Well, what do ya know...horrible forecast but awoke to the marine layer of fog but through that I could see the sun. Yipee. Met the other members of the cycling tour, Clyde from the UK, couple from Philly, couple from Cleveland (they are both racers and know Granville well from racing in various races around central Ohio), Benny one of the tour guides and Richard, who I have known for a few years from riding out here during Cycling Escapes other tours. Nice people. We headed out #246, right on Drum Canyon and that good climb and soon it was down to the couple from Cleveland and me......the woman, who I later learned was the top Cat 4 racer in Ohio last year and now a Cat 3, slowed a little at the middle of the climb and I put in the attack!!!!!! Gosh that hurt a lot but I dropped them and reached the summit. Yeah, the overweight fat guy from Ohio is the winner of KOM.
Here is the Cycling Escapes van, setting up for our arrival with tables of snacks and food at mile 37. So far, partly cloudy and temps in the low 50's. Sitting in the sun felt great as the sun here, when out, seems more intense. One of our group had taken a wrong turn so Benny had retraced the route to try to find her as Richard continued to pile out the food. We hung around for way too long and soon, dark clouds appeared on the horizon and I suggested we get the heck out. Off we went and it began raining, then someone had a flat. I had promised Richard, because I know the roads so well, I'd hang with the group and make sure they made the correct turns while he went back to help find the missing cyclist. The slowest guy kept going so I went with him while 3 were left to fix the flat. I figured they would soon catch us. It's a long story and somewhat chaotic but eventually, everyone made it back.
100-200 year-old oaks are everywhere. What magnificent scenery out here.
There were many mudslides that covered the road, debris but it's better than sitting in a hotel room. Finished with only 60 miles and around 4000' of climbing. Because the mountain had received so much rain, we wondered if it was even ridable, as that is on the agenda for Tuesday. I volunteered to drive it and see, going up the west side or the side on which Michael Jackson's ranch is located. It had been raining all day in the mountain as the clouds got hung up here and so I drove in the rain and as the elevation increased, it began to snow. About half a mile from the top, a gate crossed the road with the message that icy roads prevented further advance. I also know on the other side, the east or "Happy Canyon" route, there are 3-4 stream crossings and surely they would be impassable on bikes. We've decided to ride out to Jalama Beach instead, one of the classic rides anywhere Huge climbs and then the reward, a Jalama Beach burger, the best hamburger in the world. And......the forecast.....grim a couple of days ago is improving......Wednesday is likely a washout but after that......no freakin rain but that can change I guess.
Oh Yeah. Found this shirt and bought it. Way overpriced but after climbing this SOB 15+ times, I deserve it.
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.