Never Give Up.  Never Surrender!

Sequoia Double Metric Century, June 3, 2001

As usual, we assemble a crack group of Chain Reaction staff for our 200k ride.  Jeff Magni, Brian Krause, Todd Norwood and former staffer Richard Brockie.  We later picked up Dick Kiser and Helena, one of our customers.  Not shown but riding in the 100k & 50k rides are Brian & Michelle Quan, Roger Tagle and Scott Leimer. 7:57am finds us on Whiskey Hill Road in Woodside, on our way north to Highway 92 and over to Half Moon Bay.  Theory was that we'd be piggy-backing on traffic support for the Aids ride, running a couple hours later.  

Theory not supported by fact. 

8:21 and we be cruisin' Canada Road, along with cyclists from the various other rides. Highway 92 wasn't a whole lot of fun, with considerable traffic, especially as we approached Half Moon Bay.  This was a "no oxygen" zone.
Caught in the act...of what?  Actually, they're trying to straighten a bent chainring at the Half Moon Bay rest stop.  9:32am and our group, led by Richard Brockie showing his British heritage, descends upon the coast.  We were supposed to do a little loop up Higgins Purissima, but missed the turn.  Oops! 
10:13am as we crest the first section of Stage Road. Did you even know this cool little road existed?  It's located between San Gregorio and Pescadero. 
10:24 and we're rolling through a beautiful secluded valley on Stage Road. 11:40- we're not the only ones out today!  Don't know where these cyclists were headed, but they had everything with them.
11:51 and we're back to our highly-organized machine, burning up the coast highway.  Despite hellacious headwinds, we averaged 25+mph on the coast.  Some would say we had quite the tailwind, but that's our story and we're sticking to it! What?  No photos of the nasty climb up Bonny Doon to the lunch stop?  Well, it's like this...I was being kinda stupid, and decided to get up the hill fast.  Difficult to climb something very steep and take photos at the same time.  This is much later...2:14pm, showing the descent down Jamison Creek.
Brian Krause descending Jamison Creek.  How steep is it?  Check out the road as it curve towards the right of this photo. 2:22pm finds one of our last peaceful, serene moments. Highway 236, just before turning onto China Grade.
2:33pm The BOD (Bridge of Death) on China Grade.  Cross this bridge and enter a world of incredibly steep grades, as you climb...climb...and climb some more.  Seems like a lifetime climbing from here to Waterman Gap, not the 40 minutes it actually took. 3:12pm China Grade has essentially bypassed Big Basin State Park, and puts you up at the top of 236.  Here we've reached Waterman Gap, where we finish most of the day's climbing on Highway 9.  The steep stuff is all behind us!
3:52pm Steve Rempel (on the right), one of our customers, arrives at Saratoga Gap (intersection of Highway 9 & 35). 4:35pm Beginning the descent on Page Mill Road into Palo Alto.  Yeah!  About this time you're not looking for more climbs...
5:02pm  Almost there!  Just a couple miles to go.  But who's that fixing a flat at the side of the road?  Sal Contreras, who was going to ride with us!  We never saw him until now...he thought our group was leaving at 6am, not the 7am that I figured was early enough as it was.  In fact, we didn't actually leave until 7:30am, since we were concerned he hadn't arrived yet.

On the right you see my computer readout for the ride...exactly 120 miles (16.1mph average speed, 51.0mph max).  It should have been 125, except for the loop on Purissima that we missed.  So we really didn't ride a full double metric century, but we did get in about 10,000 feet of climbing...not a bad day!  Oh, and the time on the computer?  Actually 5:13pm, but I haven't reset it yet for daylight saving's time.

I hadn't ridden over 105 miles in maybe 20+ years, so I wasn't sure how it would go.  Fortunately, our ride the previous weekend through the Santa Cruz Mountains was excellent preparation, and the miles rolled by a lot easier than I thought they would.

All in all a great ride, with wonderful weather and great people.  And, as usual, great food and support courtesy of the Western Wheelers Bicycle Club.  --Mike--

Last updated 05/06/05