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.

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