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.

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