Tandem Cycling - Rice Valley Tandem Rally
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01-30-08, 08:33 PM
Is anyone here on BF going to Gridley next Sunday (Feb 10) for the Rice Valley Tandem ride?
We are really looking forward to our first time there. It is about a seven hour drive one way, but we need to get out of the snow and see the sun and other Tandems again.
For those that have done this ride in the past, can you tell me what to expect on the Metric or on the Century?
01-31-08, 12:51 AM
My wife and I did the metric C. in 2006. It was our first organized ride on our tandem. It is a very pretty
ride that is mostly flat, with one hill at mile 35 (300 ft gain) after you go through Sutter. We had exceptionally nice weather, sunny and warm for Feb. We enjoyed riding with other tandems in pace lines.
Roads are fair to poor with a lot of chip seal, pot holes and cracks. But it is rural CA after all.
I didn't realize we were enjoying a tailwind until we swung around for the trip home. The metric option
was just right for us. As rides go, the support level is low. Chico Velo does a nice job. But I recall there
is only one break station (~mile 30), so maybe carry some food. Sag support was adequate but not
everywhere like you have on a big Rally (e.g. NWTR). I hope you get nice weather. Weather is always a gamble in Feb. I don't know if this ride will sell out early like most do now.
We can't do it this year, but wish we could.
Bill, have fun! post a report!
Nick & Chris
01-31-08, 01:52 PM
We did the Rice Valley tandem Rally two years ago with another tandem couple from Fresno. The most interesting thing to me was that it was a tandem rally with about 80% single bikes. The 100 mile route starts with an approx 40 mile loop that comes back to the start and then you finish by doing the same route as the metric century. Flat ride with pleasant country roads. A good part of the route circles around the Sutter Buttes--billed, I think, as the world's smallest mountain range.
01-31-08, 07:24 PM
We rode Rice Valley last year -- 2007 -- and did the metric century. We saw mostly tandems, and others noted that there were far more tandems vs. half bikes as compared to earlier years. it is great ride, and the views of the Sutter Buttes from all angles are stunning if it is clear. It is mostly on chipcoat rural roads with little traffic. We have a conflict this year and will not be able to ride, but several other Davis Bike Club teams will be there. Food last year was excellent.
We like this course so much that we've ridden it at other times of the year on both our Speedster and our half bikes. It helps that it is only an hour away.
02-01-08, 08:41 PM
Steve, Nick and chainedtg, thanks for taking the time to respond that is exactly the info I was looking for. Thanks for raising the excitement level for my wfe Patti and me....next weekend can't come soon enough.
Bill ..praying for no rain or snow..J.
02-12-08, 10:10 AM
Here is a short ride report on the ’08 Rice Valley Tandem Rally held this past weekend in a fantastic cycling area located about 60 miles north of Sacramento Calif.
This was Patti’s and my first trip to this part of northern California for cycling purposes. While this is not exactly in our back yard (780 mile round trip) it certainly was worth the long drive.
The host club for the event was the Chico Velo Cycling Club. We were very impressed with their cycling enthusiasm for the area, open hospitality and belief in large quantities of good cycling munchies and great post ride food (outstanding Tri tip and chicken). One look at their web site www.chicovelo.organd it is easy to see they love to ride, put on a lot of events and have a very large and diverse geographical area to have immeasurable fun in.
After forecasts of rain earlier in the month that my have scared off some folks, we were fortunate to have weather that could not have been better. … mostly sunny sky, temps in the 60’s and only the slightest of a breeze around mid day. The morning was a bit nippy though so, at the start line in the quaint farming community of Gridley, everyone was dressed in a couple light layers of clothing toped with wind breakers and full fingered gloves.
We chose the Metric Century ride as did about 85 % of the other 150 entrants. I didn’t get an official count on the number of tandems entered, but I would guess it was in the 25 to 40 range, there were a lot of half bikes as well. What caught my eye, particularly in light of this year’s tandem owner’s survey, (found here and on tandenlink.com) was the number of nice starter or mid range tandems displayed for sale and sitting next to the seller’s brand new looking high end tandem. There were at least four of these, and all looked to be well maintained and priced very competitively…obviously this group had a fair number of very nice Christmas presents that had two seats on them.
Details of the course itself are well described on Chico Velo’s web site and earlier in this thread, but I must say that the loop around the Sutter-Butte Mountains (the smallest mountain range in the world) was very cool. We rode mostly on reasonably well paved country roads with very little traffic. The ride had lots of open space with endless pleasant views, mostly flat or very gently rolling terrain. There was only one short climb over a mellow pass on the southern tip of the range. It was definitely a perfect tandem event for early in the season.
Would we do it again or recommend it to others?... absolutely, it was great fun!
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