Photo version executive summary, although (spoiler alert) it does get dark in Healdsburg so there isn’t anything past that. At that point I was pretty much in get back to San Francisco mode anyway, but read on for the rest of the story.
This year is the third time the Adventure Series 400k has been held as a brevet on the SFR calendar, and the word is getting out! The start is at Lincoln and Storey, there’s quite a group, someone says it looks like the start of a real brevet. Or maybe it was regular brevet. These Adventure Series rides are definitely for real. As in no joke. Today’s installment is *only* 400k. (You might be a rando if you laughed at that.)
I get my bike out, finish up the last-minute prep and go over to sign in. Once again it’s a 3-section card. There’s no homemade bread and Nutella. Apparently somebody missed a memo. Or maybe I was supposed to BMO. Hopefully I’ll still be able to manage the ride. (Note from Max later that OS600 was the first time to have it at the start. Usually it’s a finish control item. Pft. Make us ride first.)
We have to wait until 0500 to pay for parking for the day. After a bit of initial confusion we all, well all us car bound folks anyway, get situated and OK let’s roll! I’m thinking it’ll be west side, but BFK is on the front, and he chooses east. The gate is already open, but there are bike tracks in the dew on the deck. That’s a good sign right? This is why I hate being on the front.
Windy. Oof. Well they were saying it’s supposed to be cooler today (yay!) but that means the valley will be sucking, as in onshore winds of course (what else?) oh goody. Something to look forward to when we’re heading north on the Coast.
Out through a blissfully quiet Sausalito and Tam Junction. No Patrick today, he had some excuse blah blah blah wife’s birthday blah blah blah, so he did the workers’ ride last week with Mike and Brian K. (But seriously, I don’t know how the people with others in their home life do it to make it out on all these long rides.) Anyway, I haven’t made an explicit arrangement to ride with anyone, but with the usual suspects on the roster figure I’ll fall in with a group. Or not. We’ll see how the day goes. Either way it’s all good.
For now it’s a nice pace, although Vidas is talking about wanting to be back by 0200! Yipes! Have fun with that. He says one thing for doing this is to not spend too long eating blackberries. You stop and sit down and eat and eat, you will not be back by 2. (It sounds much better with a Lithuanian accent.)
The group starts to spread out a bit as we climb out of Tam Junction. Today we’re taking Panoramic, and as we approach it looks like the folks in front of us have missed the right turn. We start to yell then realize it’s an optical delusion, the road does go straight for a bit but they haven’t actually missed the turn.
First faint glimmers of dawn over the bay to our right. Four Corners and up the mountain. Gosh when was the last time I came up this way? It’s actually a pretty mellow climb. Or maybe that’s because I’m by myself now and going my own pace. OOO! Shiny sparkly plush ball on the side of the road. No, I don’t have room for it. Dang.
Huh and there’s actually some flat to downhill here for a bit. Don’t go the other way here too often either but don’t have a recollection of having to climb until after the fire station. Maybe carrying enough speed that it doesn’t seem like a climb. Or maybe faulty memory.
Break in the trees gives a quick glimpse of Diablo bathed in sunrise splendor back to my left. And here’s Bootjack already. Means Pantoll and downhill are not far away. I’m surprised no one has caught up to me yet.
Vidas and another rider, who I find out later is Thomas from LA, are stopped at the Pantoll sign. I slow long enough to verify the control question then we all take off down the hill. Apparently the locals aren’t going fast enough though, as Thomas crosses over into the other lane and passes both of us. Alrighty then.
Super fun descent, although one of the hairpins towards the bottom lets me know I’m maybe carrying a bit more speed than perhaps I should. Yay for working brakes! I hear someone else’s brakes yowl behind me. Hmn, wonder who that is. Not going to turn around and look right now.
Onto Highway 1 at Stinson Beach and head north. Turns out it’s Jon who’d come up behind me on the descent. I figured he was long gone, but he’d stopped at Bootjack to fill bottles. With Vidas at the front we soon catch Thomas.
The morning light on Bolinas Lagoon is amazing. Looks like low tide. Roll along enjoying the scenery. At this hour we almost have the road to ourselves, which is also quite nice. There are a few motorcycles and a sports car or two also taking advantage of the light traffic, but fortunately no one is too much of a jackass, at least when they are around us.
Oh, Dogtown already. And Olema. Pt. Reyes Station. No one says anything about stopping, so we roll through. Downhill by the Arabian horses and oh road kill road kill road kill vulture vulture VULTURE flies up right in front of us! At several spots further up the coast we also see them perched on poles drying their wings in the sun.
Subaru passes us then gets caught at the construction stoplight north of town. The woman in the first car has gotten out, which I notice when the light turns green and she goes to get back in. I know the single lane isn’t too long, so I jackrabbit start and get through first. Woot! What do I win?
The day continues to unfold nicely along Tomales Bay and then we angle inland toward the town of Tomales. Vidas had earlier made a comment about liking rides where you have breakfast then ride somewhere and have lunch. Isn’t that what we’re doing today? Yes, but many more meals. As if the universe were listening, there’s a sign at Tomales for a Country Breakfast. Unfortunately it’s not until tomorrow.
Jog off of Highway 1 and over to Middle Road. The lead group had stopped at Pt. Reyes Station and catch up with us here – BFK, Alex from Seattle and Andrea, our token Italian since Max is still in the Motherland. Howdys and chit-chat, a couple of folks get a bit ahead and almost miss the second right turn to stay on Middle Road, but we yell at them and they get back on course. Little bit of a hill, no need to take the fast bait. Downhill and some flat and I catch up again and here we are at Highway 1. A big sign for Home for Sale 1867VictorianLoveNest.com um OK then. Victorian Love Nest? I didn’t know they were known for that.
Valley Ford and the word is the store makes their own beef jerky and it’s really good. Vidas says if they are still open when he comes by on the way back he’s going to get some. Hmn yeah I’m not figuring on getting any, but what time will it be when I see Valley Ford again? Oh not going to think about that too much.
North on 1, BFK rides with me for a bit. Says he read my Orr Springs report and is thinking of having everyone call him Lt. Colonel. Um sure. Although hate to burst your bubble but that was an Apocalypse Now reference. Hmn. Maybe I need to update my references.
First receipt control in Bodega. Find a big water, juice and oh yummy looking cookies! I get up to the counter and they’ve got tasty looking lemon bars, but no, I’ve already got the cookies.
I know Joy Road is up ahead, so I’d like to get out ahead of everyone, although what will it really matter they’ll end up passing me anyway. We end up rolling out all together, and, as suspected, once the road seriously tips up they are all gone. Have fun storming the castle, boys.
Ok look, a jacket. It’s still all nicely rolled up, but not attached to Thomas’ bag anymore. I stop and pick it up. A short time later he returns in search of it and I hand it over. He tries to fasten it more securely, I continue on with the climb.
It’s a beautiful day, nice in amongst the redwoods and I enjoy the ascent at my own pace. Some classical piece plays in my head. I don’t think it’s Ode to Joy, I’m not sure what the heck it is, actually, but it helps pass the time pleasantly. Ah, Charles Beck’s studio. One of the Grasshopper not-a-races finishes here, I think that means the bulk of the climbing is done.
At least the stout part, although there is a little more up to get to the top top. Then a little dip over to Willow Creek Road. Someone’s address sign also says All is peace and love. (with a heart shaped peace symbol, that is.) Indeed. There’s a woman on a mountain bike heading onto Willow Creek Road. Yep, some nice dirt back there too.
I don’t usually go this direction on this road, so there’s a definite novelty factor. Thomas has gotten his jacket resecured and caught up, we ride together and chat a bit. Once we get to the dirt descent I get ahead again. Whee! what? Tree! gah! Road hazard. Wonder when or if it will ever get cleared.
Do see a few other folks out enjoying the forest, including a couple near the gate back to pavement with a small off leash dog that doesn’t really want to get out of my way. I let them know that there’s going to be other bikes coming down.
Pavement in a loose definition of the word, that would be. In some parts it’s bumpier than the dirt. There’s one section that is full of puddles in the winter, I’m thinking it won’t be an issue today, so am quite surprised by a large deep section of water going all the way across the road in one of the usual damp spots. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that wet there. Oh guess I’m riding through it oh oh oh wet feet. Yipes! Fortunately not completely soaked, and they do pretty much dry out by Jenner.
It’s not a control but I’d like to top off the fluids, so I make a stop. There’s a few other riders who’ve also elected to stop, but they are just on their way out as we pull in. We resupply, and I notice Thomas’ jacket is starting to sag a bit, just as I’m about to say something he notices himself and cinches it up. I’m not sure if it’s apology or explanation, but he says that in the group he usually rides with, he’s one of the more together people. OK. I ask if they have fun. Oh yes! he replies immediately and enthusiastically. Well there you go.
Enjoy a brief respite of relative flatness along the coast and brace for the climb to and then climb of Meyers Grade. Just before the hill starts up I run out of shoulder and drop off the edge of the road briefly but manage to stay upright and get back on. whoo. Like I need my heart rate up any more.
The climb on 1 actually switchbacks and scrolls up the hill quite nicely. There’s plenty of cars out, but none are problematic. There’s something rather large and super reflective up on the hillside. The mothership?
Another rider just past the Meyers Grade turnoff. Is that one of ours? No, but he comes over and rides with us for a bit. He asks where Brian (Chun) is. Somewhere behind us. Apparently there’s a group of them that camps somewhere and rides to the festival at Ft. Ross every year, Brian usually does that but this year ditched it for the 400k. A little more chit chat and he heads back to the highway.
We continue up. UP, that is. There’s a fairly steady stream of riders in the opposite (preferred) direction. When I have the breath I WOOHOO them. Well, this does certainly make one appreciate the descent that much more. We get some surprised/are you crazy? looks, and at one point a woman going the opposite direction asks if we’re OK. Yep. Fantastic.
Gosh I don’t know why Brian’s buddy didn’t want to ride up this with us. Oh steep. Just keep those pedals turning. one more. one more. over. over. sweaty. sweaty. oh that stings the eyeballs. If only I could take my hands off the bars. Here we go not so steep. Breathe. Don’t get too excited that’s looking sorta topish no not quite but not so steep and yes whew little bit more and we are up on the ridge line.
Heh, right turn there would take you to Cazadero. Not all down hill, but shorter than our planned route. It all makes sense though. Really. A bit further on a left would take you down to the Coast but no we are going straight.
Traffic cones, a crew out in the field putting in a power pole. Hmn, on a Saturday. More riders headed the opposite direction, Fondo dreams? Most return our greeting, but some are too busy or serious or something. And it’s not deer or cattle at the info crossing. So much for expectations.
Eric W. catches us, he says Tom, Metin and Roy are not far behind, but they stopped for a blackberry break. Eric is nursing his knee from an out of bike experience on the double brevet weekend, and worried about it stiffening up if he stopped. Apparently he’d been distracted by turkeys. Birds, not other randos. I ask if he had a turkey sandwich when he’d gotten home after the event. Nope. (But he does have one at the Stewarts Point Store.)
He asks if the turn on to Kruse Ranch Road is pretty obvious, I haven’t been onto it from this direction and can’t quite remember, but we get there shortly and yes, it would have been hard to miss. There’s a sign, and it’s dirt. Thomas and Eric are a bit ahead of me, Thomas doesn’t notice his jacket ejecting again or hear me yell about it. I stop and pick it up. It’s a bit awkward to ride with, hopefully he’ll figure out and stop or come back for it.
Oh look, Plantation! There’s a school and some folks milling about and a couple other buildings. Must be a story to all this. Something else for the research department.
Metin and Roy go by. I’m just starting to reconsider my decision to pick up the jacket when Thomas reappears. He says something about having to figure out a better way of attaching it. Ha. That may be the understatement of the day (I think I kept that in my thought bubble.) Uh, good luck with that. I get going again, that’s the last I saw of him. Tom goes by, says something about not expecting to see me again. That expectations thing again.
Round a corner, Metin and Roy are stopped, not sure if Tom had said something or what, they start rolling again as I catch up. The four of us descend the rest of the way to Highway 1 together. Not too loose but oh kinda bumpy. There’s something to be said for climbing on dirt.
Here’s the Highway and a right turn, next stop Stewarts Point! Metin pulls us all along at a nice pace. It’s a be.a.UUUU.tiful day on the coast.
The lead group is saddling up as we pull in at the store. Tom says (I think jokingly) 5 minutes? but they’re off on their mission. We park our bikes and go about our control stop. Potato salad had been sounding good, but the man at the deli is involved with making sandwiches and I don’t feel like waiting. Let’s see. Fat. Protein. Hmn, how about a yogurt? Oh wait, what am I doing, they have IT’S-IT! And an interesting soda selection. I’ll just go with a root beer though.
It rings up to an even dollar amount. I probably couldn’t have done that if I’d tried! Hey, what do I win? The woman at the register says she doesn’t have anything to give me. Well, except a happy smile and great views. I’ll take it!
I eat and top off my bottles. After using the restroom I’m ready to go, I know there’s lots more climbing to go and I’m not getting any faster. Everyone else wants to make a longer stop of it, and teases me about heading out. Leaving so soon? and Who annoyed you so much you want to leave?
I cross the highway into the ferntasticness. Going this direction – which I’ve never done before – it’s a climb, so I have that much more time to enjoy it. And here’s some construction, and stretch Escalade corner, minus the stretch Escalade today. And a pedestrian. Heading uphill. I haven’t seen a car in a while, maybe he’s just out for a stroll. I can’t imagine he doesn’t hear me huffing and puffing, but he seems a bit surprised when I say hello as I pull up to him.
Fun to see this stretch coming the other way. Hey there’s a fantastic tree stump face! I’ve never noticed that when descending. Oh then I’m out in the sun. Yeah it’s a little warm. Ugh, even my eyelids are sweating. Ow, salty! Yes, breeze, thank you. Shade again. Thank you trees. I love you. Shade is awesome. Thank you for giving me shade. What can I do for you? Oh, you like carbon dioxide, don’t you? Heh, I got plenty of that for ya! More where that came from! This makes me very happy. Further along I realize I’ve got matchy match red trim on my gloves, jersey and shoes. That also amuses me.
I know it’s not all uphill to Rancheria, since it’s not all downhill to the Coast, but I just roll along and take it as it comes. Start seeing some driveways, then houses, then there’s the school and left turn onto Tin Barn – don’t think about the steepy steepy one over x squared coming up before the buddha compound. Oh I need a nature break. Half-expecting the gang from Stewarts Point to roll by just then, but, contrary to Murphy’s Law of Nature Breaks they don’t.
While I’m stopped I double-check my brevet card, I hadn’t really looked at the next control when I was in Stewarts Point, thinking it was somewhere on Tin Barn. *Expletive deleted* it was back at the intersection at Rancheria. No, I’m not going back. Guess I’ll just have to throw myself on the mercy of another rider, or guess, or scribble something semi-plausible/not-quite-legible in the box. Heh. Dumbass. Pay attention to what you’re doing here.
Right. I’m riding my bike, it’s a beautiful day. It’s hard to stay cross, even with myself. I grunt myself up the wall and oh hey the golden tower at the buddha place is much more obvious from this direction. OOO! Shiny. And a bit of descending then some rollering along and huh the wheel eating cattle guard sits it a bit of a pocket, at least it seems like it’s somewhat downhill going to it from this direction as well.
Almost to the actual Tin Barn and I start hearing voices. No, not in my head. Tom, Metin and Roy catch up to me just after the turn onto King Ridge Road. We all roll along together for a bit, then when it gets a bit climby Metin and Roy forge ahead. Tom putts along with me for a while, providing pleasant conversation, then he heads along as well. I enjoy a bit more solo riding on the final descents and cruise into Cazadero. If I lean over and breathe out just right the air goes down my jersey and under my sports bra. Very refreshing.
They’re all at the store, along with Jon, who’s been there for a while trying to get some calories into his system. Mmmm… calories. Oh yeah and fluids. Let’s see. Yes! They have potato salad. There’s two women in line, one is on the phone, and after some conversation they step out for some more shopping. They’re preparing for a goose-off. In which one will be smoked and one will be bar-b-qued and a taste test will be done. Apparently one of the women needs room in the freezer for a half cow. When they get back in line the cashier is talking with them about the geese. Apparently they raised them. Doesn’t that make you sad? No, it makes me hungry!
It’s nice on the porch in the shade. I eat and drink and make some notes about the ride so far. (It’s all going in the report.) Metin jokes about me still being coherent enough to write things down. Jon is sitting next to me and says oh no. I can see it. It’s just incoherent scribbling. Well it’s either do this or I stab someone with the pen… He scoots as far away on the bench as he can.
Eric W. has also rolled in while we’re eating, he’s decided in the best interests of his knee to abbreviate the route. The rest of us saddle up and head back toward the bridge. Ernesto catches us on the climb, he found a spigot to fill his bottles so didn’t have to go in to town.
This is the first time I’ve done Old Caz in this direction. I’m way out into next week on my new things! There’s more water in the creek than I’m expecting, but a way to walk over on rocks that keeps the feet dry. The climb out on dirt ends up being relatively pleasant. With fresher legs I might have ridden it all in one go, but at this point in the day I end up with a few rest breaks and some walking (for a nice change in pace.)
The descent on pavement is quite restorative, as are the cooling temperatures. Since he didn’t stop in Cazadero, Ernesto says he’s going to get ice cream in Guerneville. It had seemed like the rest of us were pretty set, but as we near town the question of stopping comes up again. It’s makes me think of the trip to Abilene, we end up stopping, but at the gas station to be a little quicker. Well I suppose I could have kept rolling, and in retrospect that might have been the thing to do, but whatever.
One more Big Hill. Roll out toward Armstrong Redwoods and turn on to Sweetwater. Gosh, when was the last time I’ve been over this? One of those where whichever way I go I always think maybe it’s better the other way. We’re getting on toward magic light now, the old mine looks like a movie set. Get the first bump out of the way, OK this second part goes on longer. Find my pace. The others are out of sight now, which is just as well, I need a nature break. Whew.
Let’s see, I know this isn’t it (the top) and there’s several of these where it seems like you’re there but it really isn’t. Oh wait. I’m not even close to that part. There’s like a whole nother traverse going the other direction and the decreasing radius turn oh I guess it will be increasing going this direction and then the oh I am so much further from the top than I want to be. And what’s that sucking sound? Oh that would be my soul draining away. Well, if I had a soul. Sometimes it’s not good knowing what lies ahead.
I don’t have the energy to throw the bike in the ditch and stomp around. I can’t even whimper. I just stop. Empty. Empty. Empty. Not even a WTF?! OK. Maybe eating something. Some quick energy here. Ah, honey Stinger chews. That brightens the mood a bit. Breathe. Virtual kick in the rear. Get back on the bike and start pedalling again.
Yes, it’s up. But you’re out here, and it may be slower than molasses in January, but you are making it up the hill. And it is beautiful out here, and peaceful, and now it’s magic light time of day. The group is waiting at the top. Oh I should have told them to carry on. I do now, we’ll meet up in Healdsburg. Those that have done this before are all in favor of sticking together for the leg back to the City, and that sounds good to me. There’s some descent now, which is restorative, and I also stop and eat some blackberries. Another climb, and then down to Westside Road. Whew. The sun is sinking to the west, the sky is just amazing. I somewhat arbitrarily decide I should be to Healdsburg by 8:30. Pedal pedal pedal!
I get some food at the Safeway deli. The woman is very friendly and lets me leave it while I go back to the restroom. I don’t realize there’s seating inside so I sit at one of the tables outside. It’s starting to get dark, but it’s still warm enough for that, and Ernesto and Roy have gone over and gotten Thai food, so they join me.
A passer-by wants to know if we’re doing the Vineman. Nope, just on our way to San Francisco. After they leave I comment about the craziness of doing and Ironman. Ernesto laughs at me. Like this isn’t crazy? We all have our own definition of that. A woman has a barky little dog, her son (or friend maybe?) says something about selling it. Or trading it for ice cream. There you go!
In a way it feels like the ride is over, having gotten through all the burly climbs that started way back at Joy Road, but we still have to get back to San Francisco. Everyone’s eaten, and we start to collect ourselves to head out. EricM rolls in. He’s been solo for a while, and says for us to go ahead, he’ll be fine. He wants to eat a burrito. I’m thinking he’s going over to the Mexican place there in the shopping center but he got one back in Guerneville. uh, OK. He keeps saying he’ll be fine, but it’s no problem to wait. It’s dark now, and it could be a bit of a slog solo. Ernesto has some Thai food left, Eric scarfs that and we roll out.
Crazy intersection to get headed out of town, there’s a woman walking her bike on the sidewalk who apparently has been enjoying some adult beverages. She tells us how she’s walking her bike. Um, that’s probably not a bad idea. I get to be local knowledge of the route (oh don’t think about how close you are to home.) We pace line down Eastside. A few of us take turns on the front then Eric takes what seems like an inordinately long pull. Someone should tell him he doesn’t have pull us all the way back to the City. Tom shushes me.
Cross River Road and then there’s a turn up Vine Hill. The group had gotten a bit spread out, so some missed the turn then it takes a while to sort out that we are not all there. C’mon people, let’s talk here. We’re supposed to be riding TOGETHER. We stop and wait for a bit. Hmn, that kinda sounds like fireworks in the distance. Don’t see anything though, and not sure what the occasion would be.
Even missing the turn, you could keep going and get back on the route, but that’s probably not what they’ll do. I go back to the intersection to see if I can see anyone. Yes, that does look like lights headed back this way and yes! Bike lights. OK, let’s try this again.
Graton here we come! Someone Tom knows has moved there. No, it’s not much of anything, don’t blink you’ll miss it. The country living experience, I guess. Somehow that gets us on the topic of chickens. Yum, fresh eggs, but they’re just creepy. They’ve got those beady eyes. Well you could gouge their eyes out, they’d still make eggs. Ugh, that would be even creepier.
Climb up to Occidental. Jon got Ensures at Safeway was planning to do one of those an hour to get him back to the City. Wow yeah it’s been at least that long, go to ask if he’s on schedule and no answer. Word comes back from someone else that he dropped off. Sheesh people! (in my thought bubble?) Well, there’s an info control in Occidental, we’ll regroup there.
A fellow who is VERY MUCH enjoying his Saturday night in Occidental chats with us a bit in the parking lot. Jon is starting to talk about abandoning in Valley Ford. None of us really believe him. There’s a nice descent out of town and then the pull of a staffed rest stop at Valley Ford. Ryan has quite the spread going on. So amazing that someone would spend their Saturday night doing this. I enjoy some freshly made fancy coffee and hot cup noodles. I’m a little cold now that I’m off the bike.
Duh, there’s a post office right there. I go inside. It might be a mistake, but it feels good. I have no idea how long we’re there, everyone enjoys the offerings. Jon does in fact call it a night there. I’d debated about what other clothes to bring and not quite happy with my choice, but at least I do have other stuff to put on. And I do get warm once we’re moving again.
Over the ridge on Gericke. Eric says it’s kinda creepy. What do you mean? It’s just so DARK. And you were going to be riding this by yourself, someone reminds him. Working our way ever southward, we have some burrito talk on Chileno Valley Road. He’s still got the one from Guerneville and is looking forward to enjoying it at the finish.
Oh yeah, remember to eat. It’s dark and cold and in some ways feels like we’re not far from the finish, but can’t stop the caloric intake. And yeah, a caffeine pill. Time for one of those.
Spread out on the climbs, regroup at the bottom of descents. Yep, all here. Roll again. Ernesto wants to stop at the Cheese Factory. Says something about sitting down for a while. Uh, haven’t we been sitting down all day? I don’t want to be stopped too long, I’m worried about getting cold, just when I’m thinking maybe we should have set a time limit he’s ready to roll again.
Nicasio. The golf course. smudge streak big trail of blood ROADKILL DEER DEER DEER. Thankfully we all manage to avoid it. White’s Hill. Oh that helps to be getting back to some light now. Fairfax. Here we go on the wiggle. Ready to be done but not there yet.
Everyone gets ahead of me on the climb out of Sausalito. No need for a group now, but Metin gets them to wait and we roll across the bridge and in to the finish together. So. Glad. To. Be. Done. Omigod that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done on a bicycle.
I don’t really feel like talking, and just sit off to the side and enjoy my Cup Noodles. Best. Noodles. EVER. (Even though they were the Shrimp flavor.)
By the time I get back over to my car the sky is getting light. Morning. Oh, it’s the San Francisco Marathon day. No runners yet, but there’s traffic control. Well I’d better be on my way before I get stuck here. Amazing sky on the way home. I sit in the car in the driveway for a while. Wonder if I’ll have the energy to shower. Once I finally do get collected enough to get out I realize just how icky I am and do manage the shower. Hot running water is such a miracle. As is some sleep in a bed!
Even later after some randonesia has set in I’d still have to say that was one of the toughest rides I’ve done. I wasn’t thinking that during the ride, in fact, other than the Moment on Sweetwater I was great mood wise. I wasn’t feeling like I wanted to quit or thinking I wouldn’t finish or that I’d miss the time cut offs. It was a beautiful day and amazing route. But that middle section starting from Joy Road through Sweetwater was a heck of a lot of stout climbing. And that was the first time I’d ridden that long continuously/completely through the night. The other 400k I’ve done I finished earlier, and the 600Ks I’ve done I’ve always ended up stopping and resting, whether I planned to or not.
Anyway, it was super awesome. Thanks again to Max, all the volunteers and all the other riders!
Ride date: July 26, 2014