Having done the Konocti Challenge last year solo, the ride was put on the DSSF calendar as a club event at my urging. With the 3 hour drive, I wasn’t expecting a huge turn out, in fact, the response to the poll was, well, minimal. And unfortunately I registered, then went to post a message to the club with a reference to the write up I had posted last year, when I discovered the events Ride Coordinator had found my blog entry. She offered to comp my registration in fact. So since I had already registered, I asked if she would be willing to extend that comp registration to any DSSF members who came up (knowing there were only 2-3 interested), to which she did!
Weather predictions showed our ride start would be in the 40s when I packed Thursday night. Friday night, the weather prediction showed a 10 degree drop in predicted weather. And I had only brought the light-weight full fingered gloves, not the winter ones. And worse, poor Will only had fingerless gloves to start. Needless to say, the three of us were quite chilly until the first rest stop at Clear Lake Oaks at 21 miles at the Indian Beach Resort.
Proceeding on around the lake clockwise, thru Clear Lake Keys, we turned onto Sulphur Bank Drive and on around Borax Lake. Rest stop 2 was just outside of Lower Lake at the Anderson Marsh State Park again. Leaving Lower Lake, we turn right on Highway 29 before turning onto Siegler Canyon Road and the climb thru the canyon and up Loch Lomond toward Cobb Mountain. Jeff and I arrive at lunch rest stop 3 at Jellystone Park at Cobb Mountain, Will had been there about an hour and was napping in a chair.
From there the climbing resumed up Bottle Rock Road. Rest stop 4 was at Point Lakeview and Soda Bay Road. No sign of Will, but after a break and some stretching, Jeff & I continued on around Konocti Bay. I nearly missed the turn for rest stop 5, new this year at the Narly Dude Ranch. Jeff was in front of me a bit and I hollered and hollered, but he did not hear me. Funny that this stop was almost missed, as one thing about this ride is that it is very well marked, with new signs this year even.
I finished the last stretch on Kelsey Creek Road to rest stop 6 at Adobe Creek, which had a tropical theme no less, with inflatable palm trees, music, and a photo op too! The worst road stretch of the entire ride is continuing on Adobe Creek Road from this last rest stop, and then some. But no where near as bad as King City on ALC, but close. They put on a nice ride and Bill and Jeff seemed to enjoy the ride, different territory and something new! And I was able to meet Jennifer, the Ride Coordinator post-ride and got to thank her in person. Her goal was to bring the number of riders from 300+ to over 500 this year, to which she succeeded, she reported. Her plans for next year are to send a couple of comp registrations to bike clubs to auction off or whatever, neat idea!