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.