Thread: Touroica 2021
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Old 09-23-21, 02:34 PM
Bike Butcher of Portland
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Day 6 - FauxRoica

The Touroica Four made it to Cambria with no broken bones or mechanicals, not even a flat tire.

As the guy on the old TV commercial would say, "but wait, there's more!" Somebody, actually several somebodies decided that even though Eroica California was cancelled just a few weeks ago, vacation time, plane flights and hotel accomodations had been scheduled, and there was an urge to do some C&V riding around the California coast. And several people started to call this "FauxRoica", with various spellings. The new vintage/e-bike shop in Cambria, Velo Cambria organized some rides for Friday-Sunday. The Touroica gang decided to do our own thing.
@SquireBlack is my go to guy for details, so he figured out a route for the Fabulous Four + Two.

That's an easy spin down to Cayucos, where we decided to stop by the Brown Butter Cookie Company, where most of us went for the day old 6 pack. Everyone ate a big cookie before we left. For one of our riders, this turned out to be a mistake...

Cambria to Cayucas, eazy peazy

Turning up Old Creek Road, we climbed up past the reservoir, but instead of turning right on Santa Rita Road, which is part of the normal Eroica route, we kept going. And going. Up and up. At least we were on paved roads. Climbing the Eroica route that goes up the Cypress gravel road meant sometimes losing traction and eliminating the possibility of standing occassionally to rest different muscle groups and stretch one's back. Just before the crossing on Hwy 46 we stopped to regroup.

Right about mile 25. From left to right, Gugie, Thor, Andrew and Bob. Mark W. is taking the picture. We're waiting for the 6th amigo, who lost something from Cayucos somewhere on the climb.

The climb. That last little blip on the right was >15%

After regrouping (less one chocolate chip cookie) we crossed Hwy 46. Almost immediately a swarm of vintage Mini Coopers started passing us, obviously on a club drive. Every time I've been in this area there's been some car or motorcycle club out for a spin, typically vintage. I lost count, but there had to be at least 75 of these cute little buggers that passed us; the drivers and passengers seemed to be having a grand time. They didn't have to pedal up that hill...

Take a look at the elevation profile, above. Look at the last couple of miles. >12% average grade, maxing out at 19. We all made a valiant effort to pedal to the top. Myself, I tried standing and sitting, added the paperboy dance, but about 1/4 up I almost stalled, looked up, and saw that @SquireBlack was off pushing in the distance far above me, so I gave in. I looked back and saw that Thor capitulated right behind me. @mgopack42 and Dana realized a bit earlier than us that this was where we were headed and were using the two foot granny gear. When I arrived at the top I found out that @SquireBlack only pushed for about 100 yards or so, but Bob "Hard Man" Minsky made it to the top without dismounting. Chapeu, Bob! Here we are recovering after the final push.

Gugie and Andrew. I'm actually only mostly dead, Andrew's pretending for the pic.

Another wait to regroup, started down and found The Dropoff:

Not often that I can say that I've stood at the end of the earth and stared down into the abyss.

Ridewithgps tells me that our route was 100% paved. For the upper few miles of road that looked like a WWI battlefield, maybe it averged 51% paved, and the app just rounds the % up. I was so focused on keeping the rubber side down and squeezing on the brakes as hard as I could that I didn't notice where the unpaved section of Cypress tees into Santa Rosa. We came to a cliff that we could look straight down at 20 degree downhill hairpin tour that Eroica California veterans know and dread, reminding us to brake as hard as possible before it. My MAFAC RAID brakes squealed at a pitch not heard before or since on that section. Just yesterday I took the Koolstop tour that @RustyJames graciously set up and was thankful for the efforts they put into making the world's greatest bicycle brake pads.

Eventually the pavement got more consistent, the turns straightened out some, and the descent became less. We were thankful that all made it back in one piece.

9% average descent the first few miles

After the standard hydration recovery protocol we all went to work cooking up a feast of shrimp appetizer and grilled Santa Maria tri-tip with all the fixings, mixed with a few bottles of California red wine purchased locally for the occassion. Happy happy, joy joy!
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

Last edited by gugie; 09-23-21 at 09:31 PM.
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