Hills and Wines

l22.jpgThis was a fantastic weekend! Will, the man behind this success was unfortunately unable to join us, being stuck in Denver for work. We missed you!

On Friday, our loop included the infamous Slug Gulch, with its portions at 15%.

On Saturday, all the group was here, we did a figure 8 through Sutter Creek, Volcano and the lower country.

Here is a clip for my favorite part of the road, the gentle climb to Volcano, along Sutter Creek. You can admire the pedaling style of Stephanie, Jeff, Nancy and Doug O, along with a part of my left cheek.


Doug D was probably too far ahead for me to catch up.

Sunday morning was a shorter and somewhat flatter loop to El Dorado and back.

You can view some pictures from Doug and Jerome on the DSSF gallery.

Hope to see even more Spokers on the Gold Country roads next year!

A Dream Century

IMG_0225.jpgSunday, I rode the Tour for Woodside century. I am not sure we can come up with a better route, or a more convenient location.

It included 2 of my favorite climbs in the Bay:

– Kings Mountain, which is almost a model climb, even more so than Old La Honda

– Tunitas Creek, both challenging (but not ridiculously so) and magnificent, with its meandering through the redwoods (without the Muir Woods crowds)

It comprises also the gorgeous Gazos Creek Rd and Stage Rd, and even a bit of Hwy 1 to test your pace line skills in headwind. Of course nothing out of the ordinary for people used to ride in the Peninsula, but beautiful nonetheless.

The support was more than adequate, surprisingly so for a charity ride (its benefits the Woodside High School) with the wonderful surprise Expresso stand on Tunitas Creek when things starts getting serious.

My ride is here. As you can see, its only 75 miles, because I skipped the absurd back-and-forth on Canada Rd, which seems to be there only to get to the 100 “magic” number. Like I care. This way, I could show up at 8 am instead of 6 am, which considerable increased the fun factor of this ride.
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There was only one downside to the century: it seems the proportion of jerks was unusually high, especially amongst a racing team called Peninsula Velo. A century like that is not your training ride, so it would be safer for everybody if you didn’t try at all costs to stay as a pack of 20 racing down at 40 mph. Thanks in advance.

Tunnel, Three Bears, Pinehurst

Seven cyclists challenged themselves over 90km (55mi) and 1410m (4620ft) of ascent. The weather treated the roadsters well, being as cool as one could hope around the San Pablo and Briones reservoirs. Having warmed-up on Tunnel Rd and through Tilden Regional Park, the crew attacked the Three Bears from behind. Team Doug came in with an average time of 36:30 (along Bear Cr Rd from San Pablo Dam Rd to Alhambra Valley Rd). Team David averaged 42:10. And Team AlfredNancy 46:50.

The recovery ride along San Pablo Dam lead to lunch in Orinda, where half of Team David and half of Team AlfredNancy had to then abandon the ride for prior social engagements. A leisurely ride along Moraga Way served as an actif-digestif, and then the gang hit their final challenge up Pinehurst. Team Doug turned in a average 22:57 (Pinehurst from Canyon Rd to Skyline Blvd), and the now more evenly matched Team David and Team AlfredNancy came in at 28:20 and 28:47 respectively. Congratulations to all those who came and put in a great performance, as evidence by shaking legs, heavy breathing and profuse sweating.