It really was a beautiful day. Cool in the morning. Not exceedingly hot as it could have been in the afternoon. What little wind there was mostly refreshing.
The ride took us along many of the familiar OYJ roads, but also down some places in our hood that I haven’t seen on the rides this year: most notably the south end of Skyline with its shady eucalyptus lined streets, Pig Farm hill & “not so” Happy Valley Rd. We also got to ride the reverse direction on many of our most traveled paths: Wildcat Canyon, Redwood Rd. Moraga Way, San Pablo Dam Rd., which was really nice. Thankfully they did not make us ascend Shepherd Canyon. That would have been really ugly.
The absolute best part of the ride (other than the Otter Pops at the stop at the summit of Pig Farm) was the descent down Park Blvd. Maybe I was going too fast to see the new potholes, but for me it was excellent and I would love to see us change some of the routes that finish down Trestle Glen with all it’s unfortunately placed stop signs with Park Blvd that is fast, safe and really, really fun.
Kudos to everyone who participated. The amount of money raised by the club was really staggering.
Photos are up on Flickr.
There were a couple of things that were a little disappointing. I had hoped that there would be a larger group of Yellowjackets riding the century, but there were only a handful at Lake Merritt when we left around 6:45. I rode all day with Dan and met up with Chip around the lunch break. I saw Jason for a second before we left us in his wake up Broadway. I saw a few other members, Tom & Susan, at the Bear Creek rest stop, but that was it. It just seemed a little odd that there weren’t more of us riding together.
It was also somewhat befuddling that when we finished the ride at around 3:45, the after-event was really over. We left fairly early (6:45) and rode reasonably fast, around 14 mph, faster than most of the advanced-intermediate club rides. Very few other riders passed us and yet the finish area was like a ghost town when we arrived. We were talking to another century rider who finished behind us and he was complaining that some of the rest stops had closed before he arrived and there were many riders behind him. Considering the amount of climbing on this ride, advertised at 10,000 ft, but probably more like 8600, the organizers should have anticipated that most of the century riders would finish after well 3:30, even if they started before 7am.
The last thing that was surprising was the lack of cold beverages at the rest stops. The guy with the cups of ice at the top of that insidious Deer Hill Road was awesome, but the only other stop with ice was the Bear Creek Rd. stop and then only on the second visit. I suspect someone realized the oversight and ran out to grab a bag. It was a huge help for the final leg of the ride.
None of these things will stop me from doing the ride next year. Just a few minor tweaks will take this event from great to excellent.
See you on the road.
Here’s the route map: