What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday's Cinderella Classic poured on Tricia. A week and a day later it was beautiful, and even warm for the Fremont Freewheelers Primavera Century. We ride a lot, and bike commute daily, but haven't ridden a century for quite a while. But we have summer plans, and figured we'd better see if we can actually still ride. We're still amused that the bump before Calaveras Road is called "The Wall." It's a bump, and a grunt, but The Wall? Really?
I'm pleased to report we still roll, maybe a bit slower than many, but we can indeed finish a century, even with an odd bike issue or two. It seems Tricia's rear wheel bearings started to die on this ride. They worked well enough for her to finish after a little rest stop love from Livermore Cyclery support. But new wheel innards are in order.
Kudos to the Freewheelers for providing clothing shuttle back from the rest stops, great on the route support, cool goodie bags, and a wonderful food truck post-ride meal. I also appreciated being able to download their RidewithGPS.com route map with turn by turn directions. With a little help from Lance Oldstrong I was able to download it to my Garmin 520 and get on-the-handlebar directions. We didn't need the paper route sheet once. We are living in an age of miracles and wonder indeed.
We also liked their "distance to the top" signs on the Palomares climb. They didn't make the climb shorter or easier, but did confirm that we were moving and getting closer.
Tricia and I haven't ridden any organized rides in a while. When we started cycling seriously we liked the feeling of safety we got surrounded by other cyclists, as well as support in case of a problem, and the fact someone else figured out the route. Now we're not as sure about the safe part. We are regularly appalled by our cyclist brethren who, though they may be strong, ride without bike handling skills, common sense, or much curtesy. Between them and the cars sometimes we think we'd be better off riding with just a few friends, or alone.
Bonus hotel carpet photo. Because I have a series of these and can't stop shooting them.