Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Primavera Century 2012

Tricia above Livermore
Livermore has a wonderful bike path that runs through the vineyards.
With a week of "rest" after the wind-fest of Tierra Bella Century, Tricia and I tackled the 104 mile Primavera, a century with 6700 feet of climbing hosted by the Fremont Freewheelers. It starts in Union City, and you just can't get there from here. It's a bit over an hour away, too close to hotel the night before, but too far to really enjoy driving to. We'd packed the car the night before and still had to get up way too early to be on the bikes by 7am.

www.sailinsteve.com photo
Right near the start, the ride took us through the very quaint  Niles,  which I'd never seen or heard of before. But Wikipedia says 'From 1912 to 1916 the Niles section of the Fremont area was the earliest home of California's motion picture industry. Charlie Chaplin filmed several movies in the Fremont area, most notably The Tramp."

After some rather nice suburban riding with great views of the bay we hit Calavaras Road, including the famous "Wall" which isn't nearly as bad as its name suggests. A bit later we came across the Freewheelers  special stop, with a telescope for viewing the nesting bald eagles in a nearby power tower.

The ride was very well supported, and seemed to have the ideal ratio of riders to support staff. The rest stops were busy, but not crowded, and they had plenty of restrooms. They even had a goodie bag with stuff that I was actually pleased to get. We also enjoyed the boost to our egos when we received multiple compliments on our 50 Plus jerseys. People really like them, and it's fun to get to say "I designed it!" when they ask. I could, however do without the "It's great to see you're still out here getting exercise." that accompanied one person's jersey praise. (Hey, kid, get off my lawn...)

Curtis and Tricia on PattersonAfter looping through Livermore and some of Patterson Pass, we headed back toward the last climb of the day, Palamares Rd. Maybe it was the end of the day, being about mile 90, but the summit just wouldn't arrive. We cranked and cranked, and because we'd worked so hard really enjoyed the downhill afterward. Until I flatted. It didn't take long to change, and just as I was ready to use the mini pump along came SAG. It was none other our Bikeforums friend, Dchiefransom, with a floor pump.

The end of the ride along busy Niles Canyon Road was a bit unnerving as there's no shoulder, and I just can't get myself to take the lane in 45 mph traffic, but we made it back safely. We'd bought a bottle of wine at a rest stop/winery and it had a bit of trouble getting SAGed back as the driver was making sure it didn't get lost or broken, but it eventually showed up.

Trici on Patterson
Look! Sleeveless jersey, no shoe covers. Winter is over.

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