Saturday, May 17, 2008
Davis was second on my list of doubles towards attaining the California Triple Crown. I only had one goal in mind while planning to do the DDC and that was to finish the ride regardless of how long it would take me. After checking in for the ride Friday and finding out that the last rest stop would close at midnight, I thought to myself “tomorrow is going to be one long day”. I decided that I was
going to have fun and enjoy the ride regardless of the forecast of record high
So, here’s my story……….. Michael Edwards and I set out for Davis late Friday morning. The plan was to arrive a bit early and be able to take the time to relax and take in the sights of Davis and of course to find a restaurant to do our carb
loading for the ride. We both had spaghetti with meatballs at Cafe Italia. The
portions were huge, but that didn’t stop me from also ordering a dinner salad
and a cup of minestrone soup. I finished 3/4 of the pasta and ordered a slice
of apple pie to go, just for good measure.
The alarm rang at 2:45AM. I popped out of bed and slowly began the ritual of preparing for the ride. I still felt full from last night’s dinner so I just opted to have a few oranges for breakfast.
We get to the Veteran’s Hall and as we’re getting ready, our club Prez, Mark A, greets us. After a bit of chitchat, Michael and I rolled out at 4:10 AM. As we’re riding out, we follow 3 guys ahead of us and soon discover that we missed the turn on Sycamore. Oh well, extra miles. It was flat ride out to RS#1-Farnham Ranch. We rode in a group of about 10 people at a very easy pace. There was a woman riding behind us that talked non-stop for 20+ miles. I would have preferred to ride in silence to absorb the sounds of nature.
I got to see the sunrise and take in the fresh morning air. It was also a rare occasion to be able to ride in the morning hours without having to have on arm/leg warmers, vest, jackets, etc. The air was already warm. It was great to have the corner marshals directing us in the pre-dawn hour. Along the route, there was a little girl, about 7-8 years old sitting on a lawn chair pointing us to “go left”. Her parents must’ve been sleeping in the car across the road. A
minimal form of child abuse I thought. Lee with his Bikevan was also one of the
corner marshals pointing us towards the direction of the Ranch.
Many cyclists were already at RS#1 as we pulled in. The RS opened at 5:30am and the suggested start is 5:15-5:45, go figure. First Grizzly sighting was Brian A. passing us along Road 89 I think. After rolling along 128 and over Putah Creek, We get passed by a pelaton of about 40 riders. I arrive at RS#2-Monticello Dam. There’s bicycles laid out everywhere. Lots of people at this stop but only 2 porta-potties? The line was LONG. Ate some fruit and chugged a V8 and off I go again.
Encountering the swarms of butterflies climbing up Cardiac reminded me of the swarms of ladybugs along Redwood and Pinehurst this time of the season. It seemed magical in a sense; it was a good distraction for the climb.
At this time, the heat hadn’t been turned up yet, so it was still a comfortable ride into RS#3-Nichelini Winery. Another Grizzly sighting: Tom Long. Refilled the water bottles, ate some cantaloupes which were very sweet, watermelon and banana, pickles, 1/4 piece of bagel, chugged a V8 and forged ahead. It was still a pleasant ride onto Chiles and Pope Valley Rd.
Next thing I know, I’m at RS#4-Pope Valley Grange Hall. Michael and I were still feeling good. Lots of folks but once again, only 2 porta-potties. More ice water, fruit and some chips. They ran out of V8, apparently the woman in front of me grabbed the last 4 cans. What happened to learning how to share in kindergarten? I guess for today, everyone was in survival mode. I drank a Coke and got back on the road.
It’s always a delight to go pass Hubcap Heaven. I believe it was climbing up Honey Hill that I was passed by another Grizzly, Paul Bartlett. Exchanged greetings and he was off. The temps were steadily rising at this point. Spotted another Grizzly, Rob Hawks as I was rounding a turn near Detert Reservoir and dropped my chain at the same time. That gave me a chance to say “Hi” and off he went.
Michael and I finally reach RS#5-Middletown High School. A much needed stop for some COLD water. It’s interesting how they’re able to set up multiple spigots for water. A great idea! This is where I got my first ice sock….the best thing they provided to all the cyclists besides ice & water. I think it was at this stop that I
saw another Grizzly, Rich Fischer. More ice, water, fruit and 1/4 of a PBJ
sandwich. V8’s were becoming a hot commodity. I had to dig into several ice chests to find one; it was like bobbing for apples. Also guzzled more Coke. I also noticed several volunteers wearing GPC Century socks. Yeah!
While riding, I was constantly pouring water over my head and back. It was 107! Going up Cobb Mountain was hard. It was HOT, HOT, HOT! A lot of people pulled over under what shade they could find and many, many cyclists got off their bikes and walked up. It wasn’t very encouraging. Michael had already dropped behind me. I decided not to stop at all during this climb, if I did, I knew it would be very hard to start off again. I continued my way up on my 29 and didn’t even care if I was only going 3-4 mph. My only thought was to keep moving and think of COOL thoughts. I rode pass the impromptu stop with the water hose and lawn chairs, they were all occupied! “Keep going” I said to myself. I finally reached the top and found a bit of shade while waiting for Michael.
As we rolled into RS#6-Cobb Mtn Elementary, the temp was 111. Lots of folks were spread out on the lawn looking really beat. There was no line for the porta-pottie. Because of the heat, being inside the porta-pottie felt like being in a sauna. Not a very good combination. More fruits, V8, soda and chips and I was ready to go. One of the volunteers sprayed me with water as I was rolling out; it was the best feeling ever. It was nice to be in the shade for a little bit heading out of Cobb Mtn too.
We made it to the lunch stop at Lower Lake High. Mary Allen and Adrian were about to leave as we rolled in. It’s always nice to see familiar faces. Had half of a turkey sandwich, more fruits, V8, pretzels, chips and soda. I was surviving mentally by counting down the rest stops. Filled up the water bottles with ice water and got back on the bike heading out for Resurrection. As we were leaving, Rob H. arrived and I gave him my ice sock.
Leaving the lunch stop towards Resurrection, I noticed empty ice socks strewn along the road. My helmet sticker flew off at some point and I also noticed others stickers on the road too. As we got to the long climb, I could see riders stretched out along the road. Again, many cyclists got off their bikes to walk the climb. I spotted Mary and Adrian on the tandem. Michael dropped behind and I just forged on.
There was a guy who rode alongside me for a while and he just kept on talking and I didn’t even pay attention to what he was saying, it all became white noise. Fortunately he dropped behind me. I saw a sag van pull by me and waved him down. As I stopped, the talking guy passed and said that I shouldn’t give up now. Well, I wasn’t about to. I was just completely out of water. The sag guy had ICE and water. YES!! The talking guy stopped to refill too. I asked the sag guy to please sit at this spot for a while as many other riders were coming up as well.
I reached the top of the climb to RS#7-Colusa County Line. Talking guy was still talking. Heard someone call my name and as I turned around, I saw Krehe Ritter. What a wonderful welcome to see a familiar face at the rest stop. At the same time, I turned the other way and there was Bruce Berg sitting next to all the food. Jason was there too. I ate and drank some more while waiting for Michael to come up the hill. And yes, the taking guy was still talking. We were at mile 140. Only 60 more miles to go and the next rest stop is only 12 miles away. I can do this. It was good to know that all the major climbs were behind us.
Michael informed me that the balls of his feet were killing him (known as hot feet). He would need a longer rest at the next rest stop. We took our time on all the rollers and down hills. The scenery was very pretty going around Cache Creek. Seeing all the flowing water made me want to just stop and put my feet in to cool down. We stopped at the Cache Creek Park for the restroom and more water.
I see Bruce and Jason head out while we rolled into RS#8-Guinda Fire Station. We sat there for a while for Michael to rest his legs. I had a couple Popsicles and a Missle. That was the best treat ever on the ride. Rich F. arrived and sat next to us. Michael soaked his feet in a tub of ice water. I heard one of the volunteers calling rider numbers, at first I thought it was for the pickup of the drop off bags, but he was calling for the people that wanted to sag back to the finish. Now it was only 40 more miles to go.
We ended up riding back with a fellow that owns a bike shop in Folsom. The 3 of us worked together to get to RS#9-Farnham Ranch. I had some potatoes and soda. Got hosed down by a volunteer before heading out. It was another 15 miles to the next rest stop. The weather was cooling down…finally. Along the way, I smelled the sweetness of the strawberry fields.
Coming up on RS#10-Plainfield Fire Station, who do we see again but the same person that greeted us in the morning, Mark A. :-). He was all smiles and looked refreshed. He’d probably been sitting there for hours, watching for Grizzlies. I’m sure he had many cups of his favorite chili. We sat for a little bit and headed out, it was only 7 miles to the finish.
I’m leading the 3 of us out the fire station and as we’re going down the road, I see a pothole. It looked like it was filled with tar, so no problem, I rode over it as did everyone behind me and it was actually one big ditch. Michael had a rear flat and another rider behind us had double flats. We all stopped at the corner of Rd 31 & 98. Michael was able to fix his flat fairly quickly but the guy with the
double flats didn’t have a pump, extra Co2 or extra tube. We stayed and helped
him out. It seems like we were there for a long time. It was a slow ride back
to the finish. We got back at 9:45 PM.
As we’re putting our bikes away, Mark A. shows up again! It’s always great to see a smiling face at the end of a long ride. I was so hungry. I needed to eat some protein. I had baked beans with bacon, grilled chicken and pork along with bread and some lettuce. Also had some kind of cobbler with ice cream.
What a day! Very enjoyable and fun! Michael and I still felt good at the end of the ride, thankfully not totally exhausted. I would do this ride again without the heat. Then again, if no heat, then it would be all winds. Got back home a little before 1AM.
Stats: 208 miles
Saddle Time: 13:53
Lots of ice water
V8: 13 cans
Soda: 8 cans
Lots of fruits
Not much substantial food intake: 1/4 PBJ sandwich, 1/4 bagel, 1/2 turkey sandwich, pickles, some chips, pretzels, 4 potatoes, a few Popsicles