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Old 06-01-08, 06:54 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Grass Valley, CA
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Bikes: Time RXRS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

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Sequoia Century Report

Just back home from this superbly organized ride.

Mileage: 112.85
Ride Time: 7h59'
Average Speed: 14.13 mph
Max Speed: 47.2 mph
Climbing: 9120'

I was a bit late for the 6am start. Curtis and Ron were waiting and decided to start on time. I found Ramon waiting for everybody near the registration desk. He wanted to wait for the Marco express tandem.
I started alone at 6:23 and tried to catch Curtis and Ron. There was a quite steep hill right from the start of the ride, a couple portions were challenging but the scenery was nice and the legs fresh so I didn't have too much of a problem. At the top we started descending through the fog and it became quite chilly. Ramon passed me , alone as Marco couldn't be found. At the first rest stop I met all three riders with Curtis getting an early start, I followed within minutes as I didn't want to waste too much time at the reststops and getting the engine cold. Again Ramon passed me, it was the last time as he continued to fly until the end. The ride to the ocean was very nice, almost no car traffic except for the SAG vehicles, the descent down the coast was even better. Sunny sky, high tide, and ... a nice tailwind. I saw Ramon (for the last time) and Curtis at reststop 2, they left before me but I caught up with Curtis close to Santa Cruz. We rode together for a while up to about a mile for the lunch reststop.
I thought it strange when he didn't show up at the stop. Did he pass that reststop? Apparently not as his car was still in the parking lot in Palo Alto. I guess he probably had a flat or a mechanical. I hope everything went fine.
After lunch the serious stuff started, first Granite Creek Road to Scotts Valley and then the dreadful Mountain Charlie Road. This one was definitely the highlight of the ride. Except for the bad pavement, it starts on the fun side, a succession of steep and short grades followed by shallower inclines to allow for some recovery. But this thing is darn long and really exhausting. To make matter worse it is followed by Summit Road with long inclines, thankfully not too steep. The reststop at Skyline was more than welcomed.
Skyline was ok, more uphills but it could be done in survival mode.
The second highlight was the descent on CA9. That one was a frill, excellent pavement, great visibility. To sum it up, it was a blast.
Unfortunately it brought us to Mt. Eden Road, not too long but still a pain at the end of such a long and hilly ride.
Before reaching town we passed a memorial of the left side of the road, I saw a Swedish flag. Is it the place where two riders were killed but a police car a couple of months ago? Very sad and chilling.
I was lucky to catch a small group for the last part of the ride and, without shame, hid behind them until the end. We had a headwind on Foothill Expressway but the group pace was fantastic.
I arrived at 3:50 very satisfied to have completed my first century without experiencing any cramping. I forced myself to drink more than usual and it seems to have worked. I also didn't experienced any stomach ache, I switched from Powerbar Performance sportdrink to Accelerade, may be that did the trick.
Overall I really enjoyed this century. The scenery was superb, the route was very challenging, and the support exceptional.

Last edited by gpelpel; 06-02-08 at 04:13 PM.
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