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Old 08-02-09, 01:54 PM   #1
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Blown On The Bayou: 55 MPH wind ride in Delta

Yesterday my buddy Midland and I went for a ride that was worthy of Bikesnob's "palpably epic" label.

55 miles in the Delta looping around several islands in 40 mph winds gusting to 55 mph.
Tailwinds were like being motorized, 24 mph and barely turning cranks was fun!
Unfortunately we had headwinds or cross winds for most of the ride. I don't have to tell you folks that though, for thus is cycling.

I weight 195 so in the crosswinds I tried to ride echelon to protect Midland at 140 lb. as much as I could, but I was even getting blown towards him at times. Yes he is 5'6" and 140, do not climb with this man.

We saw some gorgeous river scenery, took 2 ferry rides, got chased by 2 dogs, were nearly blown over once or twice and all in all had a great adventure. Sometime the Antioch and Sacramento contingents must get together out in the Delta for some more wild times.

Midland developed a new team tactic: Dog Lead Out Man... Taking turns, each rider in the peleton has a slot as Dog Lead Out Man keeping vigilant for farm dog missiles from the side of the road. The designated Dog Lead Out Man sprints like Cavendish to tire out the dog and the other rider(s) hang back so they do not run over the dog when it tires or tempt it to turn on them. Midland was the greatest Dog Lead Out Man I have ever seen. He took on a young black lab and sprinted away from him into a brutal headwind. When that dog cracked he just dropped off the levee into the corn to never be seen again.
I was luckier when I pulled Dog Lead Out duty, I got an older slower dog and a tailwind to help me.

Some pics:
Cue the Dog Lead Out Man

The area we rode in Locke, Isleton, Rio Vista, Molekumne River area

Ferry #1: The J-Mack

Ferry #2: The Real Mcoy
On the ferry - Pete would have liked the scenery

Midland on the ferry

Leaning left into a 45 mph cross wind from the left

Midland and Cornfield

There is even a Delta town called Ryde, which is appropriate.

Last edited by Lanceoldstrong; 08-03-09 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 08-02-09, 02:57 PM   #2
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Twas quite an adventure for sure.
Sweeping views of the water & Diablo...check.
Tailwinds that make you feel like Superman...check.
Full on sprint to the point of exhaustion dog chase...check.
Fun, laughs & Ferry rides...check.

Worst headwindwind ever ridden into... oh man, check.
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Old 08-02-09, 05:15 PM   #3
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Great ride. Good pics. The hardest century that I ever rode was the Delta Century. Advertised as dead flat, it was. But, no matter which way the course turned the wind was in our face at 35+ mph. I would not have finished if a wonderful couple on a tandem had not pulled a group of us in for the last 20 miles.

Riding the ferry was cool!

My bother lives in Galt. I have been contemplating a ride to his house, but i still remember the winds!
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Old 08-02-09, 08:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
Midland developed a new team tactic: Dog Lead Out Man...
This is awesome.
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