on the bent must not have been easy. You did not miss much by skipping dinner, there was not much left.
Jeanne, next year we will get you a tazer so those guys let you into the appropriate place in the paceline.
Amy, you rode well for as few miles as you have in your legs this year. Next year we'll get you trained up and you can help Jim pull us across the flats.My butt hurts, I vote for smoother pavement.
Chico, the ride around the college town in the middle of nowhere (3 ½ hours North of San Francisco, 1 ½ hours North of Sacramento, the closest city, with only farmland and rednecks in between) brings back lots of memories. In 1997 went up to this strange place and bought a jersey from one of the many local bike shops, figuring I’d never be back. Then John and I closed down a pizzeria/ bar at 1am and the next day may have been last to come in on the metric ride. For a couple of years after I’d go up with Donna and we’d do the metric where the honey Run climb with its hairpins that kick up seemed damn hard. We also loved walking through the light bricked college campus and the downtown loaded with bike shops and mom and pop stores. Then there was the year I stayed home to take my daughter to a No Doubt Concert and then saw Patti Smith the next night—and the next year I couldn’t ride as was rehabbing from getting upended by a dog—so I hobbled around Chico with the kids while mom rode and hoped that one year they may go here for college to this school—as it is one of the few California colleges actually in a college town.
After a year of knee rehab time trialed the 100 solo, joined the Diablo Cyclist but they still left at 8am and cut out a chunk of the course so Big Mike and I started at 6:45 and then tried looping back to find the wives’ in 95 degree heat after the kids drained my water bottles at the end. Then my oldest wound up in Chico State and we stayed in her apartment the night before the ride—the one next to the freight train tracks and her building shook and shook and shook for the train or next door parties all night. Now I feel old as it seems like yesterday that I wanted my kids to go to Chico State and now my oldest graduated a few years ago.
Historic Chico photos, w/ my cycling mentor John by Honey Run Covered Bridge (1998), I'm in front of downtown mural (2002)
In any event gotta love a college town that has its main streets named after amusement parks—the Skyway and the Midway.
For the last few years Ward and I and other Diablo Cyclists have instituted the double metric. The Chico Wildflower is “only” 95 miles—basically 3 mediocre climbs with few sections of rollers and lots and lots of flats. The last rest stop, in Durham , is a @25 mile loop to Chico but there is a bail out straight shot shortcut back to Chico that tired century riders can take. So when we loop back to Chico we ride the bailout in reverse, get back to Durham, and then do the last loop again.
I hope Ward doesn't look down tomorrow on Honey Run and steer off the road (PC)
Next morning we set met up at Chicoland main Gate. First time I did a century ride with Cyclocross Champ Mark and his wife Amy. As last year Chico Native Jim, Jeanie and Ward were back again and Dr . Dave was new to the ride. He’d have both his bent and wedge machine up in Chico and as he prerode with the regular bike he’d be on the bent for the Century—I thought a better idea was to stay with the regular bike for the first 65 miles which features the climbs and duck the bent’ in Durham and switch to it for the pancake flat loop. (Like wise AI should change to a time trial helmet in Durham) Temperatures were supposed to touch 80 for the first time this year sop all extra clothes was left behind. Dave had packed his recumbent steamer trunk with 10 lbs of “stuff” including two different suntan lotions (I think one for a base tan and one for a savage tan later in the ride.)
Leaving Paradise are 3-4 significant Italian (you can’t power over) rollers, which eventually leads into a long straight shot downhill which I wanted to start before all my clubmates who are downhill maniacs. Also, again not hard getting ones dander up as while waiting for a red light before a roller someone would time/ jump the light so they have momentum going into the roller. Here Mark and I tag teamed and we shot ahead of everyone—he slowed on the downhill so I could keep pace with him.
I'm talking with Dave at Lake Oroville rest stop that maybe if we wore our Diablo Cyclist jersey we'd keep interlopers out of the paceline--oh wait, its over 80 degrees and we don't want to melt (WI)
We regrouped on a flat section that leads into my favorite part of the course. We’d lose the 60 milers so the crowd on the road lessens and we head to Lake Oroville on a fast back road that starts with a series of baby rollers and ends with a series of medium rollers. Again we rode a nice paceline until a group shot by without saying anything, Mark, Ward and I got on their wheel and when the medium rollers began Mark and I went hard to the front—Mark did most of the pulling and I gave him some relief ion the middle before he resumed. Only Ward and one guy from the other paceline managed to hang on with us and just when the road flattened Ward, who had been unhooked, shot by in a nice sprint finish.
Mark takes it easy as he waits for the rest of the club to regroup at the top of Table Mountain (WI)
Lake Oroville rest stop was the most crowded I had ever seen it. Years ago most people opted for the metric, now more folks doing the century. I also think lots of people left early fearing the hot weather. More coffee cake. Lots of great food but many more porta-potties needs as lost of time standing in bathroom lines. Then it was off to Table Mountain.
Table Mountain looks just like its name, instead of a peak it looks like someone took a ginsu knife and cut the top off. It was now approaching the heat of the day and Table Mountain is mostly out in the open. I was planning to hit it hard for Alta Alpina (being fatigued) training and there is windy, bumpy, technical downhill off of it going into lunch which I hate—so my plan was to slip into a pocket where there are no riders around on the downhill.
Table Mountain worked out well—stayed with Mark about 15 seconds. I talked to one guy about the Davis Double and I couldn’t keep his pace—I was disappointed but he was the only rider who wasn’t a cyclocross champ who passed me on Table Mountain. At the top most riders stopped at a large water stop but I hammered up the road until I got on someone’s wheel who was going at a good clip. We traded pulls, and I told him I’d fall off on the downhill, but I did a good job keeping the speed up until the intersection that is about a mile from lunch. I didn’t want to go hang at the crowded lunch stop so I just found some shade above the intersection and waited for the club—unbeknownst to me Ward flatted, and Jim said it was a cluster fuck coming down as they were surrounded by the large YoungLife (follow Jesus off the road) group who were flying all over the road taking turns at unsafe speeds.
Lunch was hang out city—I stupidly had a premade gourmet deli sandwich (yup ) that had lettuce and may on it—8 hours later I’d still be tasting the lettuce. Another super crowded stop. Donna said she got there on the 60 mile route at 10am and it was virtually empty. Now it was a zoo.
The nature of the 2nd half of the ride significantly changes. Now it was time to go through the flat valley and the most significant climb left would be a freeway overpass. We held a nice paceline with Jim and Dave usually leading the way.
We had a problem with people trying to cut into the paceline—I was kinda oblivious to it but Dave was getting pace line "shoulded." But the trip was uneventful and soon into Durham , from there a large circle of the ag fields back to Chico.
Then I flatted and it sucked but kicked my butt into reality to be prepared for the hard Doubles coming up. I had an aero wheel but only packed a regular tube. My CO2 adapter was broken. By the time we got going all the impetus was gone. Whose stupid idea was it to do the final 25 mile loop again if Jim isn't here to pull us (WI)
We rolled in around 5:00 and give the Chico folks lots of credit—they still has lots of dinner for us and the people limping in behind us. We agreed that ride is unique due to “different” nature of Chico, and rest stop food is great, and with abundance of course markings even I couldn’t get lost. But SAG vehicles were invisible, drinks could be better, more toilets at rest stops badly needed, and course would be more interesting with more rollers and less totally flat. Also noted that more Wildflower out this year than in any other, which somehow corresponded to more clueless cyclists out this year than any time before (maybe folks riding with their head up their butt looking at the flowers)..
Wish we would have stayed another day to leisurely take in the town, but instead kind of hustled so we’d get home around when the sun went down, so went quickly through ag land dotted with campaign posters that read “conservative for…” and “he’s one of us.”