I had been looking at doing Max's trio of 200k that break the Orr Springs 600k into more manageable chunks but my first obstacle (or excuse depending on how you look at it) was I could not find an affordable accommodation at the end of day one in Anchor Bay. All I found on a quick search was ~$200 per night places, a little more than what I want to pay for just a clean place to sleep. Max send me some other options that he had found but some were a few miles of the start and I just did not pursue the issue after that.
Megan A. sent an email proposing to ride most of the 600k route starting from her place in Santa Rosa. she gave it the appropiate moniker of PreORRdained Doing the ride like that would cut the San Francisco to Occidental and the Santa Rosa to San Francisco segments off of the route. She offered her place for riders interested to spend the night. That was it, I would be one of the monks! Just a small detail, I had no means to get there on the chosen date...
During a recent ride I noticed my Bottom Bracket was cooked. A good ol' Shimano UN-73. This is the first time a bottom bracket dies on me like that. At least It took me to Ukiah, CA (another ~50 miles away) and then the next morning another ~50 miles of very gentle riding to Healdsburg where I was picked by the wife.
I replaced my broken Bottom Bracket with an IRD QB-75. I liked the fact that it is a "cartridge" design but has sealed bearings you can access and potentially lubricate by carefully lifting the seals with a needle and replacing them back after injecting grease. That is what I did when I was using my old Mantis Flying V and Klein Attitude frames, both used pressed-in bottom brackets and never had an issue with...
Here we go, the third event on my Super Volunteer series. I realy like this route it has a decent amount of climbing and has what I consider the most scenic segment of the regular San Francisco Randonnuers "main" events Mtn House Road.
The whole week before the event I went to bed early every night a little earlier so I would get used to sleeping early, something I don't normally do. By Friday evening I as in bed and lights were off by 9PM.
When I woke up the next morning at 4:45 I did not feel tired, a good sign. Meet John P. and Tom H. at the Golden Gate Bridge Plaza and we moved a minute or two after 6AM. There was some fog but it was not supposed to rain while we were riding. I had printed an estimated schedule time table for finishing in ~20 hrs. We took it easy all the way to Fairfax were White Hill split us up a little but not enough to loose contact with each other.
On the other side of the hill on San Geronimo Valley it was cold, really cold. On top of my base synthetic layer and a short sleeve jersey, I had opted for wearing my spanking brand new long sleeve "Colombia" jersey I had received a couple of days before, which was synthetic. Toping the three synthetic layers I was wearing a ripstop vest. My chest was nice and warm but my arms were freezing. I had brought my heavier neoprene booties but was not wearing them yet... My feet were really FREEZING!...
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...
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