For me, 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 bungee cord.

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--

The '05 event rode the same course as last year, which we documented with quite a few more photos. Definitely worth checkout out that page as well. We've also got pages on the 1999, 2000, & 2002 rides.

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!   The first nasty climb of the day behinds us (Redwood Gulch), now we're climbing the very long but much easier grade up Highway 9 to Skyline.   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 sooner).
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 views!   The Corralitos rest top, at 52 miles, featured one of my favorites- fresh cantaloupe!
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.
Riders 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.
A Viking 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 way.   On 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.   Todd, my 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 version. Let us know if you're in one of these and we'll print up a picture for you!  --Mike--

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