Wednesday, four of us 'Tweeners headed out on a ride we had anticipated for a couple of weeks.
The first leg of the trip took us over familiar roads from Lincoln CA up to Auburn CA,. Auburn was once the capital of CA, many years ago. Here is a picture of the old courthouse, still in use today, albeit much of it is now a museum.
After a stop at mile 17 at a Starbucks, we continue on up a frontage road. Our leader today is named Fred, at a stop light we see some arrows on the road and a paper plate on a sign that says "Camp Fred". It's either ironic or coincidental.
Most of the ride has been slightly uphill, and that trend continues as we get off the well-traveled streets. I was riding #3 when I told John to pass me so I could get everyone in the picture.
Not 30 seconds after he passes, he gets a flat (mile 26) and, of course, blames me.
We see several other riders, most of them riding solo. Don't these people have jobs?
Now, we are seldom seeing cars and the roads are quite smooth. I had been up here last November and was in pain. Now, it all feels good. I am either in better shape, or our pace is a bit slower. Uncharacteristically, I move to the front as we head up a hill, and stop to get this picture. Of course, it does not do justice to the steepness of the hill.
We eventually get to the top of the climb, or at least get some false summits to give us a rest. As you can see from this picture, there is a nice canopy of trees to keep us cool as the temperature climbs to the high 80s. We are approaching the little town of Colfax, on Highway 80, maybe halfway between Sacramento and Truckee.
As we enter town, there is a family having a picnic. One of the little boys is terribly excited to see us ride by. We all give him a wave. I hear him say, "There were FOUR of them!" We stop at another Starbucks (and I don't even drink coffee!) before heading back down. That's me in the mostly white jersey with green sleeves.
We have climbed about 3700 feet in 34 miles averaging 10.8 mph. Colfax is at about 2450 ft. The ascention was pretty constant, albeit not usually very steep.
We take a different route back, criss-crossing Highway 80 four times, over and under. The trip "down" still had 1300 feet of climbing. We averaged about 15 mph. I thought it would be faster. The entire trip was just under 73 miles. The Fancy-Schmancy GPS units with a thermometer had the temp when we got home at 98 and 101. I don't think it was quite that hot. Part of the fun of this ride was that the four of us are pretty well matched in ability, so there was no waiting for stragglers and no one speeding ahead.