It had been eight years since I'd ridden a
full (mile, not metric) century...something to do with having kids
etc. There was no good reason for this to be my
reintroduction to something that used to be routine for
me...especially since, for a variety of reasons, I hadn't been
getting in the miles I normally do.
The rest of our Redwood City store was riding the metric event,
but I did warn Dick, our MD (that's Mile Dog to the uninformed)
sales manager in Redwood City, that there was a chance I'd go for the full
hundred miles. When I woke up and saw just how nice a day it
was, the decision was made...this was going to be it!
Besides, it was, after all, the Sequoia Century, one of the
consistently-great events over the past several decades by the Western
Wheelers Bicycle Club.
The start of the ride, at Gunn High School in Palo Alto.
And yes, the weather was every bit as nice as it looks here!
The decision point for 100k vs 100milers. I had maps for
each- the 100 milers went to the left, and the 100k straight
Page Mill Road, near the bottom of the climb, with Foothill Park
You know that "wall" people talk about on Page Mill?
This is it!
Down the west side of the mountain, where Page Mill changes into
Alpine Road. Be careful on this road, as the shady areas hide
gravel & potholes!
Here's the turnoff where if you go straight you head into
Portola State Park, while turning right goes down Alpine towards
Years ago this ranch on Alpine Road sported real, live Buffalo!
Today it's still called Buffalo Ranch, but no sign of any Buffalo.
Riders coming, riders going. The 100 milers were heading
down Alpine Road, the 100k riders were going up it.
The descent on Haskins Grade (heading towards Pescadero) affords
some spectacular views, along with confirmation of no fog!
Gazos Creek is a nice alternative to the coast highway for a few
miles, meandering inland through valleys and past some old farms.
Can you say tailwind? Once we hit the coast it was a
high-speed run all the way into Santa Cruz! Max speed 46.9mph
This really was a beautiful day on the coast, with surprisingly
light traffic until we got within about five miles of Santa Cruz.
Part of the support crew at the Santa Cruz rest stop, including
Dick & Roxanne Robinson (in the middle), two Chain Reaction
Leaving the Santa Cruz rest stop on Branciforte, yet another
scenic country road. The rider, Ted Zayner, is a Chain Reaction
The top of Mt Charley doesn't do justice to the climb.
This is a classic "stage" road, with some very, very
steep parts that soon level off to give you a chance to breathe.
More photos on our Y2K Sequoia page!
The descent heading back into the Santa Clara Valley,
showing, once more, great views and wonderful weather! It
actually got to 80 degrees in this area, much nicer than the 68
The Lexington Reservoir rest stop, the last one on
the ride. All rest stops featured the same fare; peanut
butter, German potato salad, some sort of chicken/pasta dish that
was pretty good, fresh oranges and cantaloupe, fig newtons, and
miniature chocolate-chip cookies.
Coming down the face of Lexington Reservoir.
A nice alternative to braving Highway 17.
No fun here...a very steep section of dirt & gravel, which
continued for over a mile!
The final run down Foothill Expressway, right past our Los Altos
Chain Reaction store!
This is the group I finished with, which included Mark, on the
yellow LeMond Buenos Aires that he'd recently purchased from us.
Fortunately it ran great!
105.4 miles (.9 extra due to a couple of
wrong turns, the other 4.5 were free "bonus" miles
courtesy of the Western Wheelers!), two flat tires (check your
tires for wear before each ride...I didn't realize my rear tire
was bald!), 60-80 degree temps all day, zero fog, wonderful
tailwinds down the coast, and just the fact that I survived
something I had my doubts about being able to do made this a great
ride! It took awhile...started a bit after 8am and finished
at 5...but it was fun.
And last but not least, the sign-in and patch-grab.
Chain Reaction sells bicycles & accessories
from Trek, Gary Fisher, BikeFriday,Shimano, Pearl Izumi, Continental, Descente,
Sidi, Giro, Blackburn, Speedplay, Oakley, Saris, NiteRider, Bontrager,
Torelli, Look, DeFeet, Rock N Roll, Hammer, Cytomax,
Powerbar, Fox, Clif
Bar, CamelBak, Chris King, Profile Design, Craft, X-Lab and many more!