How about a little early Saddle Challenge?

Kick off the New Year with some serious sweat courtesy of Strava. From January 6-31, you’re challenged to ride as many miles as you can. Put on those base miles, start the suffering early and build your foundation for 2012. Surprises (from Strava) are in store for the most dedicated competitors, so get ready to haul.

And while you’re there, join the Different Spokes club!

Sports Basement Holiday Fun-Raiser

This Wednesday, between 4-8pm at the Sports Basement Potrero Hill (only) get 20% off on all merchandise for Different Spokes members, freinds, families and more.

Show your membership card at the door, grab a beer and shop away!

This is a non-hosted event, show up when you like to take advantage of 20% off on anything.

See the flyer for more details!

Ralston Bike Bridge

Jamie Guerrero took in the opening of the new Belmont Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge on Saturday, check out the photo:

He notes: “The peninsula’s most voluptuous bike bridge. Note the helmet-height and handlebar-height smooth scrape plates, and angled fence for anti-claustrophobia. The roadway is lit, not your eyes.”

Foxy’s Fall Century

DSSF members and ALC friends converged on Davis for the Foxy’s Fall metric and century rides this year. It was dark when we parked, and I had to remind myself that it was mid-October. So while we got a later start for the century than I would have liked, all turned out find for a relatively flat (near) century (this years route was modified, and instead of being 102 miles, was down to 95.)

The first 24 miles were relatively flat, quick and and the groups got split up, a stop light or two facilitated some of the split. Eventually Gordon and I caught up with Bob McD, who was again riding on “fire” similar to day two of the Double Bay Double. If I remember correctly, RS# 1 is where the metric route splits, and we left Bob there, and he waited for the rest of the metric group to arrive there. I tried to convince him to join us on the century route, but he held true to sticking with the metric group. I later got a text from him wondering if there were any hills, on the century compared to the metric.

Lunch was at Wooden Valley School at mile 50, with a water stop in between. David’s B and S caught up with us there, and just as we were leaving, so did Nancy. It was warmer out here, and the main climb of the day, Highway 121 on the way to Moscowite Corner was next. An interesting feature on this ride, they have on-the-bike SAG on the route, in addition to the vehicles with bike racks. There was a couple on a tandem, in fact.

Rest stop 3 was at Lake Solano Park, and Gordon and Scott pointed out that this was one of the overnights on Sierra to the Sea, and the reverse climb is called Cardiac Hill. Oh joy, since I am planning to do that next year. The last 22 miles brought us along tree lined roads before the outskirts and neighborhoods on the way to the Veterans Memorial ride start. And to my pleasure, I finished my first century in 6 hours (exactly.) I enjoyed Foxy’s, it being a nice day, a great group and no headwinds! 🙂

Old La Honda-Tunitas Redux

While we did not have the wonderful Indian Summer day I had hoped for to redo Chris Thomas’ Double Bay Double training ride to San Gregorio and back, we did get the weather that Karin had hoped for, a bit cloudy and coolish, but not bad at all. We were joined by a fellow ALC TRL and rider, Judy, and the three of us set off from Mountain View to meet up with Nancy Levin, at the start of Old La Honda. We missed Nancy at the bottom of OLH.

Climbing Tunitas Creek was a first for Karin, and she did great, despite my inaccurate description of the climb. In my mind, the 9 mile climb is broken into thirds with the bottom and top each being not that difficult. I’ll remember next time, it’s more like the bottom and top quarter, with the middle 4+ miles being tough. But in all fairness, I did say that the climb is doable with no steep grades. Nancy headed back to her car from Skyline, while Judy, Karin and I did our lunch stop at Roberts Market and then we continued on Chris’ planned route, which included the extra “evilness” of Elena Road. Thanks again Karin, for co-leading with me. It was a fun day, even more so because I was in the minority, nice to see a 3:1 ratio for a change. 🙂

Amador County Gold Country Weekend

All nine of us arrived in Plymouth on Thursday evening for another fabulous weekend of food, riding and friends in Gold Country.

Friday’s Mt. Aukum Hill Climb proved to be a perfect day, leaving Plymough we headed up Shenadoah Road to Somerset for lunch, we then back tracked to Fairplay and then it’s the warm up rollers on Perry Gulch Road before the five mile climb up Slug Gluch Road (where I’m happy to report that I beat my time from last year by 11 minutes, thank you Strava for making that so easy to compare!) The 9.5 mile climb up Omo Ranch Road to nearly 5,000 feet is a nice climb, and from there it is more or less 25 miles of all downhill, and my favorite part is Shake Ridge Road, it is one of the prettiest stretches of roads I think I’ve done.

Saturday’s ride took all nine of us south from Plymouth to Sutter Creek, with several of those “wake-up” climbs, just to get you going before you are ready. After coffee and a regroup at Thomi’s Coffee & Eatery, it’s another beautiful stretch of road to Volcano, and our lunch stop. Leaving Volcano, the next climb of the day is up Rams Horn Grade, only 800 feet in 2+ miles, and then we head back to Sutter Creek on the lower section of Shake Ridge Road (from yesterday’s route.) From Sutter Creek, we head west towards Ion, and then the ride ends with another lovely stretch of road on Old Sacramento Road back to Plymouth.

Saddle Challenge 2011 final results…

…are in!

Despite fifteen days of rain in March, Gordon logged an impressive 608 miles or 121 percent of his mileage goal of 500 miles. He was followed by Danni ( with 584 miles, or 116% of her goal) and David Go (with 480 miles or 96% of his goal, so close!)

Gordon rode an equally impressive 25 days too. Even with the rain, there were only two days with no miles logged, the 23rd and 24th of the month.

Last weekend and this past week a lot of catch up miles were put in, with 394 over the weekend and an additional 240 miles with our Spring into Summer weather this week.

The biggest day was March 5 with an impressive 437 miles.

Everyone who joined the challenge and rode during the month is a winner! Overall we completed 2,786 miles of the 3,925 total mileage goal with $210 raised for Project Inform by 9 participants!

Those who pledged money for Project Inform can send your check to the club PO box and they will be send in on the club’s behalf, in memory of Ron Wilmont.

Thanks to all who participated in this year’s Saddle Challenge. Great job everyone!

If anyone is interested in doing this as an ongoing monthly challenge, please contact me!