Originally Posted by Geoff16W
I'll be there! It's going to be my first century, not to mention my first time riding in Napa. Any tips? I think I'll aim for under 6 hours (that should be an average of 16.6 mph - seems doable). Anyone know what the climbs are like?
See you there - if you see my yellow '98 Lemond with yellow bar tape -- give my a bike forums shout out!
I did this as my first century two years ago, and the route looks the same this year.
Mt. Vedeer was tough, but that bad. There were a few cars that passed us on the way up, so watch for traffic. The descent on the other side is a blast, but can be a bit hairy. When I was coming down, I was pushing 40mph or so and a golden retriever came running out of a driveway on the right side of the road barking like crazy. It stopped a few feet away from me but if it had kept coming, that would have been the end of my ride. When I looked at the data from my Garmin that night, I could see a sudden spike in my heart rate right around mile 20, which was where I encountered the dog.
The climb up from Pope Valley wasn't that difficult. I recall it being a bit of time, but everyone was in a good mood so we were just cruising along, chatting, etc.
Ink Grade was a bit tough. The start of the climb was tough and had me scared. Had the grade kept up for the whole climb I'd have been toast, but it levels off after the first half mile or so, and the grade isn't too bad after that. I had a lot of energy at this point, and I've always been proud of how well I did on that climb. The descent following the climb was awesome - in fact, it was long enough that by the end I was getting tired from being in the drops for so long
One thing you should be sure of: DON'T RUN STOP SIGNS OR STOP LIGHTS. The police ARE out and WILL cite you. I saw quite a few people getting cited during that ride, and there were cops every where in Yountville as you return to the parking area.
Good luck. I enjoyed this century quite a bit!
edit: here's my motionbased from that ride: http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6539788