Thursday, October 28, 2010

At The World Series-2010

So the Giants (biggest secret) led the NL in road homeruns--and I bet most of that came after May when they revamped half their lineup. Their pitchers led the NL in ERA and Saves. They surprised many people when beating a very good pitching staff in the first round, and surprised even more when beating the most balanced team in baseball for the pennant. So why do we hear from:

Tom Verducci, SI expert, "Rangers in 7...the Rangers have more speed and power and can create a bigger run scoring environment. No factor, though, is more important than Cliff Lee. Don't be surprised to see him come out of the bullpen.

Danny Knobler, CBS Sports expert, "Rangers in 5...I can't give (SF) the World Series, because to win that, they need to score a few runs. And I don't see how they are going to do it. ...They wouldn't beat the Rangers at all."

Greg Doyel, National Columnist expert, "Rangers in 6...Do I think that SF can win four out of five? Nope. But that's what the Giants have to do to win the World Series, given that Cliff Lee will start two games for the Rangers, which means two wins for the Rangers."

Mike Freeman, National Columnist Expert, "Rangers in 6...Six games may be generous but I'm in a generous mood."

Ken Rosenthal, FOX Expert, "Rangers in 6..."Maybe (SF) will be finally be overmatched by a superior team."

Jon Paul Morsi, National NLB Writer, "Giants in 7"...The Rangers have a 1-0 lead when the World Series is one day old....(SF) may not score a run 1 until game 2."

Loony experts and other folks come out around the World Series.

Game 1....GIANTS 11....TEXAS (& Cliff Lee) 7 (and game was NOT as close as the score)
Game 2...GIANTS 9......TEXAS 0 (In this one, as Giants scored late, game was actually close for awhile)

Jessie and I were lucky enough for our ticket patron to give us tickets for game 1, and she flew up from SoCal right before the game. We were psyched even though the only question from the pundits would be if Texas playoff master Cliff Lee would pitch a non hitter or only a shutout against the Giants.

I figured the Giants has a really good chance as they have much more pitching depth than Texas--after Cliff Lee it is no contest; the pitching we saw against Atlanta and Philly was MUCH better pitching than Texas has. Vlad Guerrero who can hide as a DH in the AL would have to play the field if in the lineup in San Francisco, and Pac Bell Park has the hardest rightfield to play. (Reason #2 Miata/ Amechi Ralph is wrong when he wants to move the fence in, gives us an advantage if we stock the roster correctly.)

Place was crazy--even much more intensity than the playoffs. (Prices to, our secret parking lot went from $20 regular season, $30 for playoffs, and now $50.) Outside the stadium were tons of people milling around soaking up the atmosphere, loads of hawkers of tee shirts that shrink 3 sizes after the first wash and jesus freaks. Jessie might trade her car for this one.

Outside Pac Bell Park--across from Willie Mays plaza.

Jessie used to sit in Lucille Statue when she was little, so she had to do it again.

Jessie in bleachers behind the Chevron Sign (with the cars that trick out the leftfield wall.)

Mr. McCovey, Cepeda, Irvin, Perry and Marichal honored before the game. Monte Irvin played on the Giants 1954 team, the last Giants Championship team. The other hall of famers never won a championship with the Giants. (Dr. Dave identifies these guys as literary and musical royality, Sir William Shake-stick, Orlando C. Furioso, Irvin Berlin, Lord Perry, and Don Juan Quixote, with Sir William Sayhey missing.)

Mr. Bonds didn't want Gary of da Bronx to yell at the TV, so he just stayed in the owners box time.

Inside place was nuts--Jessie and I could barely hear each other. (Years ago I went to an A's/Dodgers WS game and the Oakland Coliseum was like a morgue.) Two rows behind a lady with a voice that sounded like the Penguin from Batman grating yelled all game. Giants were nit mentally in the game in the first two innings and fell behind early, but Cliff Lee didn't read his press clippings and the Giants soon tied it up. And then the team of free swingers got Cliff Lee to 100 pitches in the 5th inning!, and soon knocked him out of the game in a laugher. Later on The Rangers scored some meaningless runs, after the Giants poured it on when they hit the ball to Vlad and watched it bounce around him.
Extra commercials were thrown in between half innings--so they had Tony Bennett come out and sing; and play tapes of Metallica or Journey tunes while a key member of the band was in the stands. The best, for me, was when they played the whole ORGAN RIFT of "LIGHT MY FIRE!!!" Who would have thought that would ever happen at a baseball game.

Another photo with Jessie at the GIANT'S WORLD SERIES. Yippie.

I rather see MC Hammer again but Tony Bennett making an appearance during the looooong breaks and the 7th inning prayer was good.

Vlad waiting to bobble another ball in rightfield.

I wanted to hear Brian Wilson "Jump Around" music and thought no chance when it was 11-3 or so, but the Giants gave up a few runs in the end and Brian made an appearance.**

Only negative to Pac Bell is that it is built on such a small footprint of land, the room by the concession under the stands could be bigger--and so could the ramps. It always is crowded. To leave the 2nd deck we always try to jump on the express escalator instead of jumping on the ramp that doesn't move--but Donna/I discovered something great in the pennant series when we got stuck on teh ramp, and this time Jessie and I used the endless ramp again. It was DISNEY'S ITS A GIANTS WORLD--with fans rhythmically chanting "Lets Go GI-ANTS," "U-RIBE, " "POOOO-SEY," "FREDDIE," "Lets Go GI-ANTS."

This was from another game, but leaving Pac Bell Park after every postseason game was like this.

GREAT start at home!

Pac Bell Park at night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Giants Victory--Appeal to a Higher Authority

ADVERTISEMENT--Ward Industries Celebrates the Bush Presidents Honored in Texas By Throwing Out the First Baseball--Get Your Lithograph of the Historic Event Today While Forgetting Who Got Us Into Iraqi and this Economic Mess--To ORDER YOURS TODAY, send your donation to: TEE-TIME PARTY, PO Box 666, Battle Creek, Michigan

Not taking any chances needing a Giants Victory--something important was needed. Hmmmm...maybe I'll pass on the suggestions in the giveaway at the ballpark that made the sudden jump from talking about the Giants "don't expect a cakewalk, but win or lose our Giants will give their all..." to "there's someone else who gave his all, and he suffered far more than we can even imagine."So they suddenly roll in some tearful story about someone named ME-SSIAH. But I am going to appeal to a higher authority also......and pray to Zeus or Hephaestus.

Pulling out all the stops, more drastic spiritual action needed--so Kung Fu Panda needed a ride up Mt Diablo and go up 3000'. And it worked as Pablo Panda Sandoval had his first multi RBI game since August 24, got the early go ahead RBI, and as the ump blew the first call got two doubles in one at bat--now that's a miracle.

All of this praying worked as THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT. Now they have to play the Texas Rangers, whose fans were the loudest when Josh Hamilton thanked their lord and savior jesus christ--jeesus, fans more obnoxious than the Philly fans.

If now baseball insists on a prayer--God Bless Amercia--during every game--the SF way is the way it should be sung. (Philly Inquirer photo)

The Texas Rangers do scare me, they (even apart from Bengie connection) remind me of the 2002 California Angels--an AL team with speed that plays NL aggressive baseball. Unlike the 2002 Giants team, where everyone waited for Barry Bonds or Jeff Kent to carry the offense--the 2010 band of "offensive misfits" seemingly have someone different come through every night. And the Giants have the deepest pitching staff I ever saw (Barry Zito is the best #5 starter in baseball, OK overpaid but still the best #5 starter.) But though the Rangers can run rings around the Giants, the Ranger pitching after Cliff Lee is spotty, and Vlad will have to play the field in the 4 games in San Francisco. The Giants in 7!

(Maybe Mazda Miata/ Amechi Pizza shill Ralph Barbieri will now stop whining about how they have to move the fences in at Pac Bell Park)


Of course I should be worried--and not because they have me-siaah on their side. They have the population. Since the strike (no world series, 1994) the BIG MARKET team is 11-3 in the World Series (not counting 2000 where the Yankees played the Mets, though with more fans the Yankees should be considered having the bigger market.)

In fact, despite Commissioner Bud's glee over the years pointing to the A's or Twins as small market teams doing great, and there is parody (thank you jesus) in baseball, the big market teams dominate. Combining 2008-2009 and doing a correlation of wins plus playoff wins magnified against metro population, in the AL the relationship between population and wins is .74, in the NL it is .36 and combined it is .55. What this means as for both leagues combined, the size of a market (eg. attendance, tv $$$$, revenue) accounted for 30% of wins. So while there are obviously big market teams (Mets, Mets, Mets) that show how to throw money away, if you spend efficiently the big market teams (Yankees, with 65% of the New York fan base have a population base of 13,000,000 while Kansas City has a population base of a whole 2,000,000--or 15% of the Yankee market!) have a huge advantage.

So the Dallas Metroplex area has 6.4 million and the Giants (getting .65 of the Bay Area fan base as its a two team market and they are the dominant team) have a population base of 4.6 million. No added points for percentage of folks praying to a higher authority.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Idiot Philly fans. In game 1 of pennant series-instead of appreciating matchup of 2 of 4 top starters in baseball (Cliff Lee & CC Sabathia being the others)--they wolf whistled and got on Tim Lincecum because of his long hair, prompting him to retort "they must like my butt."AP Photo
I was a big Philadelphia Flyers fan as hawkish coach of NY Rangers made sure everyone on his team had a crew cut and no beards/ mustaches, while the Philadelphia Flyers had Cowboy Bill Flett skating down rightwing with long hair and a beard. So dumbass Philly fans getting on Lincecum for his long hair forget their sports roots and align themselves with neanderthal organizations like the old NY Rangers and present NY Yankees. Congratulations. Photo from
But then again the Phillies fans are fair with their insults--for most of their beloved Philadelphia Phillies existence the fan base was always insulting to their Phillies. The Philly fans famous slogan based on an ad in the Phillies ballpark....
Donna and I were lucky enough to go to Game 3 after Giants great pitching dominated game 1 and Phillies better speed and defense dominated game 2. Great day all around. Donnie outside Pac Bell Park (Pac Bell Park even if its been renamed a few times depending on who takes over the local phone company this year.)
I'm by the Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha Cha statue (formerly Orlando Cepeda until blowhard announcer Tim McCarver decided to mention a few times that he played with Cha Cha Cha.....; unfortunately a 20 second cable tv delay so we can't turn off the sound and listen to Krukow and Kuiper. I guess we still get a better deal than NY or Philly who are on a 12 month Fox delay, as they aren't getting the games on TV due to a pissing match between Fox and the cable provider. I'm sure organized baseball loves to see their TV rating slip further) Unlike the team across the bay--who you'd never know ever played in Philadelphia, the Giants often recall their New York Roots--no, I'm not wearing a Mets cap. Donna and I in RF stands, overlooking McCovey cove. While we were taking these photos on a mini tripod--a newspaper photographer was off to the side snapping photos of our setup.
Tim Lincecum going down the line during introductions. The all time home run champ comes out and says a special hello to his number 1 fan-Gary of da Bronx. (Ex VP of the Oakland A's, M.C. Hammer, was also on hand and the crowd went crazy when he was shown on the video board taking in the game when they played his hit in the loooooong break between innings.)
PS-Sending this photo to Gary of da Bronx prompted this comment from him (remember he is a frustrated Mets fan), "...Everyone knew of Bonds steroid adventures, yet Giants fans put him on a pedestal. He's a creep, a punk, a jackass. And to cheer him now, while he hams it up, is like cheering OJ now. It says a lot about Giants fans." I had to remind Gary that on Ultimate Mets fan site, MOST fans consider steroid user, shady businessman Lenny Dykstra one of the most beloved Mets ever.Two minutes of extra throwing and standing around between every half inning so Fox can get more commercials on television and pimp their exciting fall TV lineup endlessly--until the 2nd base ump finishes timing the extended break and tells everyone that the game can resume. Dusty Rhodes--I mean Cody Ross.Holy &#*# batman--the Giants play smallball.

Brian Wilson is in to save the day. His beard is as nice as Cowboy Bill Flett's.

Great result--Giants hitters actually put together a small rally, and Matt Cain and friends do another great pitching job. Come home and see the Yankees get trashed--this may be best baseball day ever.
Brian Wilson "music" below--someone did a nice job matching it to video on U-Tube

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Foxy's Fall Century-"Almost 19mph"-2010

(October 16, 2010) Foxy's Fall Century, 105 miles w, 3310' climbing. 18.7 mph w/ Ward, Jim and Jeanne(Thanks to Ward for ride profile and photos--route is pancake flat for the first 29 miles and the last 15. Here is Ward-o-data for the ride:
Davis-Elmira School-100' climbing-19.5 mph
Elmira School-Wooden Valley School-1660' climbing-18.1 mph
Wooden Valley School-Lake Solano-1370' climbing-18.2 mph
Lake Solano-Davis-170' climbing-19.9 mph (20.1 mph until we entered Davis with stop signs)

Wasn't planning to do this very ordinary ride--especially after riding big parts of this route 2x in the last 3 weeks. But weather promised to be last touch of summer, club ride was so-so (over potholes to the Oakland Zoo), and Jim set out a timetable so we'd catch the Giants game:

"The hard part will be making it home for the Giants game at 4:30

Start: 7:15, Cover 100 mphs at 17.5 takes 5 hours, 41 minutes. 3 Rest stops at 10, 1 at 25, 1 flat at 10, for 1hr 5m.

Total 6h, 46m ride time.---This puts us at the finish at 2:01.

One hour for after ride chow. One hour, 10 min back to Danville.

Which puts us back in Danville at 4:11. Quick shower, open beer, walk to couch, 18 minutes.

It's 4:29. Perfection"

I finally decided to ride along without registering. No problem carrying stuff for an easy 100 miles. I figured that the Davis bike club owed me $$$ as they were the only Double organizer that wouldn't comp me for next year or find a buyer when I had to withdraw from doing Doubles because of injury/family death. In any event--I wouldn't be using any of their "stuff" albeit the Johnny Potty.

We saw fixed gear/ recumbent group-Don/ Brian at the start, who were gonna do their own version of the course. We quickly blew up Jim's schedule by leaving at 7:25 (10 minutes late)--supposedly the registration line was endless.

Learning from last week, I didn't overdress (promise of high in the mid 80's) and the sun was out. Ward noticed I had "the fast wheels" on--the American Classics, which I didn't use in tandem the whole year. I soon realized why I don't use them together. Yep--they're fast and quick--being lightweight with a deep rim. But they're stiff--the front wheel transfers every bump directly up. And the front brake always squeals-shudders on the front rim, luckily not many downhills on this ride.

First 30 miles of the ride boringly flat through the farmland surrounding Davis. Actually didn't see much farmland as for 26 of the 30 miles I was just staring at the back of Big Jim's jersey. Almost threw a party when we hit the overpass Jack and I celebrated on when we returned on the Davis 300k brevet--only "climb" for 30 miles. Right outside Davis passed these two lowriders. (WI)

Jeanne and Jim in the flatlands around Davis--I'm trying to look past the back of Jim's jersey. (WI)

Jeanne leads the group over the colorful Stevenson Bridge, as I could almost hear Jack yell "Ward, what are you doing" with road curving off bridge and Ward turned around snapping photos. (WI)

Oh, a new view--the back of Jim's jersey (WI)

Jeanne putting on "THE DEMONSTRATION." (WI)

Damn-we have to slow for the TVG. (What do you mean that the French have a bullet train and we don't in California.) Slowing for the train stop musta cost us the 19mph. (WI)

We had passed group after group with Jim leading the way--when I took over our paceline we were suddenly passed-and passed-and passed-and passed; a huge paceline came by with at least 25 people all over the road. I was ready to hop on the back but Jim said "we don't get into a paceline like THAT," and Ward concurred, so we rode about 75' in back of the end of the blob. Suddenly we heard CRASH-BING-TING-CRASH and a few people on the ground. Some of the paceline survivors were now circling in the road-almost causing another crash.
We were all wearing our new Diablo Cyclist Jersey's--the white theme (I had been a light blue proponent) turned out nicer than expected--and wearing the same jersey made it clear we were together and kept the paceline entact. Some people asked if they could tag on the back, which was fine, and two-three times someone came forward to give us a hand. Ward reports that one person tried to "Junior High School Cut" into the paceline, and vice principal Ward had to kick him out.

Luckily after 30 miles we start on some easy rollers along Highway 80. Now it was getting nice and warm, but soon we'd be in the neighborhood the Knoxville 200 starts in, and it was suddenly windy and cold and I was not happy. Then dramatically we were out of suburbia, the wind died, and we were on picturesque rollers in Wooden Valley.

Here Ward/I & Jeanne/ Jim would sometimes get unhooked so we'd slow to regroup --and at one point some turkey shot by. Ward/I got on his wheel and he started waving for us to go in front of him--it looked like he was waving a car on, but there was no car. Turkey--you were the one that passed us so we just stayed behind him and watched him wave until it was time to regroup.

Colin on the NON Brooks fixed gear doing the 100 miler. Ever vigilant security guard at lunch stop making sure than only folks with the magic wristband can get a Fig Newton. (WI)

BS'ing outside the Wooden Valley School Lunch Stop (WI)

At lunch I stayed outside the guarded/ fenced area and pulled out my deluxe PBJ sandwich
by the guard rail next to the road. (Volunteers at table on other side of fence were yelling out that they had PBJ sandwich--mine was DELUXE on Milton Wheat Bread-Sweet Valencia Peanuts w/ Flax Seed and Pumpkin Butter. Yum. ) Tom Jones music was blasting (Jeanie liked I, I hated it, but again I didn't pay--so had to get Rick James in my head.) Another guy whose friends were in the lunch stop was eating nearby. Lunch area didn't look crowded--maybe because we were at the front of the ride. When sitting on side of road about 40-50 cyclists came by without stopping--looked like lots of folks on the course but not official participants.
One guy from Davis Bike club spotted me and took his camera out and at first innocuously aimed his camera in my general direction but kept camera lens pointed to bike on ground. I knew what was going on and looked away--when I did he pointed lens in my direction, I quickly turned and put on a "watermelon smile" (Rick Barry term-google it) when he took my photo.
Leaving the lunch spot we hit a series of serious rollers where I knew we'd get unhooked--like last year Ward indicates we'll regroup with Jim/ Jeanie after the rollers go down. We pass a few riders on some steep ones-I keep at Ward's pace, just as he'll take something off on the downhills. We hit one long downhill stretch and suddenly Ward is up the road, on the flats he's slowing for me, and some Chianti (jersey) rooster he passed is obviously kicking it into high gear to catch Ward. I put in a dig to get behind the Rooster, who pulls me up to Ward. Tag team time. Ward keeps leading out on the rollers, Rooster stays behind him, and I'm in the back. Then Rooster goes to the front, and on the next 3-4 rollers puts in a dig to get rid of us on the uphill, which he can't. So on the 5th roller I shoot by, Ward comes with me, and we leave Chianti Rooster far behind. Only time I get my dander up all day.
We pull over and regroup with Jim/ Jeanie for the fast section to the Cardiac Climb--I remember its a fast section as this is where Dr. Dave on his recumbent took off with recumbent Tom a few years ago. We have a good paceline into the Cardiac Climb--easier going West to East than last week in the opposite direction. Nothing real steep--2-3 miles with a couple of flat tiers in between. Big group of folks when we get to the base of the climb and I take off--I don't want to go downhill in a group. Catch and pass isolated riders on the climb. Getting close to the first false flat when I hear a rider in the distance in back of me--its Ward!, so I slow, we regroup on the climb and continue up together. Downhill isn't bad (except for strange noise brakes make on wheel)-stop and regroup for Jim/ Jeanne, and again form a paceline making a beeline to Lake Solano Park. Here we are joined by a few riders and one comes to the front and shares the work.
I head over to the general store about 1/8 mile short of the park and enjoy a fruit bar and large sports drink. An older rider with a Webcor Jersey is also snacking--he is also doing the ride with his friends, but since he retired he can't pay the $45-60. He recalls when century rides--just a decade back, were about $20.
I then head over to the park and wait for last bit of carnage--as the hills have ended and no doubt it will be clusterfuck paceline after balls out paceline back.

The gang o four at Lake Sonoma Park (WI)

On Putah Creek Road behind Cal Aggie Wheelmen tandem-from Winters to Davis. Yard bike mobile off to the side. (WI)

Sure enough we leave the rest stop-go over the 2-3 small rollers and then make the turn towards Winters/ Davis where a tandem we saw earlier passed us. (Earlier, @mile 30, they passed us at the end of the straightaway, and we stayed behind them until I got impatient when the uphill rollers started.) They weren't going balls out but were going fast--Ward made the instant decision to jump into their wake. Ward is now officially training for "tandem jumping" on the Davis Double.
Other thing we trained for was "squirrel jumping." At one point a squirrel jumped out of the ag field, skidded like sliding into 2nd base between Ward and I, and just as we both thought we'd hit it the squirrel disappeared. (shhhhh-don't tell PETA)
On the open road there was a single rider about 300' ahead of us who looked back a few times and stayed 300' ahead of us. What's his deal--but I wasn't going to leave the draft to catch him with 15 miles to go--especially with the stiff head/ cross wind blowing. Gradually the tandem cut the gap down to 200', then 100'--"and suddenly we were there." We passed, guy jumped into the back of our line, Tandem started to fade so Jim took over--then Ward, Jeanne and myself. I was pulling on a real bad headwind portion but we were making good progress as passing scores of folks and no one coming up from behind. Suddenly guy who we had pulled in goes strongly to the front, at first he looked like he was jumping after getting a free ride, but he slows to make sure everyone is on and he does a nice job adding horsepower to the group. I rotate to the back and??, no tandem, find out they blew up a few miles back.
Suddenly hit the WELCOME TO DAVIS-CITY LIMIT sign, and a few traffic control popped up-killing our speed. I yelled at Ward that he needed to sprint back to the car as he had the Garmin measuring everything--and Jeanne almost doubled over when Ward sprinted the last two blocks.
Ward's HIGH POINTS (no joints involved) of the Foxy's Fall
1) Jim's first pull
2) Communal decision to not join the CF paceline and soon to follow crash.
3) Gordon Valley Road Squirrel-when his attempt to cross the road by running ahead of wheels failed, I think the little fucker ended up running down the length of the paceline and I don't think he got hit. An escape worthy of Houdini.
4) Gordon Valley waving guy.
5) Fun times in Hwy 121
6) We would have had a 20 mph average on the last leg if we didn't have to obey stop signs in Davis.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dave & Ward's Not So Grand Fondue-2010

(October 9, 2010) Figure "8" Route--Fairfield via Pleasants Valley to Lake Berryessa to Pope Valley, Napa to Wooden Valley. 113 miles, 6,000' climbing, 17.3 mph. w/ Ward*, Dr. Dave*, Christine*, Jack*, Colin*, Stephen & June (*included Cantelow Road bonus loop-5 miles, 600' climbing)(Ward Industries)
"Giants baseball-torture" is an apt description when an you get 4 hours of sleep after an extra inning playoff loss, and have to wake up extra early for an out of town ride with a start time pushed up because of the shortening days. "Giants baseball-dehydration." It also does help when you check the National Weather Service the night before--after feeling the cool San Francisco air I came out with knee warmers, arm warmers, vest, wool tee shirt--with a forecast for the high 80's. Luckily I had the small Metro Handlebar Bag (so did Dr. Dave) to stuff the extra wardrobe I lost within the first 25 miles.
Turns out one of the great rides in a year where we haven't had many out-of-town rides. Weather was perfect, great group with someone always pushing the pace, and except for Ward not marking county lines on the route sheet, he and Dave did a nice job organizing the ride. We also got lucky--hit a closed road (due to a bike race) 10 minutes after it opened; earlier we found ourselves in the middle of carbon wheel land in the middle of a time trial on an open road. Part of the route was also over the EASY portion of Knoxville Double where heat exhaustion kicked my butt--albeit 70 miles earlier and 10 degrees cooler, I went balls out on this section today.

Early morning pelaton going towards Pleasants Valley Road. The rides first 10 miles is suburban ugly (backtracking the start of the Knoxville Double), then it is rustic for the rest of the day. (Ward Industries)

Jack on Cantelow Loop. Most of us detoured on the hilly Cantelow Road loop, which is mostly a series of significant rollers. Here we were passed a few times by groups from the Davis Bike Club--on a few of the climbs I stayed with the Davis riders but would not even think to contest the narrow/ twisty downhills. Funny contrast--The Davis riders packing minimal gear and deep dish wheels, we were all carrying lots of "stuff" on overbuilt wheels. WI has not released all the photos taken of the coeds when the Davis riders regrouped at the end of the loop. (WI)

Dr. Dave on Cantelow (with homage to Frank Zappa/ Jean Luc Ponty--aka the Cantaloupe Island Loop) Note the mini-Metro handlebar bag. (WI)

First regroup at mile 30 at almost always quiet Lake Solano Park. Next week on Foxys Fall Century this will be stuffed with people. Today Stephen is contemplating the two county lines that will come up in rapid succession--one I like because it is on the top of a climb. (WI)

We wound up on the Davis Double course going over Cardiac Climb, then a regroup-renegade rest stop at Moscow Corner (aka Moskowite Corner, named for the nearby vineyards.) Then after a few miles on a country road with moderate traffic we turn on Berryessa Knoxville Road which was almost deserted--signs indicate that the road was closed shortly before our arrival. We then started seeing numerous CHP cruisers going the other way (one just passed us above when we were practicing our Team in Training blocking techniques), then loads of cars loaded with bikes, many waving and yelling encouragement at us. Seems that a woman's tri event had just ended (WI)
This is a great stretch-loads of rollers around Lake Berryessa as we steamed toward Spanish Flat rest stop. (WI)Christine by Lake Berryessa (WI)Jack by Lake Berryessa (WI)Leaving Lake Berryessa and heading towards Pope Valley. (WI)Ironically we cut away from Lake Berryessa at the same spot where we start the Knoxville Climb on the Knoxville Double. We now backtrack the Knoxville Double course and ride towards Pope Valley-Napa. (Christine) It was now getting warm and the road from Lake Berryessa to Pope Valley is mostly uphill so our group broke up here --in a shady spot by Pope Creek we had an impromptu rest stop. (Pumpkincycle)

Ward & Christine--and guess whose fn around in the photo--its safer when the camera is in Ward's hands. (Dave)Dave-Stephen-Colin. Pelaton almost in Pope Valley (WI) Ward (PC)

Dr. Dave (PC)

Stephen (PC) Christine (PC)

Colin, with emergency brake tabs on his BROOKS saddle. OK-we made it into Pope Valley. Sun's perfect, grapes in the background. Now where is that general store that Dr. Dave (NOT a math professor) said was only 10 mile away from Spanish Flat. (PC)

Another impromptu rest stop at Moscow (sic) Corner because of the heat, and then a quick ride through flat Wooden Valley with a tailwind. Earlier we hit some back roads (Lower Chiles Valley Road)with sudden steep rollers and I'm sure Dr. Dave was very happy not to be on the recumbent--but he missed it on the Wooden Valley speedway. (PC)

Strange that much of this ride was over the Knoxville Double disaster. After I bought a small Gatorade today at the Pope Valley store, Jack joked that it was a little smaller than the gigantic one I had bought two weeks ago when I was fading fast. On the next section, the one I completely faded on 2 weeks ago, I was real pissed and pedaled in anger. Calmed down by the time we left Moskowite Corner, and then Stephen and Dr. Dave fought over Ward's wheel when getting close to the last county line of the day. (I had no clue what was going on and yelled that they'd be throwing elbows soon--Jack yelled even louder "what the heck is going on.") But most of the riding was cooperative/ paceline/ waiting for stragglers. If Self Supported Sierra Century was my favorite ride of the year, and self supported Mt. Shasta Century was 2nd favorite, this ties with Lake Almanor-Indian Valley Ride for 3rd.