SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


SFR Russian River 200k Brevet

All Smiles
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Yesterday, I rode the SFR Russian River 200k brevet with Carlos and Mari. Overall, it was a quite interesting time...

In the middle of the night before the ride, the SF Bay Area was hit with a freak lightning storm, which had most of NorCal on alert for brush fires. The flash and noise woke me up at around 3:30am. Rain started falling just after I got out of bed at 5am. If I hadn't committed to driving us up to the start, I probably would've bailed at that point.

Then, due to some slight delays mostly caused by juggling 3 bikes around until they fit on my roof rack, we arrived at the start late, and finally rolled out at about 7:10am.

The last 4 riders to start (us and Veronica) had a 75% flat rate within the first 30 miles of the ride -- Mari flatted just 5 miles into the ride; then just after Rancho Nicasio we passed Veronica, who needed to borrow pliers to yank out the bent tack embedded in her tire. Later on, just at the turn onto Hicks Valley Road, I thought I heard a faint "tick tick" from one of my tires, but I couldn't tell for certain. I managed to climb up Wilson Hill and then fly down the other side, plus make the left onto Chileno Valley Road before my front tire went soft.

A short while later, the skies opened up on us, and I finally got cold and wet enough to dig out my rain jacket...at which point the rain stopped abruptly. We had a strange mix of cloudy, overcast skies, a bit of sun, and damp fog throughout the rest of the day. But fortunately no more rain.

We had some odd accompaniment out on the roads -- coincidentally the MS 150 "Waves to Wine" ride was held the same day but apparently in opposite directions to our figure-eight route, so there were some confused motorcycle volunteers who pointed out a particular left turn, when we went right instead.

The middle portion of the ride went smoothly enough. We rode at a steady pace throughout the entire day, which really helped me conserve energy and I felt quite good for the whole day -- unlike my usual performance where I get caught up in the excitement of the starting group, ride hard for the first third of the ride, and then struggle afterwards.

Starbuck's Double Shots and Frappucinos, as well as Diekmann's Bay Store pepperoni pizza, really REALLY hit the spot.

In spite of Loctite, my front fender had started to rattle loose, and I managed to tighten it somewhat using a micro adjustable wrench that I carry in my tool kit. I really need to create an additional fender mount under the front rack.

Unfortunately we had a minor accident as we were leaving Bodega Bay: Some wheels got crossed, and Mari went down hard on her elbow. Luckily, many MS 150 riders were pedaling in the opposite direction at the time, and there were several ride marshalls and a SAG wagon nearby who kindly offered her some excellent help, even though she wasn't one of their riders. They took her to their lunch stop at Nick's Cove where she received some first-aid attention, and were in the process of figuring out how to transport her and her bike back to civilization, when Mark B., SFR's champion Volunteer Coordinator who'd happened to be out roaming the brevet route in his car -- appeared. Other SFR riders had managed to get in touch with Mark at the next control, which we were unable to do since there was no cellular signal at Nick's Cove.

With Mari snug in Mark's car and on her way to the finish, Carlos and I set out on the final leg of the ride. The penultimate control at Marshall came quickly. After a couple small helpings of chowder, we were again on our way. More overcast skies loomed as we pedaled once again through Rancho Nicasio, but things started looking up a bit as we wound our way up and over Lucas Valley Road. After a quick stop at the World's Nicest Porta Potty, we arrived at the finish just as my watch read 6pm.


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