I did the Grizzly Peak Century today ... well, that's not entirely true. I did the first loop of the century, but today was not one of my best days. I barely rolled into the lunch stop at 71 miles, so I called it quits. Very demoralizing. Technically, I did not sag, because the century had a north and south loop. So when we finished the north loop, we were at lunch, and my car was just in the parking lot. Too easy to bail on this ride!
It all started out well. Registered a little before 6:30 am, and got going at around 6:45 am (long lines in the bathroom). It was a bit chilly. I had arm warmers, and my shell on, but I was wearing shorts and short fingered gloves. I knew we would be climbing almost from the beginning, so even though I was a bit nippy to start, they would come off (ME, control yourself! )
Best part of the ride was the first 20 miles (not only because I'm physically fresher, but because of the scenery).
Of course, there is the ever present redwood scenes too:
This was also my opportunity to experiment with my new digital camera. I think I'll need to get some cycling photography lessons from M.E. My shots don't turn out that well. Here are some more of the better ones I took:
2nd Rest Stop:
One thing I didn't like was on the way to the 2nd rest stop, they had some construction in the city of Rodeo, and had to ride on a one lane road that was the main drag in town. Terrain through there was pretty rough, so I had to contend with pavement and worrying if there were any cars on back of me, as I would be blocking traffic. Luckily, I got there when it was still early, and no traffic.
After the 2nd rest stop, that's what killed me. McKewen ... it was a killer climb. I have no idea what the grade was. I don't think it was as steep as Balcom, but it was about 3 times longer ... estimate 15-18% ... and this went on for a couple of miles. By this time, the sun was in full bloom, and it was about 90 degrees out. Heat and hill climbs ... not good for me. We then had mama bear and papa bear climbs to deal with. Although not as steep, it drains you, after the steep intense climbs of McKewen.
I was riding with one triathlete, and she was gracious enough to let me draft off of her. I hung on for dear life, even up to the last climb. By the time I got to lunch, all I wanted was food ... and it was good food. Too good I think. My body just didn't have the energy to get back on the road, so off I went to my car, and packed it in. Now, if the gang was there, it might have been a different story.
Distance: 70.71 miles
Climbing: 6029 feet
Average Speed: 12.5 mph (ugh!)
Riding Time: 5:37
Total Time: ~ 7:30