Well, 3:15am came early. I made it to the start line buy 4:00am and it was cold 45 degrees. I saw Rick (Rick@OCRR) and Terri (?) getting ready and leaving. I met a couple of other riders I know and left with them at 4:30. I was dressed in ThermaFleece bibs with knee warmers underneath, arm warmers, base layer, jersey, vest, skull caps with ear flaps, long fingers gloves and toe covers. I was a little cold, but I figured it would get warmer as it got closer to sunrise. By the time I got to the first rest stop, mile 37, I was cold. My fingertips were very cold, I almost couldnít feel them and my face was stinging. I looked at the temp on my Polar, 30 degrees could that be right? I asked one of my friends what his computer showed and his was 30 also, no wonder I was shivering. I was trying to get my lights off my bike and fill water bottles, but I was having trouble getting my fingers to work. I wonít even go into trying to use the port-a-potty with ice cold fingertips. I donít know which one was worst, riding the bike or standing at the rest stop, it was miserable.
Ok, back on the bike and it is cold. Within a few miles I started climbing and it did warm up a little. The first climbs of the day werenít bad, just enough to catch your attention. Now I had to go to the bathroom and a tree wouldnít do. Where is a port-a-potty when you need one? I finally found a feed store open and used their restroom. Back on the road and felling a lot better. I found a tandem and tucked in behind them and made up some ground.
At RS #2 the sun was up and we were about to start some serious climbing. So, I took off the leg warmers, vest, skull cap, toe warmers and bagged them to be picked up at RS#5 for the ride back downhill to the finish. Itís 27 miles between RS #2 and RS #3 and I gained a little over 3,100í. RS #3 was the lunch stop at 100 miles and it had the high temp of the day with 64 degrees. I sat and had lunch with Rick and Terri, then it was time to get back on the bike.
On to RS #4 and a great downhill to the RS. Opps, we are going to have climb back up the hill on the way back. After RS #4 was probably the hardest climb of the day, 5 miles with pitches to 12%. The ride to RS #5 it was 25 miles with 4,000í of climbing. I picked up clothes, had a cup-of-noodles and it was back on the bike and the ride home. One more major climb for the day, ahh the nice downhill I had earlier. After the RS at the bottom of the hill it was time to climb it, it wasnít as bad as I thought it would be. Now it was almost totally downhill to the finish, just a few speed bumps ok small hills, along the way. I was in a pace line with Rick, Terri and a few other riders about 3 miles from the last RS when we had one of the chip boys buzz us. Chip boys are the guys who put power chips, computer programming, into the diesel pick-ups to make them go faster. Unfortunately one of the side effects is they product tons of black smoke. This guy figured it would be cute to get behind us, stomp on the accelerator, produce as much smoke as possible and buzz us as close as possible. He did a great job if youíre on his side. He almost hit a rider and produced so much smoke you couldnít see or breathe, thank you very much.
RS #7, the one Iíve been waiting for all day. Was it because there was only 16 miles left that made it special, no. The RS was sponsored by the Filipino Cycling Association, had valet parking and homemade chicken adobo with rice, what a feast. I didnít eat too much because there was still 16 miles left.
Finally the finish line, what a beautiful sight. I checked-in, put my bike away and had some of the dinner the club was serving. I sat with Rick and Terri and discussed the dayís events. I was tired, it had been just a little over 17 hours since I left and I had been on the bike for 14:48. I ended up with 200.1 miles, 12,280í of climbing, burned 12,425 calories and battled temps down to 30 degrees, what a day. The Fresno Cycling club does a great job of putting on the Bass Lake Powerhouse Double as usual.
I think Iím still coughing up black smoke.