6:00 start, I hate them. Woke up to check the latest weather forecast to decide what clothes I would be wearing. No rain and 64° maximum temp tip the scale towards no rain gear and my regular "dry weather" shoes. I hate this route but at least John and I were gonna be doing the worker's ride on a weekday so traffic should be light.
After the rainy Point Reyes Lighthouse 200k workers ride I had purchased a pair of wet weather shoes and was loving them since then. Had used my regular shoes very little but at one point I had re-adjusted the cleat on them to alleviate to hot spot on my right foot, however I never got a significant ride with them to test my adjustment. Big mistake.
I was glad I had installed the fenders, there was a heavy mist from home to the Golden Gate Bridge start. I was right on time about 2 minutes before 6am but John was fashionably late; we started a few minutes after 6am...
At 4am I was wide awake, our dog as cute as he is, howls every time an emergency vehicle siren can be heard in our bedroom where he sleeps at the foot of the beed. Friday nights are busy days for emergency vehicles in the city. Went back to sleep and then was awaken by the wife who figured I should be getting ready, it was 7:00am.
Jumped out of bed into the shower, I had at least another 30 minutes to get ready before Martin M was to come and pick up some of the New Design SFR wool jerseys for distribution at the end of the Populaire which was being held the same day. At 7:10 Martin called, I was finishing taking a shower but the wife was already up so she was nice enough to run down with the package for Martin. I end up leaving home at around 7:35
I got to Crissy Field, the place I though we were starting from at 8:50, however that was the finish location for the Populaire but the start was at the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh well, another 5 minutes and I was at the Bridge while Rob H. our RBA was finishing his usual pre-ride speech. John was volunteering at the start of the Populaire.
Once all Populaire riders left it was our time to go. Rob, John P. and I were doing the PRLH 200k Volunteer ride. We were supposed to start with the Populaire riders at 8:00 but there were some minor things both Rob and John had to take care before we could leave, we started at 8:15-ish.
We rode together to Sausalito and then...
After receiving input from many San Francisco Randonneurs riders it was clear to me many felt intimidated by the amount of climbing and general difficulty of La Ruta Loca Randonnee and other Mixed Terrain Brevets in the SFR calendar. Most comments were along the lines "I would love to do it but i think it is too hard" or "I don't have a bike for that" my response has always been "you won't know until you try it, I bet you would have a great time and if you feel it is too much, there are plenty of places to bail out"
I threw the idea of a Mixed Terrain Populaire and got, as usual, mixed reactions. However Ms Populaire Tsarina herself Kimber G. was very interested on the idea. I decided I would first create a route and offer it as a Permanent and then if that worked submit it as a SFR 100k Populaire.
I started working on a more mellow, less climbing, shorter Mixed Terrain route for the basis of the Permanent and after a couple of days I had a draft. El Paseito Mixto was born. 103km, about 5300ft of elevation and approximately 20% of the total distance are fire roads. I rode most of the route by myself on a Saturday and a few weeks later Invited some riders to come along, they liked it. Submitted my route to RUSA and it was approved right away.
A month or more went by and finally I had the time to test the route. This time it was only Jesse M. and I. We rode at a conservative pace and even did a 20 minute stop for food in Tiburon. We finish in 6:07 hrs
As with La Ruta Loca I try to take riders to places not visited by the other SFR brevets. The Populaire version of El Paseito Mixto will be exactly the same route, the only difference is...
I was too busy to go over the cue sheet and map our team captain had sent us. Bad Carlos, this time it was the exception not the rule. After looking a little more at the new section of fire roads we would be traveling it was obvious to me it was possible to shave at least 500ft of climbing in case we needed the extra time. Sent my "shortcut" to Captain John Cranky and just forgot about the whole thing for 2-3 weeks.
The week before the ride I was very busy and had not been sleeping well. The night before the event was more of the same, no sleep but I figured this was such an easy event and our route had not much climbing I would be fine.
Meet with John and Juliayn on BART and went to meet Andrea in downtown Oakland. At 6:40ish am the four of us were rolling towards the hills. Last year, when we rode a very similar route for this same event, it was raining and very dark. This time we had colder temperatures and a very sunny start. I rather have sun any day.
We arrived on the other side of the hills into suburbia and followed pretty much the same bike/pedestrian paths as last year. This time they were busy with weekend warriors on their Saturday morning routine. Still the paths were very pleasant to ride.
After many more miles of suburbia streets and bike paths we finally made it to Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. This section was all new to us and as tired from the lack of sleep I was looking forward to the new fire roads. The trail starts with a gentle climb and little by little it becomes a different beast. Nothing we could not handle but the fire roads surface was very dry and cracked after months of heat and no rain. On the downhill sections the bumps...
Last year was my first time doing this ride and I really liked the climbing but hated the flat parts of the route. I figured I would ride at an easy pace and try to have some extra curricular fun. So the afternoon before the event when I joined John for lunch I suggested we went to the party supplies store on Sutter St (in San Francisco) to get some... supplies. I was looking for a small single water/squirter gun but all they have was a 12-pack for $10; ok fine i'll take the pack.
Gave one to John who was not very enthusiastic about the idea of having a water battle while climbing and took the other 11 home. Loaded one of them with water and put it in my bag. After a so so night of sleep took the BART train to the start of the brevet in the boonies within 10 minutes of arriving there we were moving. Gabe, Bryan and I started on the very back and we rode with a group to the first hill a good bunch of boring flat miles away. I climbed at my pace and then on the other side found myself alone. Larry S joined me and we rode taking turns on the front to Tracy where we caught up with John, Irving and Manny. I discharged the fury of my little yellow water gun on John back and that started an exchange that helped make the flat boring miles not so monotonous.
Temperature was mild and the head wind was barely worth mentioning. One Control down one more to go. Same story, a long boring flat section interrupted by a few water battles. At Peterson.....
My aheadset had a little play so I needed to adjust the stem load unfortunately when I went to remove one of the two old M5 screws holding the stem to the steerer tube one of them was in such bad condition that the allen wrench spun inside the socket, stripping the head, ah crap!
BTW, the stem's two screw holes go all the way thought.
Let the adventure begin.
1- Bought a screw extractor at a Hardware store by my place. Used one of my regular metal drill bits to create a pilot hole to insert the screw extractor. The extractor went in fine but...
After many years La Ruta Loca Randonee was finally part of the San Francisco Randonneurs schedule. The night before the event 16 riders were signed in. JimG was going to help a hand starting at 5:30am with checking in riders.
I had been trying to go to bed early all this week in order to get used to sleep early wake up early. By 9pm on Friday I was in bed and when I woke up next morning at 4:30am I felt very rested. I also try not to drink wine during the week except on Thursday I have a few glasses of Nigori Sake. Anyhow Saturday morning I felt fine before the brevet, a rare thing lately.
Ever since 2011 when I ran a marathon per month (never completed all writeups) starting from my garage and headed to the Marin Headlands my cycling has been noticeably affected by the lack of depth..
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