Wednesday, June 10, 2015

This year's century.

Dog Bar Bridge at Bear River.
I guess retired life agrees with me, since I was able to ride my normal century ride at the end of May this year, as opposed to later in the Summer as has been my routine in the past years. Like last year, I rode in a counter-clockwise route, going to Auburn, Meadow Vista, Grass Valley, Olivehurst, Wheatland, Lincoln and back to Loomis.

Along Dog Bar Road, heading toward Grass Valley
On the climb to Grass Valley; This year, no water flowing!
This route allows you a nice steady climb up to Grass Valley. This year, I didn't feel the need to stop at Grass Valley, I just pressed on through. I did stop at Penn Valley off of Highway 20 and picked up some refreshments there. I continued on HWY 20 then turned off at the Beale Air base turnoff and took Smartsville Road down into the valley. Descending on highway 20 is much more enjoyable than climbing it!

On Smartsville Road.
I had to stop near Olivehurst to check my maps for the correct turnoff to Wheatland, (Griffith Ave.). Finding that I then enjoyed the peaceful farm roads that took me to highway 65 just north of Wheatland.

Country roads above Wheatland.
It had been a great ride, I was feeling good and running ahead of schedule. Then came this ride's little adventure. Off highway 65 at Sheridan I turned west. Normally I would now take North
Dowd Road, but Dowd has now been closed for bridge replacement, a detour was posted so I figured I would take it, how bad could it be? Well, pretty bad! First I went 2 miles west, out of my way and then had to follow a gravel road for about 4 miles. The gravel was deep, but at least there wasn't too much washboard. I finally got back on the route and made it home in a decent time, but
I did experience some minor cramping towards the end. Still, I was happy with my performance.

The Mercian on this years ride.
I road my KOM, (King of Mercia), again this year, equipped with my "super compact" 46/28 crank, (See this blog entry: an-economical-super-compact-road-crank.). Combined with a 12-28 cassette my gearing was more than adequate. A handlebar bag mounted on the Nitto M-12 carried all the gear I needed. My Sugoi Evolution bibs and Brook B-17 worked well with no problems down there even after 8 hours in the saddle.