The Uvas Gold 200k had been the somewhat accidental start of my RThing the previous year, and I’d quite enjoyed the route, so was glad when it fit in my schedule again. And I stayed at my aunt’s nearby to the start, which made the morning much easier. Winning!
There was a bit of moon floating in the sky and a nice rosy glow from the sunrise when I headed out, which I took as an indication of a good day to come. Ohwait, red sky at morning, ah nevermind… It was a bit chilly at the start, and the overcast ended up settling in for the day, but at least never organized enough to precipitate on us.
Roland complimented my vest, it took me a few beats to realize he was wearing the same thing. Doh! Wake up. After Rob’s speechy we rolled out from the BART station and had some fun with the traffic lights and the usual sorting out the groups’ various paces. I enjoyed chatting with several folks and getting to more officially meet EricS, who’d been a SuperVolunteer on the Davis 600k earlier in the year. There was a bit of green on the lower hillsides as we headed south, but we left that behind as we started climbing Mt. Hamilton. It was great to see Gabby and get to hear about her PBP experience and the riding she’d done in the Alps. (Because 1200k wasn’t enough…)
The control at Grant Ranch clumped up the group again, I had mentioned the existence of dirt to EricW and Steffen, of course they wanted to try it, but when we headed towards the trails there was a sign that they were closed due to recent rain. No dirt for you. So back to the road. At the start Steffen had said he might turn back at some point, but I thought we’d convinced him to continue on, and I didn’t want to stop at the crest, so I missed goodbyes, since he actually had decided to not carry on with the route. EricW, not being a social moron, stopped to see Steffen off then caught up with me and we rode together the rest of the day, with guest appearances by other riders.
For a while that was Cheryl, who I hadn’t expected to see again, but she’d had a flat on Quimby. When the route started to go up she was gone again. Another info control and then hmn, what’s that rattle? Apparently I hadn’t gotten my light properly secured. Eric was nice enough to loan me a hex so I didn’t have to go spelunking in the Revelate. (Don’t get me wrong – it’s an awesome bag. Really well made, sturdy, secures to the bike easily and is really stable, great adjustable capacity – up to almost too much (more than I often should ought to be toting around), but. (always a but) it’s just one compartment, so thethingIreallyneed has invariably migrated to the furthest reaches.)
Got all the bits back where they should have been and and back on the road, passed the rocket testing place – didn’t seem to be any tests going on, or if there were they were very quiet and/or well muffled. Saw a man on horseback, also out for a ride. I wanna be a cowboy… Another bit of climbing, Eric stopped to adjust wardrobe. I noticed an ohsmalldeadowlontheroad. sadpanda.
Went by the motorcycle park and YAY impending super fun descent. But. Got stuck behind a Subaru station wagon. It looked like Eric was considering passing, but never did.
That got us back to the 101 corridor for the rest of the journey south. First on the bike path, then two-lane roads through ranchettes and ag fields. I remembered it seeming to take forever to get to the Gilroy Safeway, so this time it appeared a little sooner. There was still quite a rando crowd there, but most had already eaten, or at least no one else was interested in Eric’s plan of going to the taqueria across the street.
The lady was nice enough to let us bring our bikes inside. But. Something got lost in translation and instead of getting one combination burrito with two types of meat Eric ended up with two burritos. OK, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
There was a little more of Gilroy, then we were back to country-feeling roads past more ranchettes and then the Uvas reservoir, which looked sadly low. When we stopped for the info control I succumbed to my curiosity and dialed the number for prayer requests, but it turned out to be what sounded like a mail order business (recording) that had various printed materials I might be interested in. Or not. No prayers for you.
The route was west of 101 and heading north, but similar to the morning there was a ridge to go over to get back to the 101 corridor. Got to the bike path, reverse of the morning. Until Metcalf. Which would have then been a climb. Uh, no thanks. Another bike path stretch and suburbia to the penultimate control, which was an open one, we chose what ended up to be the world’s slowest Starbucks. Being stopped for a bit we saw a handful of other riders.
We rolled out with Metin and Roy, I’d gotten a bit chilled being off the bike, but the moving again was not warming me up so I tried to use the wait at a stop light to get more clothes on. Of course it turned green, Metin and Roy continued on. Once I was back together, Eric and I continued on as well. We took turns pulling, one of the times he was on the front there was a sudden step increase in speed – ah, caffeine kicking in?
In a change from the previous year, the final part of the route reversed the morning’s course, but for some reason it felt very different. I kept seeing things and thinking did we pass that this morning? I would have thought I’d have seen/remembered it. Oh well. It did turn out to get us back to the finish in Fremont.
MarkB was there at the Peet’s signing riders in, and there was a card to get a snack. Despite bailing on a course record attempt, Patrick had finished quite a bit earlier, but was still hanging out, so we went for choose-your-own-pizza-adventure and beer. I know – Patrick, Eric and beer – hard to believe, but true. A most excellent wrap on another fun on bikes day.
Ride date: December 5, 2015