Sunday, June 14, 2009

Canyon Classic Century 2009

Tricia and I rode the Canyon Classic metric century (100K or 63 miles) back in 2007. We thought we'd try the classic 100 mile route this year. We're glad we did. The route was much more interesting and fun to ride, even though it clocked in at eight miles more than 100.

We started in Patterson and rode west toward the hills and Mt. Hamilton. We were rained on just a bit, but not much. The ride starts off with a lot of climbing, and spends a bunch of time in the plus-ten-percent range. Tricia enjoyed the constantly changing weather as we went from rain to overcast to cool to warm to pretty clouds and then looped through it all again.

After the climb there was a delightful decent to another long climb. But the stunning scenery let us hardly notice the work. I had no idea we could be so far away from the world yet so still close to the Bay Area. It was apparent why they called this the Canyon Classic as we rode along the sides of some very steep hills. There weren't many other riders on our route. Most of the time it seemed like they'd put on this ride just for us.

After lunch in Livermore we rode up Tesla Road and had an amazing decent back into Tracy. First it was steep, then, even as it dropped to only a few percent, we had a tail wind that let us cruise at 25 while hardly working.

From there we rolled through long straight roads in very flat farm country. At about mile 85 we hit a section of road so wet it looked like the gods had dumped buckets on it. We didn't get rained on, but must have just missed a pretty impressive cloud burst. It was wet enough the bikes ended up looking like they'd spent the day in the rain. I'll have the joy of cleaning them up on Sunday.

Overall, a really nice ride. I just wish the tee shirts weren't white. They had an OK design, and I would have bought one, but do I really need another white tee I'll never wear?

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