The fun started Friday night before the ride when we met up with our internet gang from NorCal Bikeforums.net. We had about eleven of us show up. The food was grand, but the service, with a smile, was slightly screwed up. It didn't matter, they comped a lot of it and we had fun anyway.
The actual ride launched at about 7:00 the next morning from Wells Fargo Event Center. We started out through Santa Rosa farm lands, mostly pleasant small roads with not much traffic. After our first long climb we turned to do a section of the 200K ride that would take us up some stunningly steep hills (20% plus in a couple of spots) with beautiful views then dump us almost into the ocean.
The decent was so steep the ride organizers have a woman in a skeleton suit holding a warning sign and calling in a Halloween voice "Slow down." What a blast.
We had planned on a 100 miler, but our friend Pete, being, well, Pete, had other ideas that involve combining, subtracting, improvising and generally scoffing at the official map. He supplies us with "Pete-isms" as well. Starting up a steep climb he yelled "I'm in the wrong gear!" quickly followed with "No, I'm outta gears!"
After riding with Pete a few times Tricia has started to be able to decipher his comments:
Before starting a climb, when Pete says "It's not that bad" he means "You'll be in your lowest gear, standing up, and will perhaps make it, furthermore, the decent following will be the cyling equivalent skiing double-black-diamond death run.
"It's not that far" translates to "Maybe less than 20 miles."
"We'll be there in 10 minutes" leaves off the "if you were driving a car" part.
Tricia was glad she wore her "We can do it" Jersey as we ended up riding 112 miles out of 100 miles.
The actual ride the organizers put on was well run, the rest stops were stocked with goodies and the rest rooms lines were survivable. The only part I didn't like was riding right past winery after winery and not stopping at one of them. That just seems wrong.
The biggest plus: Tricia's bars didn't slip. Her chain ring didn't fall off, and there were no bee stings.
Flickr slide show of a few photos