Sunday, August 24, 2014

Marshall Wall-Tomales-Petaluma-Oh Great-More Smelly Cowshit Metric+ (2014)

(August 23, 2014) Marshall Wall-Tomales-Petaluma-Oh Great-More Smelly Cowshit Metric Plus, my ride-84 miles, 5000' climbing.  The overachievers--Jack & Kris who went 100 miles adding on to the end and Don, who did the slacker ride but on a fixed gear.  The slackers-Dr. Dave, Christine, Todd,  Recumbent David, Jeanne, Stephen-77 miles, 5300' climbing.  Who know wat they did-Rusty and Sara usually riding in the opposite direction from us, met us in Tomales and at the end.  
No long signature climbs but up and down for most of the course.

Fun ride.  It was originally supposed to be a 60 mile Marshall Wall loop which we did a month or so ago, so I wanted to add on to make it 80-90.     So instead of coming off the Marshall Wall and looping back South towards Pt Reyes Station and bakery, I wanted to head North on the Coast Highway to Tomales and bakery.  From Tomales there are 3 options to go back.  Stephen came up with a shorter 4th.  My add on Petaluma loop was a pain in the butt (long, shallow rollers) w traffic--I should have headed further north on Highway 1 to Valley Ford.  Next time.

I'm always deluded that this ride will be relaxed, but with the presence of so many competitive cyclists it never is.  Today started balls out on the first climb a few miles out--Westbound to Big Rock.  Dr. Dave picked up our pace on the climb for the same reason.  Rusty had started with us and he is one of the strongest riders and a great downhiller--and the 12 miles after Big Rock is generally downhill.  So with Todd we slammed hard up Big Rock, and then ran a three man.   We didn't want to hear Rusty fly by yelling "hey dude."  I started doing play by play and sure enough Rusty was gaining on us--about 300-400' in back.  But we continued with the three man, Dave put in a strong pull and Rusty was stuck in no mans land.

Congrats to Christine for taking out the Cheese Factory climb against the interlopers.

The Club regrouped in Nicasio and a we had a nice Diablo Cyclist paceline for a few miles.  Two women we passed latched onto the back of our paceline, which was fine, until we made the turn beginning the Cheese Factory Climb.  Then they shot off the front.   Christine and Kris were near the front of our group, and it was up to them to chase their gender compatriots.   Kris is strong on the flats but still working out her climbing--and she had a great excuse for not chasing .  "I did a century yesterday."  Yes she did, her second week of back to back century rides in prep for the Knoxville Double, so I had to let her off the hook.   Christine got her dander and rhythm up-she started slowly but picked up speed as the climb progressed--and caught her "two sistas" near the top.  The two interlopers started chasing Christine downhill but they made a tactical mistake.  A tandem had just crested and was starting the downhill, Christine wisely got behind the tandem while the two chasers didn't.  I slotted myself behind the two women chasing Christine; they kept a strong "two man" going but had "none chance."  They looked back a few times to see if I was going to come forward---nope.  Meanwhile Dr. Dave had also drafted the tandem, he backed off and pulled the old 2001.  So the women caught up to him and then realized that they had to get around him while he was slowly bringing the pace down.

David, Kris, Jeanne and Todd on the Marshall Wall

After a break at the Cheese Factory we then had a hard run in to the Marshall Wall with Dr. Dave, Todd, Recumbent Dave and Christine--and when we got to the wall Dr. Dave just shot up it as he had done a couple of months before. 
Stephen leading Jeanne and Chris up a fun roller towards Tomales.

Regroup for the ride on the Highway 1 North which features lots of attention getting rollers and the fn clam bar where a car doing a U Turn took me out on my last timed double.  Dr. Dave, Christine and I remembered being in Tomales years ago on a Stephen ride with thick thick fog.  Today it was nice and sunny.   We thought we lost Rusty and Sara but they took a different route to and from Tomales.
Don and his fixie in the Downtown Tomales.

Waffles in Tomales

Dr. Dave and Chris (David and Jack in background) relaxing at the bakery with the gas pump

Nice break in Tomales--at the center of town is a bakery, deli and general store.   This may be the three chief qualities of a Club Ride cycling destination.   A few other cycling clubs were also "in the middle of nowhere."  I wanted to continue North to Valley Ford but no enthusiasm for that, so we all (except for Sara and Rusty) went East.   We were in the middle of cow country and the effervescent smell of cow crap permeated the air.     I kept riding back and forth, riding and bsing with Don on his fixie and then charging up to get Todd to spring ahead on a sprint.

Across Marin--the gang with Don on a fixie and Dr. Dave in the front and camera strap

Don passing some more cows

Don and Jeanne passing one of the handful of one room schoolhouses we'd see

After a long break the original route salesman, Stephen, threw in a shorter option that didn't go to Petaluma.  Everyone chose the Petaluma bypass except for me.  The trip to Petaluma and back was non eventful except for the hay truck that passed while spraying another cyclist and me with shredded hay.
Solo by the Nicasio one room schoolhouse

Only a few other cyclists now on the road instead of the crowd we saw in the morning.  Caught up with a nice guy on the run in to Big Rock--now with 75 miles in my legs.  Told him I had to go for "Strava time" on Big Rock.  One of my favorite climbs as its steep (wish it was a little steeper) but only .2 miles--which is great as the climb is finished before my cardio goes down the toilet.  The guy on the road said he'd play rabbit and took off which got me going real hard.   Later I found out for the day I was tied for 1st on the Big Rock Strava segment with Reed Albergotti who co authored "The Wheelmen"--the expose' about the Lance Armstrong led doping ring.   Wish I would have run into him and asked him why he thought  Lancy got a pass for abandoning his team during the Spring Classics--while Barry Bonds or Joe Montana would have been skewed if they suddenly sat out (or went home) when the Dodgers or Cowboys respectively were in town.

Last short climb of the day Diablo Cyclists (orange dots) all over the top 10 positions on the climbs for the day--and some of our fastest guys weren't on the ride..

As usual the run in from Nicasio, which is real fast, and the ride over too quickly.  Most of the club was still around.  Jack and Kris were off doing a full 100 looking for another bakery so they hadn't come in yet.  Another good day of cycling and hi jinx.  I was happy that with the cortisone injection-- this was my first full first week in months that my hand didn't hurt when cycling--so it felt great to do lots of miles with great company and slam some rollers.

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