Thursday, October 20, 2011

Climate Ride takeaways...

Alright, so a few weeks later I finally have my head screwed on straight about the whole experience. Here we go:

- It rocked. It rocked a lot.

- I do not like riding in the rain when it is more than something we would call "spitting" in Portland.

- If I'm going to do more hilly terrain, I need to ensure I have the proper gear ratios. What I had was great in straights and downhill, but was unnecessarily difficult when on an incline more than a rolling hill.

- Organized large trip pros:
   - Cool people to hang with
   - Mechanics who know a lot more than I do about what's going on with my bike
   - Van support
   - Someone else is cooking
   - Less gear to haul on the bike

- Organized large trip cons:
   - Zero mile days are not a real option
   - Being in the back of the pack is a mentally challenging place to be versus going your own pace (see Day 2)
   - Less control over stops and routing
   - Some rules I'd prefer to ignore
   - Menu was selected by other people who don't eat at all the way I do

More and more, I feel like this ride made a difference if only from the standpoint of the money raised. Figure the average per rider was about $2500. We had a 125(ish) riders, so that means climate change opposition was funded an additional $300,000 minus expenses. How about we say a quarter million dollars going towards the cause? Not bad.

I'm also happy to have taken on a pretty big challenge at my *cough cough* advanced age. Not that I feel old by any stretch, but having recently turned 40, it feels good to have pulled off a physical task that most wouldn't take on in their 20s or 30s. I think there's a big future in bike adventures for me, and I'm looking forward to some of the future challenges.

So... Climate Ridin'? Thumbs up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The video...

I know, I know... I still owe the wrap up. But in the meantime, here's the video I put together for

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Catching up: Day 5...

Camp on the final night had a sunny finish but we heard of the threat of rain overnight. That didn't happen.

It waited til 5:30am. Of course.

So, a cold, early,wet start on our last day got a lot of us motivated to get the hell to San Francisco.

And then the sun came out juuuuust in time for some uber climbs up and over Mt Tam and the Marin headlands to the bridge.

San Francisco from Sausilito

Crossing the bridge

SF side

Finish line at city hall!

More thoughts on the ride in the next post...

Catching up: Day 4...

I'm sitting on a park bench in Golden Gate Park not far from our pickup point... So, spoiler alert: I made it.

Day 4 was by far my favorite day of the ride. It was a rolling ride with no early hills of note (except one stupid one that was insanely steep but about 2 city blocks long). Most importantly we had no rain.

I'm a big proponent of getting out early, and I was one of the early departures on day 4. I got to the first "water" stop early and did some wine tasting at 9:30am. Hey, it's noon someplace, right?

Moshin Winery

The remainder of the ride through Sonoma County was beautiful but the hills kicked in. Lots of pot holes in the road... The C&O trail is smoother...

The stupid hill

Lunch featured fresh squeezed (pressed?) apple cider. Awesome. Then it rained. Less awesome (but brief).

Last water stop was in a cool town...

... But it was overshadowed by our rogue breakoff group who got oysters and beer:

Deck+oysters+beer+sun = epic.

9 miles later we were in our last camp of the trip!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gorgeous start...

The aftermath of the storm...

Much more like a December storm... Lots of tired wet riders but we're coping.

Wetness aside, the fog was pretty this morning and the lack of rain at dawn was as welcome as anything!

That's my blue tent on the left. No the tree cover didn't help...

The bikes got some cover last night but my saddle is assuredly wet.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brutal rain...

The rain is so bad tonight people can't sleep... Lots of wind and wet tents. A few looked at the nearby barn for shelter but it's locked. Bad night. Hope this lets up soon.

Biking this kind of distance is enough of a challenge without rain and lack of sleep thrown in! My tent's relatively dry inside but I've got some seepage or (more likely) condensation here and here.

In a word: "duuuuuuude."