Santa Rosa Cycling Club’s Bad Little Brother is a scenic loop north into Mendocino County, a solid day that many people use as a gauge of readiness for the Terrible Two. My last go at it had been a mostly solo effort, but this year (well, now it’s last, but let’s pretend I’m timely with my ride reports) I’d be getting to ride with awesome randopal SarahB and “I’d rather be riding my bike in little circles for half an hour” PhilH. He introduces me to other bike racery people as “one giant slow twitch”, so don’t be feeling sorry for him.
Sarah’s resplendent in what she calls “ironic orange” – apparently she’s not a big fan of the color, go figure, but it’s totally matchy-match with her bike and accessories. Too cool. We set off before the official start time, under an overcast sky which I hoped would mean it wouldn’t get too hot. Pleasant roll up to Cloverdale, and then left turn onto 128. Phil looks at his computer and predicts how many hours we’ll finish in, which we laugh at since we haven’t hit the big climbs yet.
Mountain House out of Boonville up you very much.
Who’s the penguin’s favorite relative?
His Aunt, Arctica.
Great scenery, pleasant chatting, somewhere in there the fasties who started at the official time roar past. Oh, there’s still wild flowers out. Nice. WOOT! The truck-n-cheese plunge to the Coast. Ugh, emergency vehicles, including a helicopter at Pt. Arena. Yay, the lunch stop, where Sarah demonstrates advanced level snack stashing and access.
We continue down the Coast. Phil almost pulls out a come from behind on the uphill for the Anchor Bay sprint, but I manage to hang on. Next year I’ll know where that is. HA! Next year!!! That means doing it again!!! Yeah… we’ll see about that. We end up even on the day, probably only because of my prior knowledge of where the county lines and town limits are.
Hallelujah! The gelato cart is there in Gualala. YUM!! We celebrate Sarah and Phil’s first BLB. OK, now you HAVE to finish it!
Last bit of Coast and left turn inland. What a splendid day! Onto Skaggs and oh yeah it’s warming up. Just keep moving. Not quite smelling the barn, but getting there. It’s all good. And then, it’s not. One minute riding along chit-chatting away, the next oh that don’t feel right. Hmn. Maybe if I soft pedal for a bit. Except this is Skaggs. One can’t really soft pedal here. My heart is pounding way out of proportion to my effort and I feel a bit quoozy. Get off and walk for a bit. Stop and sit in a bit of shade. I feel like I’ve been keeping up with the eating and drinking, so not sure why this is happening or what I might be able to do to fix it.
Well it probably won’t make it any worse, so I try to drink and eat a bit. Have a salt tablet. OK, maybe I’m feeling a little better. I keep telling Sarah to go on, it’s not that much further, I’ll be fine. She keeps waiting, which I actually really appreciate, and hope I told her as much. Finally, after an interminable amount of time for the distance, the point of no more climbing. SO glad that the ride finishes with a screamin’ descent. SO GLAD to be finished. And there are still other riders hanging out in the parking lot, with food and drink! They commiserate about my implosion, someone suggests it’s an electrolyte issue and gives me a fizzy tablet to put in my water. Between all of that I start to feel better.
Reminder from the Universe, I suppose – every ride is a learning experience, and don’t take anything for granted. Stay on top of your nutrition and hydration, especially on a hot day. And, that bit of sucky at the end not withstanding, it was a super fun day riding with Sarah and Phil. Thank you! As always, thank you also to SRCC volunteers for supporting the ride.
Ride date: May 23, 2015