That does sound like a personal! Don't get too discouraged by the folks on the NorCal board; as a group they're pretty strong riders and regularly do some pretty difficult rides. I'm off the back at some point every time I ride with them, too - but they're good people and are a lot of fun to ride with.
I'm in San Ramon, and ride 4-5 times a week. On Saturdays I'm coaching a TnT group (getting ready for the Spring Solvang century), so Saturdays are out until sometime in March. However, every other weekend I get out on Sunday (heading up Mt. D. in about an hour today). I'm looking to get in lots of saddle time, while doing some intervals and tempo work a couple of times a week to improve my speed and strength. After Solvang, I'm probably going to do some doubles, so that's what I'll be looking to get ready for. If you want long rides, don't mind some climbing, at a reasonable pace you are more than welcome to join me on some of these rides.
BTW, FWIW - I'm currently 5'10" and weigh about 225. I was about 15 pounds lighter when I did the Death Ride. Ramon, BenRidin' and all the rest of the NorCal crew were faster than me, but we all finished, so don't let anyone tell you you weigh too much! IME, the weight holds me back on the climbs, but not so much on flatter parts - on flat rides I can hang with most of the groups around here, except for the fastest hammerheads like those on the House of Pain ride.