While the Evil Step Sisters ride was rescheduled to Sunday, the club still had a presence at the Cinderella Classic, despite the weather.
From Sharon Lum:
This year’s Cinderella Classic has to be the windiest one I’ve ever ridden and I’ve ridden about 15 of them.
Despite the lousy weather, I was amazed at the number of women who showed up for the ride. The Valley Spokesmen were well prepared for them as well too with what seemed like a lot more sag vehicles than I have seen in the past.
Started off at 8:20am. Didn’t see anyone I knew so started off on my own. No rain when I started, but the roads were pretty wet, so I put on all my rain gear as I didn’t want to spend the day in wet clothes from spattered rain puddles. Heavy winds from the west already and continued that way throughout the day.
Lots of folks fixing flats on the side of the road on my way to the first reststop. Fortunately no flats for me all day.
Spent a lot of time at the first reststop deciding if I should remove some of my rain clothes or not.
Nice ride out to the Flynn Road and the lovely climb through there, away from all of the suburbia in the area. Nice green hills, but no wildflowers. This was the furthest east we travel, so for most of the rest of the way back we had to battle fierce headwinds.
Got to lunch at noon and met up with Spoker Rachel G in the lunch line. We decided to ride together for the rest of the ride. Right when we were about to leave, a former Spoker, Susan H shows up and we decide to wait for her to eat and for the three of us to leave together. During lunch we discuss various options to avoid having to deal with the wind.
As we were about to leave, we noticed dark rain clouds in the direction we were going to have to ride in. We decided to wait for the thunderstorm to pass and continue on our way, which was to do Lemondrop Hill and then bypass Blackhawk and San Ramon and make a beeline down Camino Tassajara back to the start, cutting off about 8 miles of the ride. By the time we left, I had spent two hours at lunch.
As expected we had very strong headwinds on our way to and up Lemondrop Hill. The winds were so strong that we had to pedal every mile DOWN the hill too. This was the only part that I got rained on, and it was a very light rain.
Headed back to the finish down Camino Tassajara and noticed many sag wagons filled with bikes going our way too. Talked to a friend yesterday who lives in Livermore and she said she noticed many Cinderella riders avoiding Lemondrop Hill entirely and taking Livermore and Stanley Roads back.
Finished around 4:30pm and many more riders were still coming in. Normally things are starting to wind down by now.
Overall a fun, but challenging Cinderella Classic.
And from Mary Anne Reno:
Well, I think the worst was the headwinds. I hit a couple of patches of rain (2-3 minutes each – not very hard), but I quickly dried out. However, I turned onto Patterson Pass Road and stopped for water and to adjust my route sheet; at which point I was hailed on for 2 painful minutes OUCH!!!.
Like, Sharon I saw alot of cyclists bail out after the last rest stop and take the sag back to the start. I, however, did the entire ride and then went home and took a hot bath.
Thanks for the photos, Sharon. And thanks for the tales from the road, Sharon & Mary Anne!