this was a ride that almost wasn't. Not just because I'd only ridden
one 100-miler so far this year (vs the normal 3-5, which would much
better prepare me for a ride as challenging as the Sequoia
double-metric), but also because the "curse" of the Sequoia Century-
nasty weather (which shouldn't be the case in June!) was back. I
went to bed the night before to howling winds, and woke up the next
morning to the same. The skies were clear but temps were in
the upper-40s up on Skyline... but fortunately the high winds
subsided during the day.
I was also very fortunate to have Todd, one of our employees who
races for the Stanford Cycling Team, with me to provide shelter from
the wind by allowing me to draft off him during much of the ride. On
the steeper hills that's not much use though; next year I'll bring a
400 pounds of ice, 600 sodas & Sal. Yes, we put up our
"secret" soda stop at the top of Bear Creek again, fine-tuning the
recipe from last year by adding some diet drinks (still hard for me
to figure out why, at 70-90 miles into a ride, somebody wants a
diet drink) and ice tea. Funny thing we learned- the people who
want Coke will accept no substitutes. Some seemed rather annoyed
when Sal (who was nice enough to give up his day to run our soda
stop) suggested Pepsi after we ran out of Coke. The Pepsi people, on
the other hand, weren't so picky... Coke was fine with them, but a
Pepsi was first choice. So perhaps, when you're trying to size up
someone's personality and willingness to compromise, you ought to
ask "Are you a Coke or Pepsi person?"--Mike--
I'm not the only one
taking pictures today; the guy from photocrazy (who takes & sell
pictures at many events) actually got made at us because we weren't
lined up properly!
nasty climb of the day behinds us (Redwood Gulch), now we're
climbing the very long but much easier grade up Highway 9 to
Once on Skyline we head
south over 17, with the 200k riders continuing to Eureka Canyon
before descending into Corralitos (100 milers drop into Aptos a bit
This is one
of the nicer sections of Eureka Canyon, a road well-known for
breaking frames, busting wheels, losing computers (that would be me
last year) and knocking loose fillings. But it does have some great
Corralitos rest top, at 52 miles, featured one of my favorites-
At 78 miles you hit
Pipeline "Road", a trail through Henry Cowell park with extreme
climbs & descents. Not well-liked by many riders.
The after-lunch treat
is East Zayante, a climb not unlike Tunitas Creek (but almost
entirely exposed). 7000 ft of climbing before; 9090 by the top!
Shortly after reaching
the top of East Zayante comes the Bear Creek water stop, where
Chain Reaction has served up sodas the past two years.
arriving at and leaving from the Bear Creek rest stop. There's still
about 1700ft of climbing to go, although the steep stuff is behind
us now, not to mention 95.7 miles. It's about at this point that the
200k people may be thinking, gee, if I was only doing 100 miles, I'd
be almost done by now! There is another rest stop "just" 11 miles
down the road, but without this opportunity to stop and have a
drink, I'll bet many riders would be ready to give up at this point.
Goddess prepares food at the final rest stop (at the fire station
just past Saratoga Gap). This is not a legal bike helmet, by the
Skyline, we're experiencing some fairly-strong winds (mostly
headwinds) for the first time, but thankfully it's only 6 miles to
the final descent to the finish.
secret weapon, preparing to turn right onto Page Mill for the final
11 miles (almost all downhill) to the finish! Todd was quite kind,
allowing me to draft most of the ride.
A nice view
of Silicon Valley as we drop down Page Mill. This is a questionable
descent to finish the ride with, as it's extremely steep in parts,
relatively technical and not well paved in many areas. It's quite
common to see people at the side of the road who have crashed on the
way down. If you hadn't already put in 110 miles before you got to
it, it might not be so bad.
At the finish they had
the traditional post-ride treat of Its-Its ice cream sandwiches, one
of which looks to be enjoyed by a friendly dog (Beltran?). 123
miles, just under 8 hours.
Steve, my brother who
runs our Los Altos store, hung out for a bit on Highway 9 for a bit
and shot a bunch of photos. Included here are some where he spotted
one of our bikes, jerseys or water bottles; click on any of them for a larger
Let us know if you're in one of these and we'll print up a
picture for you! --Mike--
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