Thanks to all the TT organizers and volunteers. The only terrible thing about the ride ended up being the road conditions. In a strange way that sort of added to the fun. Dodging potholes on the descents was like playing Frogger or some game like that.
This was my first time doing the TT and my first time riding any of those roads. I felt pretty good all day. I started out too far towards the back (dumb move) and ended up losing the front group going through Santa Rosa. I made up ground on the first climb, did my typical wimpy descent, and was lucky enough to find myself in a nice group of riders who were setting a good pace through those flatter parts around 35-75 miles into the ride. Before the ride I knew that portion was going to be important and being in a good group there could save a lot of time.
I felt good on Geysers and made it to the lunch stop without any issues. Skaggs didn't seem too bad and it was nice and warm at that point. It felt nice to get a good sweat going since it's been cold most of the year here in Reno. I think after Skaggs is when the rough roads started making me wonder how many brain cells I was losing that day.
That climb before the Stewarts Point rest stop was a tough one, but I really enjoyed the scenery through there. Then came my favorite part of the day- the Hwy 1 portion. That was a great change of pace and it came at the perfect point in the ride at ~150 miles in. That's the point when I usually hit a bit of a mental wall. I took a lot of pictures through there, but none of them really turned out. Here's the best one I got:
I got caught by a small group of guys towards the end of the Hwy 1 portion, so I jumped on and did some wheel sucking. I felt relatively strong on the uphill portions of Fort Ross Rd and made my way to the final rest stop. I don't know why this happens, but late in a ride like that when I don't see anybody for a while I always worry that I'm getting lost or I missed a turn or something. I can look at the map 10 times and know I'm on the right road, but I always have that thought in the back of my head. I just ride and ride hoping to see some paint on the road. A guy caught up at the final rest stop, so I happily rode along with him for those final few miles that always seem to take forever.
I made it in and the clock was showing 12:46. I went into the day hoping to break 14, so I was happy enough with that time. I'm sure once the results are posted I'll see a ton of names ahead of mine and won't be so happy. I climbed well all day and I can't point back to a moment during the ride when I wanted to quit. I always seem to have one of those moments on a double, but not this time. I'm still a crappy descender, but that's just something I need to work on. I think it's more mental than anything else.
The post ride meal was one of the best I've had. I don't know why, but the guacamole really hit the spot. I'm also a big fan of eating chicken after a long ride, so I was glad to see that there. They have a really nice setup with the high school. Seems like a perfect place to host a ride. Thanks again to everyone who makes the TT possible. I hope to do the ride again in the future.