Saturday, March 3, 2012
Today’s DBC 200k Brevet out to Pope Valley starts at the Park ‘N Ride lot at Mace Blvd & Co Rd 32A in Davis. There is ample parking along with a couple of porta-potties-you gotta love that!
The ride starts promptly at 7 AM after a quick announcement by the organizers. There looks to be about ~85+/- riders participating in this 130 miles out and back route to Pope Valley. The orange glow of the rising sun cast its shadows upon us all as we exit the lot. It’s a cold 40 degrees out here with light winds. I forget to bring my leg warmers so I’m wearing Michael’s extra set of arm warmers as a substitute. What a life saver!
We head south on Mace/Covell Blvd to Tremont Rd and meander through the flat farmlands surrounding Davis. The vast green fields and freshly plowed soil goes as far as the eye can see. The orchards along Sievers Rd are flowering and provide a gorgeous backdrop to all these bucolic flat stretches of road.
The turn from Stevenson Bridge Rd to Putah Creek Rd brings us to Control #1, mile 16.6 at 8 AM-it’s a written message on top of an orange construction cone; showers ahead at pool. We have to remember to write this down inside the Brevet card later.
On Putah Creek Rd, you can’t miss seeing the BIG yellow bike in the olive grove. It’s a reminder that the Amgen TOC rolled through here several years ago on the Davis to Santa Rosa Stage of the tour.
We do a slight jog on Winters Rd to continue on Putah Creek Rd. With views of the Vaca Mountains ahead, this last flat stretch of road along Lake Solano takes us to the next turn on Pleasants Valley Rd.
We continue NW on SR 128 for the next 15+ miles along Putah Creek and the State Wildlife Area up to Monticello Dam. The climb up to the Dam is less than one mile and starts after you cross the bridge at the end of Canyon Creek Resort. The gradient ranges from 6-8% up to the top.
The descent from the Dam takes you to the next climb up Cardiac Hill. It’s 1.7 miles long with gradient ranges from 6-8%. You’re at the top when you see the trailer with the painted American flag in front.
The slight downhill and rolling terrain on the other side of Cardiac/SR 128 takes us pass Moskowitz Corner at the intersection with SR 121. There are plenty of horse ranches, farmhouses and vineyards in and around this beautiful country back road.
We continue on Chiles Pope Valley Rd for the next 8.6 miles; the rolling terrain and short little climbs takes us through more ranches, vineyards and wineries. This road has long stretches of very poor pavement-pay attention!
We arrive at Control #2, Pope Valley Farm Center, mile 65.1 at 11:51 AM. This is the turn-around point for this Brevet. DBC provides us with sandwiches and other standard rest stop foods. There’s even a porta-pottie!
For the return, we just reverse the route. Every climb is now a downhill and every descent is now a climb! We’re on the same roads with a different view! The open meadows and pasturelands are such a vibrant green; they really stand out!
The climbs back up on SR 128 aren’t as bad as they look! The gradient ranges from 6-7% and maxes out at 9-10%. Going up the back side of Cardiac is much easier this way too!
Once you reach the top at Monticello Dam, you’re done climbing! The remainder of the route is on rolling to flat terrain all the way to Davis. We make a slight detour into Winters for a quick pit stop and to refill our water bottles.
The last 26 miles are dead flat and the prevailing winds aren’t letting up at all; every which way you turn, it was always a headwind or crosswind!
There was a secret control off Tremont Rd-all you have to do is check in. They also had mini powdered sugar donuts, cookies along with water and soda. I had a few donuts and shared a can of Coke-why not have a sugar spike for the last 6 miles!
We arrive back at the Park ‘N Ride lot at 5:02 PM.
Thanks to DBC and all their volunteers for being out there for us! It was a fabulous scenic route through Yolo and Napa Counties!
~85+/- riders in attendance
134.2 miles with 5185′ of elevation gain
Avg climb 3%
Max climb 10%
Weather: FABULOUS! Sunny and breezy. Temps ranged from the low 40’s to the high 70’s! Lots of WIND!