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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-16-13, 03:42 PM   #1
PhotoJoe
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Tour de Fuzz

So PhotoJoanne and I signed up for the

We stayed at the Flamingo Resort and Spa. Pictures looked really nice. We pulled in...and it looked like we had just been transformed into an episode of the Brady Bunch. Yup, straight out of the 70's. However, we had paid for a one-step upgrade in our room and were very pleasantly surprised. It turned out to be a great hotel.

On Saturday, we rolled just before 7am. The ride advertised "62 miles/1200 feet of climbing". Well, 1200 feet turned out to be 2452 and Mrs. PJ was NOT happy....in a fun way (at first). The day was so overcast that it was actually a light rain which was very nice. However, it obscured much of the scenery, so I know we missed a lot. The sag was AMAZING. I truck or motorcycle passed us every 5-10 minutes. Mrs. PJ and I stopped to rest often (did I mention there was more climbing than we expected?). Everytime we stopped, the same motorcycles would slow as they approached. A simple thums-up and they kept on riding. They never assumed we were resting. They were always ready to stop and help.

The organization was also done exceptionally well. Check in was a breeze. Nice goody bag. Friendly people.

The finish line festival was great. I hear they had amazing food, free beer, a free bike valet where they did a full wash with Pedro's stuff, etc. etc. I don't know because we crossed the finish line and headed to the hotel.

So the positives far outweigh the negatives, however, the ride was not perfect. There were two sag stops. One at about 18 miles and one at about 40. Mrs. PJ could have used one or two more, but she powered throgh. At the last sag stop, she almost sag'd out. She was fried. She hates climbing and was not ready for it. But what made it worse was the roads were TERRIBLE. Now, I get it. They route the ride through out-of-the-way roads, but these are also the roads that aren't maintained as well. They sucked! I still need to check the wheels to see how bad they're out of true. We couldn't enjoy the ride or the scenery because we were having to always watch for potholes. And then there were sections on downhills that were alternating shade/sun/shade/sun and there were some small craters in there. I counted 8 people changing flats in a couple hundred yards at one point. So, the mental concentration was fatiguing, we couldn't enjoy the scenery and more climbing than advertised. PhotoJoanne came so close to quitting. She had bought the jersey though, and I knew she would resent that jersey if she quit. So we rested at the last sag, ate well, rested some more.....then rested. After some (genuinely) gentle encouragement, she decided to finish the last 20 miles - 5 miles at a time. And that's what we did. Five miles, then rested. Then another 5, etc. After the last sag stop, I came across three ladies changing a flat with CO2 for the first time. They had no idea how to use it. One asked if we needed to fix the hole in the tube before inflating it again. Uh.....YAH. Got them on the road and then got to push hard for about 5 miles to catch up to Mrs. PJ. Felt good.

Overall, a great weekend. If I lived closer, I'd do the ride again, but there is no way I'm driving 13 hours round trip to ride those roads again. No way.
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Old 09-16-13, 03:50 PM   #2
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How many grapefruits did you eat?



Congrats! It really is impressive the kinds of rides Mrs PJ is tackling lately - well done.

If you ever decide to just go up that way and ride your bikes around, Mrs TH and I did that in Napa last year and really had a ball (no official ride, just the two of us) The roads were awesome. I'm still trying to convince the Mrs to head up to Paso with our bikes but she's a bit skittish of those roads and those drivers on those roads, so I haven't tried that yet.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for the ride report and it's great to hear Mrs PJ hung in there and finished!

Too bad on the weather and poor roads because it sounds like a great ride otherwise.

Grapefruit? I eat a tray or two at every century
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Old 09-16-13, 04:50 PM   #4
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where are these awesome pics Mr Photog?

grapefruits are nasty, point me to the M&Ms please
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Old 09-16-13, 07:19 PM   #5
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Indeed where are the photos PhotoJoe?

Any more event rides anytime soon?
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Old 09-16-13, 07:25 PM   #6
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I didn't take many. Will download what I did take and see if there's anything worth posting.

We need to do a GMR in October.
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Old 09-16-13, 08:05 PM   #7
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October 12th or 13th. Let's make it happen!

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I didn't take many. Will download what I did take and see if there's anything worth posting.

We need to do a GMR in October.

Last edited by tunavic; 09-16-13 at 08:06 PM. Reason: added more info
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Old 09-16-13, 08:11 PM   #8
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I don't know if I can do that weekend - frickin soccer! Saturday is definitely out and depending on the tournament schedule, Sunday might work.

Not that you need me bellyaching the whole way up to the shack and back.
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Old 09-16-13, 08:49 PM   #9
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On a different weekend I may have to call in sick. and of course I will need your help thinking up an excuse why I've developed more tan when I show up the next day
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Old 09-16-13, 08:53 PM   #10
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Sundays work better for me, gmr will be a nice recovery ride from Saturday's madness
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Old 09-16-13, 10:47 PM   #11
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I'm glad that I'm not the only one who was surprised when their elevation gain read ~ 2500 feet at the end of the ride.

This was the advertised route map - http://www.mapmyride.com/us/healdsbu...route-86715841

What's odd is from my experience, MMR usually OVER estimates and that was grossly under. I'm glad that Chalk Hill Road was early in the ride, I wasn't ready for it so early in the ride but my body probably wouldn't have handled it so well if it had been at mile 45. The climb right before the 2nd rest stop was surprisingly brutal. It just came out of nowhere and I think for most of us (in the ragtag group that had formed) we were so focused on the rest stop that was "a mile away" that it was extra punishing.

The flatlands of Sacramento have done very little to prepare me for much more than some easy rollers. Be that as it may, the last 10 or so miles where it was perfectly flat was very nice though. I was very surprised how much randomness was in the bike lane on that last 10 miles though, I passed by several people who were working with flats. I do agree with your statement about the SAG support, it was very impressive. There was rarely a 10 minute interval on the road that one didn't zip by (bike or car).

The bike valet with free clean/polish at the end of the ride was quite nice. I arrived around ~ 13:00 and by 13:30 it was 'full' and they were turning bikes away. I suspect a lot of the 50km riders had filled it up because there were a lot of people at the 2nd rest stop when I left and only about 25 people passed me on the home stretch ride to base.

I'll second the roads. That was my first time riding in that area and some of the roads were borderline unsafe for bikes. There was one section where I was trying to pick (quickly) which was the least terrible hole to ride over. I don't fault ride organizers on that, I totally get that they were looking for secondary roads without a lot of elevation but my wrists/elbows hurt more yesterday than my legs. The Domane really earned it's reputation during the mid-third of the ride.

The rest stops at 18 & 43 were also a bit odd. I thought the first one was a little too early in the trip and the second was about 4 miles too late. But in hindsight, the second rest stop made a lot more sense. Coming out of a rest stop and then right into a big hill would have soul crushing, it was nice to have several miles of spinning to get the blood moving again. I had way too many of the roasted potatoes!

It looks like the photos will be posted here when they get everything uploaded - http://tourdefuzz.smugmug.com/LeTourDeFuzz2013
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Old 09-16-13, 10:51 PM   #12
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Vic, one of these days (let's target spring after it warms up) we'll have to organize a masochist ride up to Onyx. That should start pretty near you but it's a climb I've wanted to do for a while now.
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Old 09-16-13, 11:23 PM   #13
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Ok!

It's been hard to motivate myself to ride in this heat but I've been riding a lot more than I used to.

Joining two bike clubs in town has also been a huge motivator to get out and ride. Plus every Sunday they do a breakfast ride to an awesome joint

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Vic, one of these days (let's target spring after it warms up) we'll have to organize a masochist ride up to Onyx. That should start pretty near you but it's a climb I've wanted to do for a while now.

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Old 09-16-13, 11:31 PM   #14
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The heat has kept me off the bike a bit lately too, ugh. Soccer just kicked into full swing too (also ugh, although I typically ride to the games when I can - they're not close).

Oddly, we used to only have 1 game per kid per weekend but so far we've had 3-4 total games for the two of them. I prefer the old model!
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