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My Sierra to Sea

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My Sierra to Sea

I participated in the Lake Tahoe Prologue of the Sierra to Sea ride recently (June 13-16). This was my first attempt at a multi-day ride and one of my goals for 2012. The tour was my ride of choice because I’d never been to Tahoe, they offered several options, (the 3-day ride fit into my schedule better than the 7- or 10-day options) and the tour received rave reviews from our own Len Nathan.

More Photos: Sierra to Sea 2012

My preparation included riding my steel double chain ring Univega up BBR to Skyline and up Tunnel to Grizzly Peak as well as fitting in more rides in the weeks prior to the tour. It all paid off.

On Thursday (Day 1), 30 riders set out with a leader for a 35 mile ride from Camp Richardson at 6,200 feet elevation to points surrounding the Lake area: Tahoe Airport, Stateline Nevada, and Echo Lake. We conquered just one incline off of Highway 89. I took aspirin twice to fend off slight headaches and of course, drank lots of water during my first day. The total climb this day was a little over 2,000 feet.

We stayed at Camp Richardson our first two nights. Hotel lodging was available, but I camped to savor the full experience and save on my trip overall: borrowed tent, borrowed sleeping bag and borrowed duffle. Wednesday night was quiet for the most part, save one drunk occupant who started raising a ruckus at about 3 am.


Davis Double Ride Report

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Davis Double Ride Report

I have done Davis Double once before and the experience was miserable. Beyond hot. Too hot. Felt horrid at the end- heat exhaustion-hot. Spent the day pulling over to the side of the road to cool down under trees, trying not to fry my brain- hot. Until yesterday, I haven't done it since and I was not going to start this year's ride if temps were predicted above 100, but the predictions were for mildly hot conditions, so I did it.

My facebook staus for the ride was: "Cardiac was lovely, Honey was ok, Cobb was hard, and Resurrection was soul-sapping. I think that the Davis Double is worth doing just for the joy of reaching the rest stop at the top of Resurrection." Reaching the top of Resurrection is such a fabulous feeling. I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy for having reached it. The joy was probably mostly from the relief of the pain from climbing resurrection. Resurrection is just a harsh climb. It is hot and exposed and a slightly miserable experience. Yesterday wasn't too hot and we had a occasional cooling breeze, which really should have made for nice conditions. However, Resurrection is still hard, even when it really isn't overly hot. I think that the expanse of open wide road road, being on a highway, makes the grade appear less than it is. I can still feel the grade in my legs and the hot sun on my back, even with the occasional cooling breeze.


2012 Tour de Cure

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Tour de Cure 2012

The ride was, well, challenging (see below), but, as always, it was a great experience and I'm happy to be a part of such a worthwhile event.

The results (so far..)

Team Bio-Rad (my team) and the Napa Valley Tour de Cure event will likely have another record year this year! Team Bio-Rad just surpassed $65,000 this morning (most ever at this point) and the Tour just over $1.218 million! And the money is still coming in.! The Tour de Cure web site for our tour and Team Bio-Rad will remain open at least until the end of this month.

Bio-Rad Top 15

Bio-Rad had the largest team (191 riders registered) and so far raised the most money of over 200 teams in the event. We also had the largest number of volunteers doing a fantastic job!

Here is the list of my team's top 15 fund raisers. Thanks so much to everyone who donated to the cause!

  1. Lupe Leon - $2,000
  2. Sarah Paul - $1,930
  3. Tim Washburn - $1,425
  4. Dory Willer - $1,415
  5. Vipul Patel - $1,400
  6. Bryan Malone - $1,375
  7. Linda Sanz - $1,341
  8. Regina Goldade - $1,150
  9. Nick Erndt - $1,150
  10. Toni Link - $1,070
  11. Stacey Abidayo - $1.070
  12. Bennett Berke - $1,060
  13. Jeff Willer - $840
  14. Andrew Hecht - $820
  15. Paul Chamberlain - $805

The Ride

The 2012 Tour de Cure was by far the toughest of the four I've done. The heat and the wind beat me relentlessly. I wanted to quit several times along the way, but I persevered and finished the 100 mile ride for the 4th time. Here's how it went down:

I rode up to Napa with Frank from the OYJ. I was psyched to him have along. He's a great guy and, well, a bit heavier than me, so he's got the right sized body to block the wind.

We wanted to hit the route when it opened at 6:45, but we had a late start and the crush of riders made it difficult to check-in. There were 2500 people participating in this event and most of them seemed to be in line ahead of us. Lucky for me, Bio-Rad is the main sponsor, so when this woman came by asking if anyone was on Team Bio-Rad, I said ,"right here" and off we went to check in and get our numbers. We managed to get out on the road around 7:15. Not bad. But not good enough, as it turns out.


No Fooling, It’s the Nifty Ten Fifty

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April Fool's Day was the ideal irony for the 11th annual Nifty Ten Fifty, a notoriously hellish 54-mile, 10,000-feet-of-climbing course up and down Berkeley and Oakland's steepest roads. If you look at the route on Strava, it seems ridiculous. On the bike, it still kind of seems ridiculous, until you finish and then it's just cool.

To anyone familiar, it's not surprising that it was Bruce Carroll's idea to do the Nifty this year. I was convinced by the encouragement that this would "be a great training ride for the Triple Crown Stage Race!" Guess so…

We showed up at the starting point in El Cerrito, at the corner of Moser and Pomona, around 8:15 for a pre-ride meeting before the 8:30 start. It was a chilly morning—Roubaix bib knickers, long sleeve base layer, jersey, vest, double gloves for me, but then I dress like I'm in the Arctic most of the time.

The Nifty route has 10 climbs, but some are actually two, so it seems like more. Joy!

  1. Moser
  2. Terrace/Edwin
  3. Marin from the fountain
  4. El Toyanal/Lomas Cantadas
  5. Centennial/rides/bay-area-climbs/180-centennial-drive
  6. Canon/South Park
  7. Snake/Elverton
  8. Broadway Terrace
  9. Hiller/Norfolk
  10. Claremont/Grizzly/Vollmer

I'd been on most of these before, though had never done Marin from the fountain and hadn't done Hiller from the Tunnel side. We warmed up pretty fast climbing Moser, which sports grades of up to 20%, but is really more in the 15% range. Everyone re-grouped at the top and followed our leader, Bill Oldham (riding with a fractured wrist!), down streets I don't remember and then up the second climb, Terrace. Everyone in the group stayed together, all the while mentally planning for the day's most daunting climb, Marin.

The steepest half-mile of paved road in California is forgiving only in that it has little side streets that you can bail on when you feel like you just might topple. The first few blocks are not bad, really, but I'd done the last three blocks once before with OYJers Reese, Myra, Scott, Joan and Bruce, so I knew they were gut-busters. Once at the top, we got a little ego boost from a car spinning its tires trying to make the summit.

With Marin done, we re-grouped again and pedaled over to Inspiration Point, before heading down Wildcat and over to Toyonal. At the top, the B group split up, with the front half deciding to go ahead to Centennial. By now it had turned into a gorgeous day and all along Skyline the views of the City were stunning.


Race Report: Tour of California '10, Junction Edition

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Race Report: Tour of California '10, Junction Edition

In honor of the upcoming Tour of California this is my report from the stage I saw go by last year.

Wed May 19th. HA! Did Mines on my own. :) According to common bike club wisdom, one shouldn't do Mines without at least a couple of companions or, better still, a sag vehicle. Doing it on my own was fun. I have ridden alone in more remote areas and, in reality, Mines Rd is full of people riding motorcycles, who in a pinch can be of some use.

The Tour of California for Wednesday was: San Jose, Sierra Rd, Calavaras, Sunol, Livermore, Mines Road, Del Puerto Rd, Patterson, and Modesto. I decided to take the BART train to Dublin/Pleasanton, ride out Mines Road to the Junction Bar and Grill, eat lunch, watch the race go buzzing by, climb Hamilton and then finally ride through Freemont to the train station and take BART back home. In the end, I did not climb Hamilton, but instead did an out and back on Mines, which is about an 81 mile round trip from BART.

I was somewhat disappointed to not do Hamilton. Climbing Hamilton is so much more impressive than just doing Mines and you get to be on top of the world up there. However, the sky decided to rain on me and I feared worse weather on the mountain, since higher elevations often have worse rain, wind and cold. Further, I wasn't all that keen on descending Hamilton in the cold and rain. I hadn't brought a rain jacket, despite the slight chance (20%) of rain, because we have already taken off my fenders and I am of the belief that the removal of fenders prevents further rain for the season.

Mines was gorgeous. Flowers, hills, green grass, bushes, trees, birds, etc, etc. Really, we all have been to places like that. Pretty pretty pretty and it never gets old.

I used to hate Mines Road. The long slight grade for 25 miles out to the Junction was demoralizing and hot. On and on, that road goes, every so slightly climbing the entire way. The return is oddly worse. The climb out of the junction is steep and longer than it seems.

I now love Mines, for I have learned the secret to Mines Rd: Don't do Del Puerto or Hamilton before climbing back out of the Junction. ah. I have never just done Mines before, I have always done it on conjunction with Hamilton or Del Puerto, which is second only to Jamison in my book for annoying climbs. (My book, by the way does not include Sierra Rd.)

The climb out of the Junction is fine if you are not already completely exhausted and you haven't stuffed yourself with a hamburger from the Junction Bar and Grill. I liked Mines road. The climbs are fine.

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