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Sequoia Century Report

Old 06-01-08, 06:54 PM
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Sequoia Century Report

Just back home from this superbly organized ride.

Stats:
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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Old 06-01-08, 09:15 PM
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I said all along I'm gonna die on this ride ... well, I felt like I did, but got resurrected when treated to screamingly fast descents.

The started out weird. As I was driving over, something in me guessed that I left my garmin on my car ... ... and wouldn't you know, it's not anywhere in my car, and it's not on the roof of my car. No big loss ... I've been having issues with that thing anyway. I still have my Blackburn.

Got to the ride start @ 6 am, as everyone said they would be there at 6 am ... nope! I saw Curtis, and then George, who was going to check in. Curtis wanted to start right at 6 am, fearing he wouldn't finish in daylight. He actually did better than me. I waited around for about 10 minutes, then I decided to take off on my own as well.

I started the route solo, and it was cccccold ... skull cap, long fingered gloves, jacket, arm and leg warmers required. Later on, Bostic passed me on the first major climb, up Page Mill. He started 20 minutes after I did. I've got to say, that must have been one of the toughest 1st 10 miles of a ride I've ever done. Knees were holding up, so that's a good sign.

It got even colder going down the other side of Alpine. We were going into the clouds, and visibility was low. I seem to be the only one worried about visibility, as no one else turned their blinkers on! We picked up some pretty good speed on the descent ... but one thing I noticed ... my Blackburn wireless computer, would show 0 mph if I went > 30 mph. WTF ... I guess I'll have to rely on other people's mileage.

1st rest stop: greeted with home made assortment of coffee cake, strawberries, and fruit. Also was treated to hot cocoa ... mmmm ... That felt really good on a cold morning. This was the first highlight of the ride!

We descend to the coast, and it did get sunnier there. The views of the Pacific Ocean were amazing. I was able to take a few pictures, but the pics alone don't do justice to the sheer magnitude and beauty we saw today.

I was way behind Curtis, George, and Ramon ... Ramon was probably finished with Mt. Charlie by the time I got to lunch. I did meet Owner (Jeff), and then I saw Marco and Ruth on the tandem. They arrived just as I was leaving lunch to tackle Mt. Charlie.

Mt. Charlie was interesting .. it's a stair-step type of climb, where you climb, then level off, then climb again. I knew when I first turned onto Mt. Charlie, my legs just didn't have the energy. I don't know how in the world I'll be able to make it the rest of the 5.5 miles and 1200 vertical feet. Took a break, took a deep breath, then persevered. The next 4 miles was all granny gear. The last two stair step climbs were killer. I thought my kneecaps were going to give way, but luckily they held out.

There were still another 1200 feet left to climb, and they were rollies. Sometimes, I think this is worse than Mt. Charlie. I so wanted to rollies to end. This is the point where I died .... no life in me at all.

Finally, we get to Hwy 9, and the descent. This is where I got resurrected, and my second wind. The climb on Mt. Eden was tough, but my legs were so used to Mt. Charlie and Skyline, that Mt. Eden didn't see that big of a deal to me. I hooked up with a pack of about 15, and we literally sprinted to the finish, averaging around 18-20 mph, after riding > 100 miles.

Final stats:
Distance: 112.5 miles (according to what others said)
Altitude Gain: 10,546 feet (according to my Blackburn Delphi 6.0)
Average Speed: 11.3 mph
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Old 06-01-08, 09:28 PM
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Some pics:

Climbing Page Mill


Butano Cut-off


Ah, the views of the Pacific Ocean








Climbing rollies on PCH


View from atop Mt. Charlie




Marco and Ruth arrives
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Old 06-01-08, 10:02 PM
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I'm beat. I missed a turn near the end and wound up in Santa Clara. I had to call Tricia and ask her where I was, and how to get to my car.
That was one hard ride. Great views, nice weather, but it wore me out. I left Antioch at 4am and got home at 6:30PM.
I made one photo i like, (even though it isn't Tricia) on Page Mill Road.
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Old 06-01-08, 10:03 PM
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Interesting tidbit ...
After leaving rest stop 2, we made a left turn on PCH. Then, a little later, I see a sign, "Rest Stop #3 1 mile ahead" ... what???? I just left a rest stop about 5 miles ago. Then, I realize it's the ALC Rest Stop 3. Then, about 15 miles later, I see another ALC sign for Rest Stop 4.

They have 2 rest stops, and I haven't even gotten to my next rest stop.
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Old 06-01-08, 10:17 PM
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I had the same thought when I saw RS#3. Then I found it cool that our Famous Pete rode the same road a couple hours before us. We missed his fine companionship today but I am sure he was enjoying himself on his week journey.

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Old 06-01-08, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I'm beat. I missed a turn near the end and wound up in Santa Clara. I had to call Tricia and ask her where I was, and how to get to my car.
That was one hard ride. Great views, nice weather, but it wore me out. I left Antioch at 4am and got home at 6:30PM.
I'll bet you must have missed the turn from 9 onto Pierce, then. I saw that they had an arrow there, but I think they need something bigger. My wife and I worked the Saratoga Gap rest stop this year and last, and last year we ended up rescuing someone who missed that turn and was well on her way into Cupertino when we passed her. I think they need something huge at that turn, because people will be screaming down 9 when they pass it.
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Old 06-01-08, 10:53 PM
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Alphamoose, you are right. Unless you have your eyes pointing down, it's easy to miss the small arrows. And if a car if passing you at that time you will be on the right side of the road and won't see the arrows at all. A couple of big signs on the side of the road, one at least 100 yards from the turn would help a lot.
Otherwise I found the route very well marked.
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Old 06-01-08, 11:06 PM
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They had people waving flags by the late hour I arrived at the 9 -> pierce turnoff. I do wish the course was better marked -- best would be just an occasional straight arrow to let you know you're on the right path. I often was 95% sure I was on course (and always was), but was frequently nervous that I might be off and 10 miles in the wrong direction.

The signs (where they had signs) were nice, but they outta be more unique so you know at a glance they're for us. The signs they had really required reading which is not so good at speed.

Speaking of flags, I saw that woman that went down on the RR tracks on hwy1. Was she one of us, or a Lifecycler? I hope she's okay. She was being loaded into an ambulance on a body board but that looked like a precaution. I don't think anyone hit her after she fell or anything. They had people waving flags just before the tracks, but I'm not sure if they were there before she fell.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:44 AM
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Pasted in from the other thread...

We ended up starting around the same time as Reid and Owner, which was 7 AM.

We must have been just behind towards the end...

Distance = 113.5 miles
Ride Time = 7:21
Avg Speed = 15.4 mph
Max Speed = 53.5 mph

Charlie was a killer on the tandem, but we did not stop, the whole way up. I stopped at the very beginning of Charlie to stretch to really quick and then it was on.

I saw Ron at the lunch stop just as he was leaving, and then again I passed by him on the descent right before the fire station.

We hit 53.5 mph on HWY 1, that was pretty awesome.

We also ended up pulling an entire Webcor contingent the entire length of HWY 1 at 35+ mph.... Didn't even get a "thank you."

More to come later...
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Old 06-02-08, 12:46 AM
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Pictures.... ummm two... too busy busting our asses all ride.

Post ride (pic taken by Ron)



113 more miles done

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Old 06-02-08, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by reidconti View Post
They had people waving flags by the late hour I arrived at the 9 -> pierce turnoff. I do wish the course was better marked -- best would be just an occasional straight arrow to let you know you're on the right path. I often was 95% sure I was on course (and always was), but was frequently nervous that I might be off and 10 miles in the wrong direction.

The signs (where they had signs) were nice, but they outta be more unique so you know at a glance they're for us. The signs they had really required reading which is not so good at speed.

Speaking of flags, I saw that woman that went down on the RR tracks on hwy1. Was she one of us, or a Lifecycler? I hope she's okay. She was being loaded into an ambulance on a body board but that looked like a precaution. I don't think anyone hit her after she fell or anything. They had people waving flags just before the tracks, but I'm not sure if they were there before she fell.
They had a flag person when I got to the intersection too. I saw the arrow sign first, then saw the arrow on the road, so I was able to see it clearly. But then again, I'm familiar with the roads, so I knew where to turn.

I didn't know there was a woman that went down by the railroad tracks. I do remember someone yelling out about tracks at bad angle.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:35 AM
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So the day after that grueling hilly century plus, I think I'd be aching all over. But I am in the office, and no real issues to speak of. I'm able to walk normally. I could have actually ridden in to work today, but since I also didn't get much sleep, I figure it best to drive in instead.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:49 AM
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Starbucks takes away any cycling pain. Actually I don't feel all that beat up either. It might be another story this evening when I try to play the drums.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:28 AM
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My knees/quads just above them are toast (sore). Then again we were hauling 295 lb of people and 40 lb of bike up the hills yesterday Plus I think my saddle is a little bit too forward. KOPS my ass.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:40 AM
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Good job, everyone! I think the Sequoia is the toughest local century. But, it's a beautiful route and really worth it...
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Old 06-02-08, 10:42 AM
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I can walk as well, a bit of pain in the upper legs but not much.
The best surprise has been my rear end. I might have finally found MY SADDLE. After about 10 different ones my new Specialized Toupe 155 leaved me without pain at the end of the ride yesterday and none to speak of this morning. I had tried the Toupe last year (143) but ended the Grizzly Peak Century in excruciating pain, the Selle Italia Max Flite that followed was great until I did a complete century with it (last month Wine Country). When I realized that Specialized is now producing the Toupe in 155mm I gave it a shot... fantastic, and it was only my fifth ride with it.

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Old 06-02-08, 10:54 AM
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Great reports everyone!
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Old 06-02-08, 10:56 AM
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Great job guys! Sounds grueling but you all made great time.

George, I hear you about the saddle. I always thought the SLRs I was riding were great and they still are but for long rides, I always get numbness after about 50-60 miles. The 2007 Flite Gel Flow with the cut-out I have on my Pinarello has been amazing. No numbness at all after 53 miles with much seated climbing.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:55 PM
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I was pretty stupid last night. My brain just didn't work well. But I bike commuted in today and I'll play tennis at lunch. Let's see how that goes!
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Old 06-02-08, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I was pretty stupid last night. My brain just didn't work well. But I bike commuted in today and I'll play tennis at lunch. Let's see how that goes!
That is hardcore! Hope your quads don't hate you later....
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Old 06-02-08, 02:53 PM
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I rode in today too.. Though my rides to/from work/home/train are quite short.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:10 PM
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When I get up off my chair, I can feel my quads. I probably should have ridden in today, and loosen them up a little bit. I'll probably ride tomorrow. Riding in at 7:30 is much more palatable than riding in at 5:30 am.
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Old 06-02-08, 04:07 PM
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Quads were sore this AM but they feel fine now. Sure a little bit of fatigue when I go to stand up, but no big.

My left leg adductor is sore, it was the one that tried to cramp up on me twice, always after long flat stretches, then it started to cramp shortly after I started uphill.

Most of the ride the saddle felt fine, a few times it hurt, but then it would go back to feeling fine. I definitely am not sore from it today. Was thinking no way to riding in today, but I could have made it (56mi r/t). Maybe tomorrow if it's not too windy.

I was definitely a little stupid last night. Not too worn out though, I don't think I really pushed hard enough to be really wrecked. Slept well though Hot tub tonight, and more sleep
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Old 06-02-08, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
Good job, everyone! I think the Sequoia is the toughest local century. But, it's a beautiful route and really worth it...
Auburn Century is pretty tough too ... that's a bit of a drive though. It's near Sacramento. It's in Dauphin's neck of the woods. Auburn has more climbing, but Mt. Charlie sure ups the ante as far as difficulty is concerned.
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