HOW IT UNFOLD: The carpool meet at Newark Raley's and by 7 o'clock the convoy drove to PA Veterans. By the time everyone is set to roll it was 8 o'clock. With a nice cool weather the strong riders and pretenders started fast but by the time we reached the foot of Steven Canyon the pretender (me) dropped to the second group in anticipation of the coming nasty climb at Redwood Gulch. We regrouped where the road splits to Mt. Eden Rd. When we reached the gulch everyone was on their own pace. Some who opted to start fast end up running out of steam before reaching the top. I saw a couple of rider (not in our group) fall on their bike, so tired they couldn't dismount anymore. The next miles to Saratoga Gap wasn't fun too, it was not steep but a gear grinding section of the ride for me. We regrouped again before heading to the first reststop, half a mile away at the Saratoga Fire Station.
The weather suddenly changed from nice to cold and a little bit foggy while we were resting. Some of us putted plastic trash bag inside our jerseys to cover our wet layers. We rode fast down Skyline Blvd rolling hills to West Alpine Rd. This is where some of us opted to bail out and head back to VA. Here where Skyline and Alpine met is the point of no return, once you descend West Alpine your committed to finish the ride. West Alpine is a very fast downhill for kamikaze riders, but with my fractured pelvic on my belt I played it safe, in fact very safe, after all there's good food waiting on the next reststop. Pasta, chicken or veggie wraps, hot or cold drinks & more. After a good meal its time to head west to San Gregorio. La Honda (84) is a very fast ride but with my experience, if you're just an average strength rider in the group don't get over excited to take the lead and go fast, this road can burn you down and you may run out steam. I have seen it before and again on this ride I saw it happened again ;) Me, I just drafted and cruised behind riders until we reached Stage Rd., conserving my energy and resting my legs for Tunitas climb.
On the flat section of Tunitas Creek after the last reststop, JohnnyBoy started to have a rear shifting problem. we have to replaced the cable compliment of the SAG. A 30 minutes delay.
Tunitas road was repaved before the Tour of California. Psychologically the smooth road made me feel the half of the climb so easy, only after we passed the wooden bridge and where it get steeper did it starts to hurt. By the time I reached the summit I'm exhausted. My legs are burning and my lungs have run out of oxygen :(
I started in front of the group going down Kings Mt. I played it safe again and some kamikaze riders in the group were flying down to the front. Marcel and I waited for awhile at Woodside Rd. JohnnyBoy had another bad luck, he punctured a tire. BobbyG have some bad luck too, twice he dropped his chain and by the time he get back on his bike the group was way too far already.
We also rode Sandhill and Foothill a notch faster dropping everyone in sight until we reached Pagemill Rd, the last stoplight before VA. In the end everybody had a great ride. Sequoia ride always bring out the best out of me.
"stay on my butt ... signed:Jr."