Posted on March 29th, 2008 in Century Rides,Photos by lane2train

ACTC North DMDWhen I signed up to co-lead this ride with Deb I expected it to be challenging and I was right.  127 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing makes for a long day.

Due to the potential for rain and the guarantee of pain we only had ten people show up for the ride, including Deb and me as leaders.  Only six of us completed the full ride, the four others took a shortcut here and there to avoid a 10-hour day on the road.  Another reason for fewer participants than usual was that several were riding the Solvang Double.

The day did start off wet but by the time we descended from the mist and low clouds on Mt Diablo things dried up and warmed up a bit.  Mt Diablo was tough as usual with 15 miles to the top of the 4,000 foot climb.  Altamont Pass was easier than expected but Patterson Pass really put the hurt on, especially that last mile or so to the top.

Mike took off ahead of us from the top of Mt Diablo and we never saw him again all day.  He said he wanted to get down to dry land and hopefully some warmer temperatures.

Brian, Dave B, Guy, and I rode together from about mile 60 to the end.  Except for Guy who had to bail for an appointment before we hit Altamont Pass.  Dave and Deb were hot on our trail as they worked on their preparations for the brutal Mulholland Double coming up in a couple of weeks.  Better them than me!  I’m all out of Doubles.

Sheila took a shortcut that I wish I had known about which allowed her to skip Patterson Pass.  Brian, Dave B, and I caught up with her in Livermore where we rode together back to the starting point in Sunol.

This was my seventh century of 2008 so I’m on track for at least 24 this year.  Maybe more.  Photos and GPS output from this ride are here.

Tour de Franz 2008

Posted on March 22nd, 2008 in Century Rides,Photos by lane2train

Tour de Franz 2008 routeAnother 100+ mile ride with my ACTC long distance friends on a ride to Franz’s house to celebrate his 60th birthday.  Steve and I decided to start with Deb and the 7:30 crew rather than chase David, Gary, Russ, Ken, Brian, et al at the 8:00 start.  By the time we were heading up to the top of Metcalf at mile 20 it was Steve, Barry, and me out in front.  Shortly after arriving at the top, everyone started arriving; including the 8:00 crew led out by Gary F.

After leaving Metcalf, Peter, Dave Z, and Mike M caught up to Steve and me on the Bailey climb.  The five of us raced to Willow Springs where Dave remembered he was tapering for the Solvang Double so he dialed it back.  All that time I thought we were running from David  H, Gary F, Russ, Ken, Brian, etc but Peter thought we were racing to catch them.  By the time we made it to the Woodlands climb at mile 42 those fast guys caught us.

I then chased Russ, David H, Brian B, and Mike up to the Henry Coe climb where they disappeared seconds into the climb.  It was a long, lonely 10-mile climb for me with the reward of an ice cold Coke and the end of the serious climbing for the day.

From there we made it to Franz’s house for a scrumptuous BBQ to celebrate his birthday. After the party, Gary B, Barry, Steve, and I ground out the last 30 miles heading north into the wind with the larger group starting out behind us.  As usual, Gary F blew by us at about mile 100 travelling about 10 MPH faster than us.  Kinda depressing but it won’t be the last time he flies by me after I get a head start I’m sure.

This was my sixth century ride of the year.  Click on the map above to get to my photos. . .

Solvang Century 2008

Posted on March 8th, 2008 in Century Rides,Photos by lane2train

Solvang Century 2008The forecast was partly cloudy with highs in the low 70s so we were a bit surprised to wake up to heavy fog and mid-40s.  I met up with my friend Sandra and her triathlete buddies who are in training for a tough event later this year. At about an hour or so into the ride the sun burned off the fog and we ended up with the great day we expected.

We started off through Solvang and into Buellton at an easy pace since we could only see about 20 feet ahead; noone had lights, and the roads were unfamiliar.  After about 10 miles I did the typical over exertion for the next 50 miles.  The rest stops were welcome sights along the way since I was working fairly hard on the ride.

Even with about 3000 people on the century ride I was only able to find one good paceline to jump onto which was led by a couple of WebCor guys from Palo Alto at about mile 50.  I stayed with them for about five miles until two San Jose Bike Club riders took the lead and pulled the paceline away from me.

Throughout the day it seemed like I was like a magnet.  Every so often I’d look back and there would be as many as 10 riders on my tail but only one of the guys all day came up to do some pulling.  I was reluctant to drop to the back of the paceline since I didn’t know any of them and I’ve made the mistake of getting behind dangerous riders in the past.  Those groups typically broke apart on climbs and always at rest stops.

Occasionally, a guy in a lime green jersey would pass me on the climbs and then I’d pass him either on the descents or the flats.  At about mile 70 I caught up to him again and struck up a conversation.  His name is Greg, a stock analyst from Palos Verdes and this was his second century.  If he rode as many centuries as me he’d probably be doing them in under 5 hours, the guy is strong for only one prior century.  It was great to have someone to talk to, especially during those last painful miles, and especially the way Solvang was laid out with most of the climbing at the end.

I’m planning to ride this one again next year.  Solvang is a great town, I hope we get the same excellent weather again.

Photos from this ride are here. . .