While it was a foggy start, the forecast called for sunny skies and warm temps, a perfect mix for one of the area's classic routes out to Jalama Beach. While there are 17 cyclists in the Planet Ultra group, they come and go and people I saw on Tuesday I have not seen again...guess they had their fill of this Ohioan? When I looked at the roster prior to the start of the tour, showing a little age bias here, I wondered if some of them knew what they were getting themselves into. Got to give Gerd from Berkley, the guy on the trike, a lot of credit. He's 74 and made it up the Fig, pushing in places where his machine bottomed out on the ruts in the dirt section, having one flat tire he fixed himself and another that the guy in the Trek Travel van stopped and fixed for him. Yet, he made it.
A women I had not seen on any of the previous ride showed up today and had a cable problem. We all stared at it, Planet Ultra Brian said he could fix it and....
.....Martin, Tim and I headed off into the fog but check out the hillside where the sun was beaming through. Tim, on the right is an amazing endurance athlete. He is a retired firefighter so he rides all the time. 64 years old and freakin incredible sprinter and climber. Grand Poobah could only dream of this guys sprinting speed. Gives me hope. We headed out Santa Rosa Road and had some intense competitions for KOM points at the various summits along this road. By the way, Martin's mountain bike ride I described yesterday (11,500 feet of climbing in 55 miles) is called Vision Quest and you can Google it to find out how difficult is the challenge.
Some regrouping occurred and we reached Jalama Road, guarded by this sentinel of the road, a 200+ year old oak. The image does not do justice to the size of this monster. The 14 miles from this point out to Jalama Beach is just indescribeable. Climbs, flats, valleys, hundreds of old oaks, farm lands, wind, sun, looming ridges, and then....
.....round a corner and here is the payoff, after 39 miles. So, I consumed a Jalama burger and fries. Lots of other cyclists milling around, including a couple of racing teams from Seattle, who escaped the rain up there. Then we headed back. Riding up those climbs with the burger in the belly is not such a good sensation. We reached hwy#1, 5 of us regrouped, a debate ensued about taking the 1 and 101 for 16 miles which was the printed route or heading back via Santa Rosa Road. We took SR Road instead as riding on the highway, despite the wide berm, is somewhat risky with the truck and car traffic going by at 65+mph. My only criticism of the tour is an over reliance on riding the #1 when there are lonely country road alternatives. I don't get it..
Above, the start of the ride back from Jalama Beach. We hooked up with a tandem on SR Road and they blazed the route, think of Mark and Karen Rossi on steroids. I put my drafting excellence on display for all to see. Finished with 77 miles and 5200' of climbing.