Saturday was the 9th Annual Tour de Lincoln (CA). There are 10, 20, 40 and 63 mile rides. About 800 riders showed up for the ride that benefits the local Volunteer Center. Our club is the "host" and sets the route. I invited my son-in-law, Erik, to come up. Of course, he brought my daughter and new grandson with him (they didn't ride).
We rode to the start from my house in shirtsleeves at 7:00am. Love California weather. We met up with some of my club members and rode out at 7:30. This is Erik and Me before we started.
After 7-8 miles of relative flat, we start a gradual, 4-mile climb, just steep enough to slow me down a bit. Here's Erik desperately trying to keep up with me
Last week, I chugged up this section pretty fast, but held back today because I knew what was coming. I think some of my buddies had the same idea as there were still about 10 of us riding together.
Once at the top, we get a velvet smooth 1/2 mile downhill. It's one of those roads you wish could go on forever. But, alas, it ends, and a right turn (was there a stop sign there?) finds us again climbing a moderate hill, about 3 1/2 miles long. It's not a bad hill, and we all stay together. One thing about this route is that there are many ups and downs. More steeply uphills follow, then a screaming, yet bumpy downhill. I warn Erik about the very sharp turn about halfway down, but he loves him some downhill and he takes off. I have been down this hill many, many times. For the first time ever, there is a dog loose, a border collie, just waiting in the weeds (literally) and trying to herd each one of us into a group as we go by. We all make it past. However, we later see a rider who went down. Road rash from his hip to his ankle and an 8" square out of his shorts.
Next, it's back up a 2-mile climb, mostly moderate, but a couple of 14-16% sections just to test us. Some joker had gone out the night before and painted over our directional arrows in several spots.
After the first rest stop, we start up a steep, narrow one-mile climb. We are in a group of maybe 25 riders, pretty well spread out over the road. Then, two cars are coming down the hill, and two are coming up. It was a real traffic jam. But ya know what? The drivers were VERY patient and nice, giving us encouragement ("You're almost to the top!") and waving at each other. The riders did everything they could to get out of the way.
At mile 28, we hit Baxter Grade, "grade" being the operative word. My leg is hurting, but I know how to pace myself on this hill (10-12% for 2 miles). AND, I know there is a kick-a** section with a smooth, re-paved downhill coming up. Here we are climbing Baxter. Note the riders way up the hill.
And here's just another shot after we get down into flatter land. Just before this, I was feelin' good and moving well down a long incline. I look in my mirror and there are at least 7 guys right behind me. There is no way anyone could go any faster than I was! Just then, Erik whips by (dumb kids, anyway). "Hey, Tom, you're supposed to get behind him!" "I AM behind him . . . 'way behind him."
And here we are out of the foothills and into the country side. The group had thinned by this time.
One more hill. At mile 43 we labor up Forbes. The weather has warmed up, but it's quite comfortable. My leg is really slowing me down, but I make up time on the downhills. That's what weighing 200 lbs will do for you. Ah, gravity.
Oh yeah, then there's that one last bump, just a few yards long, really. BUT I HATE IT! It's steep and bumpy, but it means it's all downhill or flat from here, 12 miles of relative ease. My friend Bob and I stop to make an adjustment to his new S-Works and then catch up with Erik and a small group of riders. It was somewhere about here I announced that I had just ridden my age (62) but no one was impressed, since we're all 60+ and ride our ages about once a week. Two tandems swoosh by and we move out with them and hang on all the way to the BBQ.
Final stats: 66.31 miles (from home). 3700 feet of climbing. 14.1 avg speed (pretty good for me on such a hilly route). I had ridden 50 miles the day before and rode 50 miles the day after and am riding again tomorrow. I'll rest my leg later.