Thursday, May 10, 2012

Santa Rosa Wine Country Double Metric-Stockton Delta Century Weekend (2012)

Century Weekend
#13 Century (May 5, 2012) Santa Rosa Wine Country Double Metric Century, 125 miles,  w/ Ward*, Dr. Dave*, Christine* ((*)-7 miles, Dr. Dave led revolt) and Cisco Dave ((#)-55 miles, knee led revolt), 16.6 mph, 4500' climbing
#14 Century (May 6, 2012) Stockton Delta Century, 98 miles, on a fixed gear, w/ Don (also on a fixie). Jack, Brian, Craig and Ken who are sane and didn't ride MF'ing fixies, 17.1 mph, 500' climbing

Knee hurting since DMD--usually I have a quick 2 day recovery from most hard rides--I used the elevator at work until Friday.  Months ago seemed like a good idea to do the Santa Rosa Wine Country Century, 2nd best in California, and then pedestrian & flat Delta Century on a fixie the next day.  A couple of days after DMD didn't even realize that rapidly approaching next weekend were these back to back Century rides.  Doing back to back century rides harder for me than most Doubles as I don't spin efficiently--instead I push a big gear so my legs/ joins tighten up overnite.  So these rides would be good endurance training for Alta Alpina--the goal everything is aimed at this year.  And also good practice for riding with people--there would be more people on the Santa Rosa Wine Country Century than on all my other Century rides completed combined.

Dr Dave on the crappy farm roads at the beginning of the Santa Rosa Wine Country Century (Ward-o-photo)

Dr Dave and Ward early on (Cisco Dave)

Cisco Dave deciding to do some cyclocross before heading down to the ocean (Ward-o-photo)

Saturday would be riding with the Diablo Cyclist "new wave," our relatively new members bonus mile group that likes to take photos and joke around on the ride.  Sunday would ride with the Diablo Cyclist "old guard" who are overall more serious and focused.  For example on Saturday when we went down to the Coast Dr. Dave/ Cisco Dave/ Christine/ Ward and myself had to get a dozen photos each of someone else taking photos of the beautiful undeveloped Coast.  On Sunday we passed a great piece of urban art--a skeleton riding a bicycle, and I dare not stop for a photo as the gang would be off in a flash. 

Skelaton warning about tight sharp steep crappy road down to the Coast and deranged bitch in a Volvo (Cisco Dave)
Cisco Dave coming down Coleman Valley Road--practicing when he does it on a fixie (Dr. Dave)
Traditional group photo in front of the Pacific--which usually takes 2 minutes.  See the video--we were down there much much longer (Ward-o-photo)

The Pacific (Ward-o-photo)
We'll be heading North along the ocean ... eventually (Christine)

Ward taking Dr. Dave taking Cisco Dave--now our photo collection is complete (Ward-o-photo)

Paceline off the Coast led by Dr. Dave (Ward-o-photo)

(above) Cisco Dave and me having fun in the paceline--mercifully the video cameras have been put away (Ward-o-photo)
The Santa Rosa Wine County Century is a great ride (t2nd best Century in NorCal.)--great organization that does everything right except serve skimpy portions at the end (they are serious and want all cyclists to be great climbers at 125 lbs.)  Rest stops great, (eg. hot tostada shells, roasted potatoes, and drop bags at the 2nd one.) unique structures along the way, beautiful Coastline.  The Century course stays inland and is relatively flat with some hard rollers, the Double metric bonus 26 miles takes you out to the Coast on steeper rollers.    So while the initial section have very serious rollers the Course becomes very fast and great for our  Club to stick together all day.  We used to have a much bigger turnout for this ride, with riders seemingly hammering all day.  A few years back, going into Monte Rio rest stop Big Mike, Big Chris, Big Jim, Big fill name in here, wound up the pace to 30 for the last few miles as everyone else hung on for dear life.   Seemed that today we rode much easier than in the old slugfest days, and only had Ward is a powerhouse on the flats, but average speed was close to the high water 17.2 mph for this ride, and most of our rides on this Course have come in around the mid 16 mark.  Met loads of people from either my cycling past or folks who worked DMD last weekend like Doug & Joni.   Only bad thing about ride is you are on real Roman Roads--Sonoma County last paved the roads in MDCCCXCV  (hint-John Muir was alive)--Sonoma has the WORST roads of any County I've seen in California.  Where the hell does all that winery money go???

Next day Delta Century was a much simpler affair and one where I contemplated turning around at mile 25 as my legs had no power, wouldn't move, and knee/ calf hurt.  But while power never appeared, knee and calf issues left me alone after mile 25.  Beginning of ride is brutal, just through farmland with a stiff head/ cross wind.  Ride eventually gets interesting as you cross and recross the Delta on quaint drawbridges and wind up riding on heavily tree lined, almost traffic free, levees.   Rest stops pedestrian with basic food--dinner setting in a nice look winery but they don't even have what Santa Rosa skimps on.

Notes on Santa Rosa Wine Country Double Metric Century
1) Douche in red thought he was in a race--sit in at the back of our group and then make a sudden run into a hill.  Hey, if you let us pull you for miles take an fn turn a the front.  I set up Cisco and he first beat the guy up on the hills and then I also put in a few digs until we lost the guy. 
2) Mid ride after a car pulled out some guy also sitting in on our group yells "prime to the top,"  and jumps ahead of us.   Cisco gone so I started attacking/ counterattacking.  Finally talked to him, and seemed like a nice guy- in a Santa Cruz "Hey Dude" sorta way.  He was proud that last year he pissed someone off that they screamed at him in Polish, and that this year he dropped his girlfriend, a Taleo racer, so she ain't slow.  That last move not the best.

Group at Monte Rio stop in self-designed bike jerseys.  Ward christened them the 'Grandma's Sofa Bike Club' (Pumpkinphoto Worldwide) 

I'm on the scenic water crossing outside Monte Rio (Ward-o-photo)

We could have gotten hydroponic gardening instructions from this guy (Ward-o-photo)
3) At end of ride we ran into DMD super rest stop workers Joni and Doug.  Well, I used to like Doug.  He said he was sitting in a peloton 200' in back of us when #2 occurred, and he was laughing his ass off.  Damn Doug, we could have used you.
4) Guy squeezed by Ward in the right and yelped when Ward told him he should give a warning.  (See DMD story)  How hard is it to say "on your right?"

Christine on steel bridge--right after rest stop #3 (Ward-o-photo)

5) Deranged bitch in a Volvo Station wagon zooming up narrow Coleman Road, when we yelled " slow down."  Boyfriend in car gave us the "we're #1 sign."  She then stopped the Volvo and yelled out "this is my road" before zooming off.  We all missed out taking photo of the witch.  We need more practice taking photos.
6) At an early rest stop Ward spots a group wearing self designed black and white paisley kits--he asks them "is that from grandma's sofa?"
7) Leaving Monte Rio some guy with megaphone who looked like a course worker waived us through an intersection while screaming "GO GO GO."  Heard nearby chuckles and took a second to smell and realize that he and 3 friends near by were locals who were just toking up a storm and we all were getting high just riding past them.
The "Psycho" house we usually see late fall is now surrounded by booming fields of flowers and grape vines (Ward-o-photo)
8) I almost channeled my inner Jack after we were on the Coast for 10 minutes just taking photos of each other taking photos of the beautiful Coastline.  And more photos, and more photos.  Oh--there is Cisco Dave doing a headstand next to a sea lion on a rock we didn't take a photo of.  Everyone take out their cameras and cell phones.

Great lunch spot--could have 20 items on freshly made sandwich--"just two slices of meat and bread please, no mustard, mayo, sprouts, pickles, onions, guacamole........" (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)

Funky wineries all day--this one on Chalk Hill near end of the ride (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)

...and when I went to get food at the end o ride meal--my kiddie meal DID NOT come with a prize (Foto-funnies from Ward Industries) 

Christine, Dr. Dave and I enjoying our kiddie meal (Ward-o-photo)

Joni and Sacto Doug.  Doug is happy as somehow he got a dinner plate 3x larger than anyone elses--think he's a member of the rest stop workers union. (Pumpkinphoto Worldwide)

Ward's new friends--wonder why he chose to ride with them instead of me at the end of the ride (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)

Took test rides on Volagi bike at demo booth..  Real unique seat stays for ride comfort.  Don't know if disc brakes would be a benefit vs couldn't use my existing wheelsets.  And to think they wouldn't have been sued by Specialized if they painted their (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)
Christine channeling her inner Jack when locked out of the Wardmobile who has disappeared at the end of the ride.  Man--changing clothes RIGHT AFTER the ride finishes is GREAT (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)

9) When we hit the flat mid section of the Course our group of four (Cisco had abandon re DMD lingering soreness) did loads of pulling larger groups around--keeping it at a steady 19-21 mph.  We didn't care as long as no one tried those turkey moves re #1, #2 above.
10) At lunch the weather was in the mid 80's.  I was enjoying life but Dr. Dave wanted his A/C (or was it A/C D/C?).  Most of the double metric bonus miles are to the Coast, but there is an annoying 7 mile loop right after lunch, 1/2 steep rollers, 1/2 fast rollers.  Dr. Dave led a revolt not to do this, so the group gave me a 15 minute headstart out of lunch.  Even with 15 minutes I thought I'd be way behind when the routes merged, and hoped to see our gang at the last rest stop, but some local tri guys came by and were hammering.  I got behind them for less than 2 miles before they dropped my ass.  But this 2 mile pull really worked out--I arrived at the intersection where the route comes together right with Ward-Christine-Dr. Dave.
11)   One guy who we towed on the flats tried to jump off a mile from the last rest stop so Ward jumped ahead of him and I got on his wheel so I'd go if he caught Ward.  But he never did.  We all stayed together nicely to the end of the ride. Well, actually Christine, Dr. Dave and I did.  Ward was making new coed friends and near the end we lost him to Christine's dismay--all her change-o-clothes were locked in Ward's car and he came in a week later.  Or so it seemed.
12) Nice vendor area around dinner tent--highlight Volegi bike demo with woman who took out that woman's divisions on DMD.  Chicken/ tri tip meal was good though skimpy, oh I mean chicken OR tri tip--"no extra piece for YOU."  Dinner was great--joined by Ward's two new friends and Doug/ Joni.  How again did BIG Doug wind up with a plate of foot 3x larger than mine??  We stayed until they were closing down dinner--then you could have AS MUCH tri tip as you wanted.  Yea!

Hard riding, loooooong drive home,  but fun day.

Notes on Stockton/ Lodi Delta Century
1) Nice starting area on in beautiful winery/ vineyard,  But first 500' is ride through vineyard with lost of loose grave--suprised no one slipped.
2) Everything hurt first 25 miles which zigzags Northwest through open farmland.  Trouble is stiff wind from the Northwest.    Was like Paris Roubaix--with right turns into the wind like a cobbled section where I was ready to throw in the towel.  Luckily Don, Craig and Ken pulled alot here.  I was useless.  It was painful staying on our paceline--knowing if you dropped off with stiff winds abound, a solo rider would probably go 1/2 the speed.
3) At beginning of ride saw old Doubles teammate who had moved away, Doug.   His plan is to draft behind distance rider Doug/ Laurie's tandem and eat lots of Rice Krispie Treats that the rest stops are stocked up on. 
4) At Sugar Mill rest stop see Veronica/ Tom who also worked DMD last week.  Veronica happy she now has a bike that she can lift with one hand (not lugged steel.)
5) Also saw a bunch of fixed gear bikes with NO BRAKES.  Real MF'ing Fixies.  Nice looking bikes.  But couldn't believe they'd let bikes with no brakes on organized ride.
6) Eventually we are more protected in tree lined Delta Levees--much less wind and cars.   Also much more interesting than the farmland.  Road surface 'not the best' but 100% better than Sonoma County
7) Team Rabobank Poseur showed up--after sitting behind our group in a headwind section they tried getting off the front once we got a tailwind.  I got my dander up and revved up the fixed gear and jumped on first guys wheel.  When he was dying out his buddy tried getting off the front and I just nailed him back.  Stayed with him until we turned onto metal grated drawbridge before stop where I pictured accident waiting to happen if I stayed on his wheel.
8) Ferry boat crossing--basically raft with motor (where is the paddle wheel?) is featured excitement of this ride.  Only excitement is trying to get up a 100' 15% hill from a metal deck.  (No thanks I walked.)
Look who Brian and I found in the parking lot, Yogamaster Doug.  Doug and I got our rookie Doubles Triple Crown the same year.  (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Don and Brian didn't do Chico so they missed out on Wildflowers last week (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Craig and Don on one of the delta levees.  Craig is cheating--he has a derailleur.  (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Diablo Cyclist Devil Mountain Double Veterans (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Veronica showing what you can do with a bike that is NOT made out of lugged steel.  She worked DMD last week--member of my old bike club that did her own thing and avoided the hijink. (Pumpkin Worldwide)
(top) Don (below) Brian-- passing by some vineyards (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Our group is getting seasick on the ocean voyage (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Brian and Don happy to be back on solid ground (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Jack asking a lady where she got her flotation device (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)

Doug peeved that he didn't get any Ricke Krispie treats (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Laurie peeved that Doug II wouldn't let her drive the tandem in her altered state (Pumpkin Worldwide)

Jack peeved that the pony rides are just for kids (Pumpkin Worldwide)
 9) We came in in middle of end-o-ride entertainment and when we were in parking lot DJ was going to give away prize for anyone who did ride on a fixed gear.  Don and I started yelling me, me me, but we weren't heard and DJ switched prize to anyone who rode tandem.  Damn.

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