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  • Saturday, October 03, 2020 8:54 PM | Dennis Prior

    Hello all,

    Well we were finally able to pull off the 5th Annual Mountain Goat King Ridge first timers ride this year although now where near the 80+ riders we had registered last year due to the Covid19.   We had 12 riders today with 8 of them being Mountain Goats and 4 first time riders.  We had a number of people cancel this morning due to the uncertainty of the air which was probably a good idea especially with the high heat on the course.  The route is challenging enough on a normal day but the heat really brings out the teeth in the course.

    I finally made the call at 6am to carry on with the ride once I saw the air quality looked what seemed to be good.  I should have looked closer to the temps for the day as we got a bit cooked up there today with temps consistantly between 97-93 degrees from up part way up King Ridge all the way to the descent part way down Meyers Grade.  So thankful to Charlie and Nancy Doval for following us around the course and keeping our heads wet with water and our bottles filled.  Lots of red faces once we got to Ratna Ling and I’v never seen so many riders putting their heads under the water spigot there to get cooled off and no one seemed in too big of a hurry to leave the shade and water.  Once we got to Timber Cove Rd. We did the same head watering at the Timber Cove Fire Department.  It was just that hot.

    When we got to Hwy 1 we were greeted  by Loie and Jan which was a nice surprise.  With the temps cooled a bit on Hwy 1 we enjoyed a nice ride back into Duncans Mills with a pleasant tailwind to push us along.  Once back at the vehicles we had our usual celebratory beer for everyone who did the ride and helped the first timers make the loop!  Congrats to Kim W, Bob A, Nora l, and David L For making their first loop on this on iconic ride.

    A huge thanks to Steve P, DC5, Robin R, Cintsy S, Jerry A, Gary H, and Nancy and Charlie Doval for volunteering their time to make this ride possible for the first timers.  Without these folks constant support and encouragement throughout the course it would keep a lot of folks from even considering this challenging ride.  There is nothing like coming down Meyers Grade and seeing the beautiful coastline looking south.  It makes all the hard effort worth it.

    Enjoy the day,


  • Saturday, March 07, 2020 8:36 PM | Paul McKenzie

    The Three Hill by the numbers — 6 riders, 107 miles, 8500', 7:28 riding time, 1 flat, a few raindrops, tons of Red Bud in bloom, and beautiful skies.

    6 Riders showed up for the Three Hill, not a bad turnout considering the difficulty of the ride, along with the iffy weather that was predicted. At the start were Andy Shkabko (that's Ukranian), Richard A., Marc M., Jennie P., Sarah S., and myself.

    We rolled a few ticks after 8 AM, with nothing in the way of a pep talk from the ride leader, as this was a regular crew. We set a nice pace over Calistoga Road, and following that, Andy, Jennie and Marc proceeded up Spring Mt., while I stopped for a wardrobe adjustment, then rode up with Richard and Sarah.

    There were a few sprinkles at the start, and the roads were wet early on, but once we got over the hill to St. Helena, we were on dry roads.

    Traveling up Howell Mountain, we found a deteriorating road, but still 100% rideable. There were a few more sprinkles as we headed to Pope Valley, but not enough to soak us or to kill our spirit. The day was absolutely beautiful, with clear, clean air, and saturated colors everywhere, and so many trees and shrubs in full flowery bloom!

    Unfortunately, one rider decided to bring his older bike, primarily used for shorter rides from work, and/or rain rides, and the rather old rear tire decided to go flat, as a "softie" was discovered at Pope Valley. We got it fixed and all was good from there. The perp on this little blunder was the ride leader, who probably should know better ;-).

    After the stop at the store for water, about mile 30, we had more or less dry roads for the rest of the ride. Pope Valley was gorgeous! The pace was fast at times, and social at others, but along Lake Hennessy, Marc decided to put in a strong pull, and we were flying along that stretch, with Marc tempering his pace such that everyone could stay on — as long as they were willing to suffer a bit at the 24 mph average speed.

    Once on Silverado, we set a more moderate pace to Yountville, where we enjoyed snacks at the Velo Deli & Pizzeria.

    Trinity was its usual self, steep and difficult with tired legs, but we all made it up and over without incident. Marc left us at Sonoma Mt., heading back to Petaluma to complete his 135+ mile day.

    The rest of us rolled back to Howarth Park, where Andy peeled off, and Richard headed home. Sarah, Jennie, and I enjoyed a nice meal at Mary's, across from Howarth Park. It was nice to see that Mary's was quite busy despite the drama around Coronavirus.

    We got away with one today. The weather was perfect for riding, and we never got cold or soaked. Instead, we enjoyed a gorgeous day on the bike, if a bit tough. Toward the end of the ride, as the weather cleared, the skies were a thing to behold!

    Rider of the day is Richard Anderson, who showed up to do the ride after a big one on Friday! But I would be remiss if I did not mention Marc Moons, who tempered his pace all day for the good of the group.

    Our course today:


    Next up, the Four Hill Ride, tentatively scheduled on April 25th.

  • Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:52 PM | Paul McKenzie
    Two Hill Winter Trainer by the numbers: 23 riders, 65 miles, 4600' climbed, 15.5 mph ave. speed (mine, others were faster and slower), one flat, tons of sunshine, and  one perfect cool riding day.

    We rolled out efficiently from Howarth Park a few ticks before 9:10 with this large, but skilled group. I led the charge up Calistoga Rd., going about as fast as I could, but knowing the many D riders behind me could pass at any time — but they didn't. This meant I had to hold my pace all the way up. Some riders fell off the pace, and by the time we started up St. Helena Rd., the group had split.

    The pace up St. Helena Rd. was civil, and there were about 7 D riders in this front group, along with one struggling C rider. The latter would be me. Once it got steeper, the D riders were gone, and I was in no man's land between the D group and the following C group.

    I rolled over the summit and caught a couple of riders on the descent, before arriving at our prescribed regroup at Madrona Ave. in St. Helena. At that point, I got a text from Sarah Schroer, stating that there was a flat toward the rear of the group. I gave the D riders the option of waiting, or forging ahead, and they chose to wait. Nice to keep the group together.

    The pace down Silverado to Yountville was civil for the most part, but unfortunately, the large group caused a lot of surges, and for those of us at the back, it was surge after surge, followed by sitting up and coasting. This took its toll on a few riders, who fell off the back.

    We had a sensibly short stop in Yountville, mostly for water, then the group headed toward Dry Creek and Trinity. Most riders kept their own pace on this difficult climb and descent, and all enjoyed the nice, new, smooth pavement descending the West side of Trinity.

    One more regroup after crossing Hwy 12, then I took the lead as we headed back toward Santa Rosa, doing a very long pull. I kept the pace down so everyone could keep up. When I say I kept the pace down, I am referring to my tempo pace, which was easy for most of the group, but also manageable for those who could not, or did not want to, go at a higher pace.

    Once I finally pulled aside, the pace increased, and we split into two groups again as we made our way back to Howarth Park. This time I was a bit wiser... I chose to ride with the slower group, which was enjoyable and conversational.

    The most impressive number today was the size of the group. This ride was very well attended! Despite the large group, everyone rode safely, and there were no mishaps other than the one flat. The group was friendly and social, and demonstrated excellent bike handling skills and etiquette. Thank you everyone for coming out and enjoying a perfect day on the bike!

  • Sunday, January 19, 2020 5:42 PM | Paul McKenzie
    The One Hill Winter Trainer by the numbers: 9 riders, 62 miles, 4200' climbed, 15.8 mph ave speed, 42 degrees and overcast at the start, 51 degrees and overcast at the finish, no flats, one minor mishap, and one tennis player on a town bike.

    I selected this Sunday for the One Hill Winter Trainer, as the weather looked better than Saturday earlier in the week, and I did not want to compete with other Saturday events, such as the Napa 200K. Well, Saturday's weather turned out to be OK, but we still had 9 riders show up for the One Hill on Sunday.

    We rolled out at about 10:05 AM, at a conversational pace. The tempo picked up a bit on the climb over Calistoga Rd., but the group stayed together, with the usual gaps on this short, but difficult, climb. 

    On St. Helena Rd, the big climb of the day, the pace was civil, but brisk, enough so that this rider was working to stay on, but the group crested the climb together. We rolled over the top, and Marc Moons set a fast, but very skilled and safe pace down the treacherous (in Winter) descent off of Spring Mt. The road was not as wet as it can be, but there were certainly some slippery areas and abundant green moss on the road in some places.

    We had a regroup at the bottom in St. Helena before heading North on Silverado, and during that short stop, riders took in some snacks, and even shed some layers! There was a nice tailwind on Silverado, and we moved along well to the water stop in Calistoga.

    There we were approached by a woman, 60-something, on a smart looking town bike, wearing a puffy jacket. with a tennis racket slung over her back. She approached us as a fellow cyclist, completely unintimidated by the lycra and carbon fiber. We talked about our route and she joined us as we headed North out of town. A photo of her can be seen on my Instagram account, @macpaulster.

    Over the County Line climb we went, where Darrin Jenkins was the only rider that could match the pace of Marc Moons. Keep in mind Darrin rode the 200K on Saturday, and still had strong legs!

    Finally, we tackled Chalk Hill and headed back to Howarth Park via Mark West Springs and Riebli Rd. Some riders were feeling quite a bit of fatigue at this point, including yours truly.

    A few riders peeled off along the way, John turned around in St. Helena and headed back over Spring Mt. Doug S. left us in Calistoga and did some extra credit on the Toll Rd. Craig H threatened to leave us at Faught Rd to head back to Windsor, but he was enjoying the group so much he decided to finish with us. Dave S. veered off when we passed near his house. Marc Moons headed back to Petaluma, from where he started this morning, covering well over 100 miles, and Darrin also rolled past the finish to ride home.

    Rider of the day is Darrin Jenkins, who, after putting in a big performance yesterday in the 200K, came out and was still the strongest rider of the day along with Marc Moons.

    Stay tuned for the Two Hill Winter Trainer, to be scheduled sometime in February, and the Three and Four Hill rides in March and April.

  • Monday, October 21, 2019 5:42 AM | Dennis Prior

    Hello all,

    We had 43 registrants that signed up for the ride and few others show up who didn't sign up so we had a large group for this ride which was a surprise being we didn't give much notice.  We had 8-10 beginners who have never done the ride before so that was great that we had so many first timers.  Denny Davis was kind enough to sag this ride for us and we were very grateful for his time as this helped convince a number of people to try the ride.    Also a huge thanks to David Mair whose idea this was for the Goats to put on another beginners ride around a beautiful course that is very remote.

    It was a beautiful day with perfect temperatures for this ride.  We had no mechanicals that I heard about and everyone made the loop!  When we rolled out of the parking lot it was a large group kind of riding together for a while but by the time we got to Cloverdale the pack had broken up into manageable groups and once we got going up Sulphur Springs Canyon it spread out even more which made it nice for all those riding.  We really don't want everyone cramped together going up the hills especially the steep sections.  Once we got back to Geyserville we had a celebratory beer for those that we still hanging around and we got to enjoy all the smiling faces that accomplished something they haven't done before and were holding back from trying the ride.  

    So far of the 4 King Ridge  beginners rides and this one yesterday that we have put on we have only had one person not complete one of these rides.  So these very difficult rides are do-able if you slow down a bit, go at your own pace, and employ a few riding techniques that will help you get past the steeper sections of the rides.  I can't say enough about the riding clinics that the SRCC puts on for its members.  These clinics will make you a better and safer rider that will open up new and beautiful places that you would never otherwise experience.  So when they have these skills classes, pace line classes, and the hill climbing and descending Classes that the Steve and Jessie Kroeck, Richard Anderson and their helpers put on you should sing up for them.....and by all means take them 2-3 times just to freshen up your skills.  Another great class to take 2-3 times is the one Eric Peterson and some of his helpers put on about first aid and what to do if an accident occurs on a ride.

    Enjoy the day,


  • Wednesday, July 17, 2019 8:20 PM | Dennis Prior

    We had Jerry A, Lorenzo, Peter S, Pam C, Laura B, and myself along with our great tour guide Phil.  The single track forest trails were just amazing riding amongst the redwoods and the fern fields.  You just couldn’t ask for a more perfect place to ride a mountain bike.  We stayed away from the technical trails and had an absolutely wonderful day.  If you ever get a chance to ride in the Mendocino Forest you should not miss the chance to do so but you will need a guide or you will quickly get lost and Phil is a great guide!

    Enjoy the day,


  • Thursday, May 23, 2019 8:59 PM | James Gloystein

    2019 Davis Double Century Ride Report -

    Co-written by Jim Gloystein and David Levinger on May 19, 2019

    Executive Summary


    Cold and wet. This was perhaps the worst weather day Jim Gloystein has ever experienced on the 47 times he's done this ride. During the ride, David quipped that his wife Angela called it Jim's "finest hour". Hmmmm...

    Picking up packets


    A really neat thing happened on Friday night when picking up ride packets at the Veterans Memorial facility in Davis. Jim showed up first and grabbed his "standard" assigned number (which was rider #226). In the last 20 years, Jim had always gotten his rider number to match the number of DDCs he started. But the recent change of Race Directors never returned emails when this tradition was requested. However, David L. ended up registering the night before the start (as did several other folks) and we all quipped that they might wonder why he was registering with the impending doom of the weather. But during his registration David L. noticed a stack of numbers starting with #1 and asked Jennifer, who was running the "day of" registration, if she could help swap a number. She was happy to do so, and all of sudden Jim G. had rider #47 in his hand which matched the number of DDCs he's ridden. David is amazing how he never hesitates to ask for things and make a difference for his riding buddies.

    An Early Start


    Several weeks before the May 18th start of the DDC, the weather reports started to predict rain late in the week before the ride. But the closer it got to the start, the percentage chance of rain kept climbing and soon occupied almost the entire Saturday. In the early days of the Davis Double, the weather was a lot more guesswork. But these days with all the advanced weather models and satellite data, there was no question it was going to be both wet and cold all day long. In fact, the temperature was between 48 and 50 degrees almost the entire day both before the sun came up and after the sun set.

    So a decision was made amongst the 4 riders (Jim Gloystein, David Levinger, Steve Piazzo and a "new" member that has started riding with the Sonoma County Mountain Goats named Andy Tautges) to start earlier than usual to try to get as far down the course as possible before the rain started. We agreed to start at 3AM (yikes - that's really early!).

    Sure enough, all four of us were in the Vet's parking lot by 2:50 AM, although we didn't leave on the dot (some people were still playing with electronics and lights). We finally got out on the course at 3:15. It was very calm at the time of the early morning, but still somewhat cold with the temps in the high 40s. We rode out of town and only passed one solo rider all the way to the first rest stop. We held a very good pace and traded pulls.

    Of course, when we got to the Forbes Ranch, the first rest stop, it was completely dark since it didn't open until 6AM. We pressed on, and just after "first light" as we approached the town of Winters, Steve P. had a flat. So we pulled over in front of some kind of equipment yard and while Steve changed his rear tire, a friendly cat begged for our attention. Just as Steve packed up his tool bag and was ready to flip his bike over, he discovered his front tire was also flat. He had hit a pothole and must have gotten pinch flats on both wheels. So we went through the whole tube change rubric again while the friendly cat rubbed our tires and legs begging for attention.

    We finally got back on the road, and headed up the canyon to Lake Berryessa and the first big climb of the day (Cardiac Hill). Steve and Andy zoomed ahead, while David held back with Jim who was slowly climbing up the long hill. We regrouped at the 2nd Rest Stop at Capay Valley Fire Station, which was now open. Taking in the usual food and peanut butter sandwiches, there was a contingent of Philippine workers who greeted a team of Philippine riders. They had some kind of authentic food which we couldn't pronounce (along with rice), but it was way too early in the morning to experiment with unknown food and all the miles we had yet to conquer.

    Back on the road, we ran across two other riders who had "low" numbers pinned to their jerseys. As David rode by them, he asked them why they had a low number, and both riders said it was the number of DDCs they had ridden. One had #39 and the other had #42, so it was clear they had changed their policy on allocating requested numbers to some riders. And, of course, David pointed out to both of them that rider #47 was right behind them, so there was a lot of respect for these riders who also had done many years of riding this venerable course.

    We pretty much rode together all the way to Pope Valley and Rest Stop #3 (mile 76). At that point Jim noted that he felt pretty good, and after munching on more peanut butter sandwiches and potato chips, we ventured off passing "Hubcap Ranch" and going up the hills just after Aetna Springs.

    But that's when things got interesting. Just before we crested the last hill to Butts Canyon, it started to rain. Jim pulled over to put on his rain jacket and David stopped with him. Jim and David caught up to Steve and Andy at Middletown (mile 95), but not after having ridden a good 15 miles in the rain. Fortunately there were lots of places to get out of the rain at the Middletown Rest Stop and we loaded up with food and courage to go back out in the rain and greet the nasty little hill by Harbin Springs that precedes a 5-mile stretch of dirt road and the Big Canyon climb.

    There, things got really, really interesting! The entrance to the gravel section is a downhill, and although the gravel was a pretty solid surface allowing one to keep a stable riding line, the mud in the roadway started covering all parts of one's bike. And, of course, if you put on the brakes, you heard the grinding sound of brake pads on mud covered rims. Worst of all, Jim's bike was making strange noises coming from the rear chain, mostly because the mud and grit was working it's way into the drive train. What a mess! At the top of one rise Steve pulled over and we all stopped. A SAG wagon pulled up behind us and asked us if everything was okay (and he took pity on our poor bikes which were now filthy with mud and goop). But the funniest thing was David asking the SAG driver if he was a bike fender salesman, because he could make a fortune! (we all had a good laugh, including the driver).

    At some point, Andy and Steve (once again) took off and Jim was taking up the rear. But something seriously wrong was going on with Jim and he approached the Big Canyon climb. Not only was it cold (46 degrees) and wet (the rain was nonstop at this point), but Jim's lower back started to seize up on him. As a result, he couldn't put any power into the pedals. The lower back pain only got worse as the ascent got steeper, and Jim finally met up with David at the water stop (ha ha--everyone there was only trying to take a break from the rain) on the Big Canyon climb. It was all Jim could do to get up and over this climb, which is a good climb but not overly steep. David was a most gracious riding partner sticking with Jim even though Jim was almost literally crawling in his lowest gear. And Jim noted that going at this slow a pace without being able to put any power in the pedals had a debilitating side effect - he wasn't generating heat and was getting cold from the wind that was in our face while climbing.

    But we reached the "Top of the DC" and rode to the start of Siegler Canyon Road where there is a long steady downhill to lunch at Lower Lake High School (mile 112). Jim started out the descent already very cold, and by the time we got to the lunch stop at Lower Lake, Jim was a "popsicle". So much so that when he walked into the lunch room he couldn't undo the buckle on his helmet. But thank goodness they had cranked up the heat in that High School room and after taking off wet outer layers, all four of us started to warm up. And what really hit the spot were several servings of "Cup O'Noodles" that put hot liquid back in our bodies as we slowly started to warm up and regain control of our bodies.

    Steve and Andy had arrived ahead of David and Jim, but they were still quite cold. The conditions weren't merely unpleasant, but they were downright dangerous. People descending Siegler Canyon--one of the best downhills anywhere, incidentally--were getting so cold that they were losing control. Steve and Andy were first on the scene at the flat beneath the descent where a rider went off the road into a ditch, destroying his helmet and breaking his nose (though this guy was moderately cheerful inside the lunch stop).

    Steve is a man without much spare insulation, and along with about half the riders present seemed to be risking hypothermia. He needed a full hour to warm up sufficiently to accept Andy's spare clothes and brace himself to resume. We looked a lot better than many others who were either mud-covered or outfitting themselves with Hefty trash bags as a defense against the weather. It was truly amazing how many people attempted this ride with a standard kit and nothing warmer than a vest!

    Unfortunately, Jim's lower back was completely seized up and not getting any better, despite taking some Tylenol supplied by Steve. So Jim decided to "throw in the wet towel" and SAG the rest of the ride. A very hard decision, but his body was telling him there was no way he would be able to climb Resurrection Hill (on Rte 20) and keep up with the group. Unselfishly, Jim's chief reason for taking a SAG was that had he tried to continue, he would really slow the group down.

    So Steve, Andy and David put all their rain gear back on and ventured off from lunch just after 2PM or so. Meanwhile, Jim signed up for a SAG ride home, only to find out there were around 50 people also wanting to get a SAG home. So they encouraged us to try to find our own personal SAG ride home if we could. Jim called an old friend in Davis and he agreed to drop everything and drive an hour and a half to Lower Lake to give Jim a ride home. His name is Lars and he has been a great friend of Jim's Davis-based family for years. Jim is now deeply indebted to Lars for his assistance in time of need. In fact, Jim had a rich contribution of help by Steve, Andy and David all day long. Especially David, who waited for Jim at various points when the hills considerably slowed him down. Oh, and one more coincidence - while waiting for his SAG ride to show up, Jim discovered that riders #39 and #42 had also decided to SAG the rest of the ride. The conclusion one could reach is that this day was a lot tougher than expected and it even devastated some of the riders who have experienced many hours on the course in the past.

    On Jim's SAG ride home, it was decided to drive down Highway 16 which follows Cache Creek along the official DDC course. Just about the middle of that canyon is where Jim, riding in the SAG vehicle, passed the now-3 riders on a slight uphill. No fanfare needed - we silently went by and saw that several groups were riding together to battle the headwind and everyone looked pretty strong so Jim returned to Davis, got in his car, and drove back to his Mom's house for a hot shower and some delicious warm chicken soup.

    And this is where Jim's DDC narrative ends, so he will hand the keyboard over to David to chronicle the 87 miles he rode without Jim after the lunch stop. David...take it away!


    Upon leaving the lunch stop, Andy proclaimed that the rain was going to stop. Lo and behold it did stop as they departed Lower Lake, and the sun even seemed to threaten the overcast. Unfortunately, after zooming north on 53 past the "trash bag boys" with SAG repairing a flat, Steve fell victim to another flat. Andy earned the nickname "Mary Poppins" as he pulled out another tube from his enormous seat post bag and helped repair it while David stared down approaching traffic.

    The dry weather followed up the Hwy 20 Resurrection climb. The legs really are an incredible heat generator, and we were all in good spirits at the top (mile 132). More hot cocoa for Andy and Steve and then on to the descents leading to the remote and lovely Hwy 16 ride down Cache Creek. Give David a flat or 0.5% down slope and he loves to push the pace. But the rain reprieve didn't mean a layoff of the wind, and that meant a headwind. The rain resumed about mile 150. We made pretty good time to Guinda (mile 157), just 5 minutes slower than last year when we had beautiful weather. More hot soup and beverages. This time, Andy "Mary Poppins" pulled out his super-size hothands body warmers and gave them to Steve.

    A few miles down the road from there David got his first flat a shard that teeth of steel Steve extracted. The first repair immediately failed. The second lasted until just in front of Cache Creek Casino. Fortunately, SAG had a spare tube and that did the trick. But a mile later, Andy's front tire flatted (the only front flat of the day). Andy was amazing and efficient with his positive attitude and quick good work repairing the flats. Thank you Andy for keeping us buoyant at these times!

    OK, it's now starting to get dark. DANG, we started at 3:15 AM in order to finish before dark!! Ah, well, we have lights and we're all using them now. We get through the nasty 7 miles of traffic south of the casino and turn onto the back roads again. Oops, the rain is pouring now. Oh, David's light indicates red, meaning it's on reserve. We stop at the mile 176 rest stop and David charges his light for ten minutes while we stand in the rain and resolve ourselves.

    Back on these truly vacant rural farm roads in the wind and rain. Andy turns off his light to conserve battery. David's light is back in the green. Now Steve's light goes dead, and we're all riding with one light. David's light indicator goes red, but it switches to full bright beam. Not sure what this means--never have run it all the way down before. What does David have? 15 minutes? 30? We're still 15 miles out David thinks. Andy still has his light off.

    Our rural road goes over a highway and there's a cyclist stopped. Then we see the SAG beyond that. Steve says "that's it". A rational assessment of the issues of riding in the dark windy rain with risky lights. He's made it 182 or more. Andy and David are shooting for the Triple Crown and so we're forging on.

    David's light never dies completely. At some point less than ten miles out, his light is dim enough that Andy turns his on and we're in business. David notices that with less than 20 miles to go, his power output surges. Even though the conditions aren't any better, it's flatter and there's no traffic.

    Soon we're in civilization again with street lamps and were almost there. A couple turns in the city and we're back at the start. A quarter mile shy of the 200 mark, Andy and David ride laps around the lot and we meet Steve at the car. He's changed and dry. We're elated and relieved. We peel of the wet and change into the most wonderful feeling dry clothes ever.

    At dinner, two guys next to us who we rode part of the way with tell us how much they like the Terrible Two--best support of any ride they've done. They completed it in 2017 (with 100+ degree heat) and even in 2012 when it was hotter still. They say that the weather today made this ride harder than those were.

    A drive home after midnight, and the day is a wrap.

    Stats on the ride from the DDC web site:

    360 Total Registered for the double (includes several tandems)

    68 Did Not Start

    143 Did Not Finish

    108 Finished

    41 no data or faulty data (includes David)

    David used Angela's Wahoo for the ride:

    15 hours time moving

    13.3 Average speed (Steve and Andy were a bit faster)

    200 miles (David looped back in a few places)


    Some fun facts from Jim Gloystein


    - If you've never experienced watching the sunrise while riding in the pitch dark, you have to try this. It's "experiential" as David and Jim called it. With all the clouds overhead, it took a while to actually see "first light", but when it took place just as we were heading to the town of Winters, it was simply amazing.

    - The 5-mile stretch of gravel; Although traction was not a problem, the unbelievable mess the mud created on one's bike was a huge problem. The first time one applied rim brakes, there was that awful grinding noise that sounded like you were sanding off paint. But my Cervelo was making even worse noises in the drivetrain itself - the grit and muck had gotten into the chain and rear derailleur and was making grinding sounds that make bike mechanics cringe. And looking down at one's front tire where you normally see a clear stream of water coming off the tire, this stream was dark brown and full of mud and grit! Thankfully one could wash some of this off with a water bottle after we got back to the pavement, but it was really quite harrowing to have your bike get so fouled up (of course, David L. being the exception because he was running fenders).

    - Speaking of bike choices, as I was loading up my non-fendered Cervelo carbon fiber road bike in the car on the way to Davis, it occurred to me that I have two other bikes with full fenders, one of which is my venerable Surly Long Haul Trucker which I do full touring. I stopped for a minute and considered taking off the front and rear racks and using this bike (which also doubles as my winter "rain bike"), but I thought better that I should just go with every advantage I could in terms of light weight and good handling. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken the Surly "rain bike" and been much better off with fenders for the rainy day and gravel section.

    - Electronic shifting; Jim has used SRAM wireless eTap electronic shifting for over three years. And not once did it malfunction despite all the rain and muck. Compared to lights and GPS devices that are touchy and highly prone to malfunction, this stuff is "battle tested" and worked no matter what. Upon having to clean my bike after I returned home, I noticed that the mud and muck had gotten into almost every crevice of the front and rear electronic derailleurs. The only way I could clean them was with "Q-tips" and alcohol. But as noted, they never once failed to work in a very harsh riding environment and that was worth a lot.

    - Rain gear; you either love it or hate it. There's no perfect solution, so you try to find gear that minimizes the agony of riding in the rain. There were people with no rain gear (and just shorts and a jersey top - what were they thinking?) and then there were a plethora of Shower's pass jackets and knock offs. No matter what, everyone gets wet, whether from the rain or the sweat buildup inside rain gear. The trick is to have good insulation underneath (yes, wool is unbeatable) and not to get too overheated from non-breathable rain gear.

  • Saturday, February 23, 2019 6:36 PM | Paul McKenzie
    Nobody showed up for my "C" ride today... Don't get me wrong, there were 10 riders present, but none of them wanted to ride at a "C" pace!

    In round numbers, 2 Climbs, 66 miles, 5,000', 4-4.5 hours moving (depending on rider), dry roads, rushing creeks, no mishaps or flats (other than Jens' Di2 battery starting to run low).

    7 riders rolled out from Howarth at 9:07 AM. Darrin, Craig, Carl S, MarC, Sam, Nick, and your fearless, if slow, rider leader. In short order, Miguel rolled up on the rear. On the Calistoga Rd. climb, Jady rolled past us at a good clip. I was leading the climb, with my ducks all tucked in behind me in a neat, single file row. Everyone was in warm up mode, so didn't take the bait —  this time. Jens met us at the top of the climb, having ridden from Calistoga, so we were now 10 strong, pun intended. With the addition of Miguel, Jady, and Jens, the roster wasn't exactly deteriorating ;-)

    On the St. Helena/Spring Mt. climb, I was a good ride leader and led from the rear. I wish I could say it was by choice. The only rider I could keep in sight was Craig H. I was able to claim the Lanterne Rouge on Spring Mountain without competition.

    Spring Mt. featured dry pavement this time around, with only a few wet spots. The creek was still rushing, and again provided a beautiful distraction on the climb. The descent was much safer this week vs. last with more or less dry pavement.

    Once on Silverado, the pace heated up, and I was immediately dropped. This meant a solo ride into Yountville, where the group waited patiently. Knowing they wanted to stick to the knitting, I made my stop brief, with a Coke and a quick snack.

    We then headed for Trinity via Dry Creek. The ride along the frontage road was civil, and we all stuck together, but the pace heated up again on Dry Creek, and the group was completely shattered, every man for himself. Dry Creek was far from dry, and the rushing water was again an enjoyable distraction on the long drag toward Trinity.

    On Trinity, I thought my Lanterne Rouge status was safe, until, near the top, I slowly reeled Craig in. Desperately wanting to hold onto my LR status, I eased up just a bit to ride behind Craig. But I eventually lost my resolve, and pushed a bit toward the summit, gaining a small gap on Craig going over the top.

    We regrouped again at the bottom of Trinity, and I snapped a group photo. MarC, Miguel and Darrin broke off and took Sonoma Mt. to their respective destinations. Jady, Nick, and Sam powered ahead, and we were unable to match their pace, and did not see hide nor hair of them for the remainder of the ride. Jens, Carl, Craig, and I, finished ride together, safely back at Howarth at 1:50 PM.

    Rider of the day is Craig H. Not because he did anything spectacular, but he was largely the only rider I could keep in sight all day, and he let me nip him on Trinity, so he's on my radar. Oh, and he did take that little bump of a climb at the end of the ride going into Spring Lake toward the bike paths!

    This ride was pretty shattered, with riders going at different paces, and some getting dropped from time to time. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I think everyone enjoyed this ride very much, and got a great work out on a perfect Winter cycling day. A big thank you for those who came out today and rode safely. It's a pleasure to lead a ride with such a competent group. Stay tuned for the Three Hill!


  • Saturday, February 16, 2019 6:33 PM | Paul McKenzie
    The One Hill Winter Trainer ride finally happened today, after several weather delays.  7 riders, 62 miles, 4300', 4:06 riding time, wet roads, roaring creeks, snow capped peaks, a few sprinkles, and one downpour.

    Darrin J, MarC M, Dave S, Richard A, Carl A, and Sarah S, a.k.a. "The Usual Suspects," rolled out with me from Howarth Park at 9:10 AM, under dry skies, and over wet roads. Spring Mt. was quite wet, with several places where water was running across the road. The creek along the road was rushing with water, and was an enjoyable distraction during much of the climb.

    The group was well matched (with MarC taking it easy and riding a mt. bike), and there was little separation over the summit. We regrouped at the bottom after an extra careful descent of the treacherous East side of Spring Mt.

    We formed a pace line up Silverado, and stopped briefly in Calistoga for water, then were treated to an incredible view of Mt. St. Helena, well covered in snow, as we headed toward Hwy 128. After descending the County Line climb, some light rain fell as we rolled by Ida Clayton Rd, and looked up to see more snow on the ridge top.

    The rain subsided as we tackled Chalk Hill, Faught Rd, then Mark West, to Riebli, and back toward Howarth. At the final stop light, I noted to the other riders that the sky looked terribly dark. With about 200 meters to go, the sky opened up, and we experienced a heavy downpour. All riders made a mad dash to their cars seeking cover from the heavy rain. While we didn't get a chance for a proper goodbye, I am confident in saying that all present had a wonderful Winter ride experience, in beautiful conditions.

    A big thank you to all riders who made the effort to attend the One Hill Trainer. Rider of the day goes to Dave Smith, who, after recovering from a serious injury, is back riding again, as strong as ever. Dave crushed the climbs, and also put in some very strong pulls at the front on the flats. Welcome back, Dave!

  • Sunday, April 29, 2018 11:30 AM | Paul McKenzie
    16 riders (12 men, 4 women), 121 miles, 10,000', 3 flats, a few sprinkles, tacky dirt, lush green grasses, wildflowers, 1 cougar skeleton. That's the short story of the Three County - Four Hill Ride.

    The Four Hills climbed are Geysers, Old Toll, Hopland Grade, and Mountain House.

    Dave left the start in Healdsburg one hour before our group to get a head start. At 8:00 AM 10 more riders left the start, heading for Geysers. Conditions were beautiful, with a mix of bright sun, puffy clouds, light fog, and also some darker, threatening clouds.

    The temperature dripped as we climbed Geysers, but the cool weather was comfortable given the effort. Jennie pretty much dropped the entire group on the first Geysers climb, but the male members of the species faired just a little bit better on the second hump.

    Descending Geysers, Jennie was laughing at the contrast of road conditions on that stretch, from smooth, wide pavement with center double yellow, to narrow, potholed single lane, to bumpy dirt, with a few significant slumps in the pavement thrown in for good measure.

    At Geysers and River Road, we picked up the "Cloverdale Crew," Trudi, Catherine, and Nick. And we lost Steve, who'd had enough after Geysers. But wait... there's more. Up the road, also starting in Cloverdale, was Darren.

    Despite closed lanes for repair along the 8 mile stretch of Hwy 101, it wasn't really any worse than usual, and not too unpleasant on the bikes. Unfortunately, one rider got a flat on this stretch, followed by a second, unrelated flat. The bulk of the group carried on to our stop at the store in Hopland... no sense in having the entire group waiting along Hwy 101. Darren was waiting for us at the store. At this point it began to rain lightly, and skies were looking ominous.

    After a regroup and a break in Hopland, we tackled Old Toll Road, a beautiful old road, with a mostly dirt surface. Fortunately, the sprinkles were short lived, and we were treated to absolutely perfect conditions on Old Toll, the best I have ever seen. The descent featured none of the loose dirt normally seen, as the light rain left everything nice and tacky. I caught up with David on the descent, so he was making good progress, holding off the group to about the half way point. Many riders commented on how much fun the dirt descent was — no argument here, I had the time of my life!

    Once back on to pavement, we had another regroup planned, but several riders were a bit chilly and wanted to continue on. I let them go and we formed a second group. Unfortunately, the chasing group experienced another flat tire (different rider this time), so this put the "C" Group a further behind the "C/D" group.

    The final regroup in Hopland resulted in a similar strategy. With the C group behind, the C/D group wanted to forge ahead and finish the ride. I sent them forward and rode in with the C group. We caught David again on Mountain House, and he was able to finish the ride with our trailing group.

    The Cloverdale Contingency finished where they started, while the Healdsburg Homies were all in safe and sound by 6:15 PM. It turned out to be a perfect day for this amazing ride, with just a few sprinkles and dramatic weather. We never got soaked, and while a few riders complained of being a bit chilly while stopped, most were quite comfortable during the day.

    Thanks to everyone for riding safely, being social, and accommodating the requirements of riding efficiently in a group.

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