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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Best Century Rides in Northern California

    I'm just getting into doing metric centuries after riding for a few years. Just recently did the Giro de Peninsula and would like to do more. I see a lot of people posting about century rides here so I'sd like your opinions and favorites. I was think about doing the Mt. Shasta metric century later on in August. Thanks.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

  2. #2
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    What do you like? Hills, flat, heat, fog, number of riders?
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mhendricks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiabloScott
    What do you like? Hills, flat, heat, fog, number of riders?
    Scott,
    Maybe I should of been more specific. heat, fog and number of riders don't bother me a bit although rain is a little dicey. Flat is always good but because I'm new to this let's say total vertical climbing around 3500ft. Thanks.
    They call me "Mr. Mixte"

  4. #4
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mhendricks
    ....Flat is always good but because I'm new to this let's say total vertical climbing around 3500ft. Thanks.
    Mike, most are over that for total climbing - at least the best ones are. I've ridden with you - 3,500 feet of climbing is nothing, and you are easily capable of more over a long distance.

    The flat or near flat ones take place in the early part of the season and are gone. IMO, the best of those is the Bike Around the Buttes - very scenic and flat. The Delta Century is flat, but boring, on mostly poor roads, and usually very windy.

    After those you have the Sunrise Century and the Canyon Classic. Both more scenic, but with about 4k or so of climbing. There are a few coming up that are nice - the Windmill Century, the Tahoe Century, and the Fall Sierra Century out of Mammoth Lakes. That last one is the most scenic in the state AFAIC, but it is fairly arduous because of high elevation and about 8k or so feet of climbing.

    Take a look at this list: http://www.bbcnet.com/RideCalendar/RideListDate.asp

    I've done most of the ones that are close enough to easily reach, and If I can do them you can, too.

    Pick some, and we can ride together!!
    Last edited by bigbossman; 07-13-07 at 05:06 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member BigSean's Avatar
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    The Marin Century in the beginning of August.

    http://www.sextonarts.com/marincentury/

    Take your pick of routes.

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    Along with the Marin Century, I'd also recommend the Tour of Napa, which is happening on Sunday, August 19. The 65-mile route with 3000 feet of climbing.

    Both centuries are really well-supported with lots of riders, nice routes, and great post-ride meals.

  7. #7
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    If you are willing to make the drive, Cool Breeze in August in Ventura is pretty good. I'm making the trek down.
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    I'm doing the Tour of Napa. I'm also not a good climber but I'll do the Marin metric even though it has four or five "respectable" climbs.

  9. #9
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    How does the total climbing in the Tour of Napa compare with the Giro de Peninsula?
    "Donít take life so seriousóit ainít nohow permanent."

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    Cars make you fat eh Stradavarius's Avatar
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    Just registered for the Healdsburg (60mi) and Marin traditional century (100mi). Looking forward to it, and hope to meet some BF riders.

    How do we identify ourselves out there eh?
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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by genejockey
    How does the total climbing in the Tour of Napa compare with the Giro de Peninsula?
    There's less climbing in the Tour of Napa. Like the Giro, there are two major climbs, but they're not as long as the ones in the Giro. And the rest of the course is pretty flat. The total climb is listed as approximately 5000 feet. I believe on the Giro the total climb was listed as 7000 feet.

  12. #12
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSean
    The Marin Century in the beginning of August.

    http://www.sextonarts.com/marincentury/

    Take your pick of routes.
    Everytime I see that URL I think sex on tarts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stradavarius
    Just registered for the Healdsburg (60mi) and Marin traditional century (100mi). Looking forward to it, and hope to meet some BF riders.

    How do we identify ourselves out there eh?
    I'll be in a purple Team in Training jersey and red/white Novara REI bike. The only colors I am missing are green and blue and I'd be mistaken for playing for the other team.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stradavarius
    Just registered for the Healdsburg (60mi) and Marin traditional century (100mi). Looking forward to it, and hope to meet some BF riders.

    How do we identify ourselves out there eh?
    I went to the mall and found the guy the engraves the words people put on license plate frames. He made me two blue plastic rectangles with "Dchief" in white letters. I punched two holes in the back of my seat bag and recumbent seat bag, and used zip ties to secure the plastic piece on the back. When you go to pass me, and EVERYONE will, you can see my screen name.
    I put the plastic piece on the black web carrying handle near the top of the bag in this picture. Sorry, I have to borrow my son's digital camera to update this photo. On the seat bag on my upright, it's just below the aipper across the back of the bag.



    Don't forget Foxy's Fall Classic in Davis in the fall, and the Giro D'Vino in Lodi in November (failry flat).
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 02-08-09 at 10:38 AM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    The Grizzly Peak Century (starts in Orinda, East Bay) in early May is always well organized and serviced. The shortest ride is around 70 miles with 6,000' of climbing, the longest is 110 miles with 8,800'.
    I also like the Grizzly Century in North Fork (South of Yosemite) in early October but it involves more climbing.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Heh, heh, my son left his digital camera here.
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 02-08-09 at 10:38 AM.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  17. #17
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpelpel
    I also like the Grizzly Century in North Fork (South of Yosemite) in early October but it involves more climbing.
    The Sierra Fall Century out of Mammoth Lakes is a much better ride. The scenery is much more spectacular, the vistas and open roads are fantastic, and it is better supported. Maybe a little less climbing than The Grizzly, but that's not a drawback to me, as you can still figure on about 8,000' or so.

    I liked the Grizzly well enough, but it has a serious drawback IMO. I do not like the "stub" route that goes up and then back, essentially a 10 mile climb for nothing. I much prefer a loop route on my rides, and were I to do The Grizzly again I'd opt for the 80 mile "bail out" route, just to avoid that senseless climb. The other thing that makes it a lesser ride (for me) is the lack of scenery. For the most part it is just riding in a pine forest, with one (admittedly wonderful) vista at the lunch stop.

    The Sierra Fall Century is a full, honest loop, and petty much 100 miles of stunning geology to wonder at. It has three major climbs that rise over 8,000' in elevation, and the descents are phenomenal.

    I think the Sierra Fall Century is the best century this state has to offer. At least, I've yet to ride a better one.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

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  18. #18
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stradavarius
    Just registered for the Healdsburg (60mi) and Marin traditional century (100mi). Looking forward to it, and hope to meet some BF riders.

    How do we identify ourselves out there eh?
    We (cgallgh and I) are doing the Marin century. We'll be on the black Raleigh tandem with the feisty stoker.

    Maybe the NorCal Jerseys will be here, in which case we'll have ours on.

    How will we recognize you?
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

    Visit my blog.

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