EricL had been working on a route from Oregon/farNorthern California which eventually became a prime time SFR offering in the fall of 2015 as the Shasta Mountains 1000k. It was intriguing as a point-to-point route going through challenging terrain (AKA s**t-ton of climbing), much of which would be new to me, as well as being a new distance. And of course there was the peer pressure, er, encouragement from the usual suspects who were signed up for and excited about the ride. I made it my stretch goal for the year, and rode a Series, the Rthing, long/hilly nonbrevets and days-in-a-row to prepare. As the event neared I went back and forth between YAY riding bikes! YAY new roads! YAY challenge! and WTF was I thinking, this is crazy stupid hard too long too much climbing I’ll never make it.
Well. Only one way to find out.
There were a couple other people going from the North Bay, which seemed promising for carpooling to the start, but the logistics of it worked out that we left from Berkeley. With the finish being in San Francisco, I had to somehow connect the dots – there seemed to be a BART trip in my future on one end or the other – I decided that it would be better to get it out of the way on the front end, and was able to find a place to stash my car for the duration of the ride. It was a short roll mostly downhill to the station, and inside there was a man playing an accordion with a heart on the bellows. It seemed like a good sign, and I asked if I could take his picture. He smiled and nodded, and I did. At least I thought I did. When I went through my pictures after the ride, it was not there. (Cue spooky music.)
The BART trip was otherwise uneventful, with the don’t think about how much water you’re underneath trip through the TransBay Tube, and then surfacing to a pleasant clear dawn. There was a short, flat spin to our meeting place, and then the loading up of the rental van. Paul and Sarah’s tandem was already stowed, and CarlS’ and my single bikes soon followed, along with our minimal luggages, and we were on the road.
After a brief navigational miscue we were heading north as intended, heading up 80 to 505 to 5. Having the luxury of being a passenger, I intermittently dozed and watched the scenery scroll by outside. After a lunch stop in Weed (heheheh insert Weed joke here) we continued on 97, then 161, with the remoteness factor increasing each mile, eventually reaching Hill Road and our destination, the Winema Lodge.
Paul and Sarah had to return the rental to Klamath Falls, and Carl joined them, and it was tempting to be able to say I’d ridden my bike from Oregon, but I decided I’d skip the bonus miles and just hung out at the Lodge. The other riders had already arrived or trickled in over the course of the afternoon, with the usual chit-chat and banter. Most were SFRians, but there were also a handful of folks from other locales as well, so there were some introductory conversations too.
The afternoon was capped off with bike check, and then a hearty dinner. My nerves had (mostly) settled, although it still didn’t quite seem real that I was going to ride my bike erm, how many miles? back to San Francisco. One day at a time.
With an early start the next morning, everyone headed to bed after dinner. As the only two women, Sarah and I had one of the motel rooms in the building separate from the main lodge where alltheotherrandos were bunked up. Some duck hunters rolled in, probably coming from after work, and were moving around and talking outside the rooms. After giving them some time to unload and quiet down (and they didn’t – quiet down that is), Sarah went out and asked them to. Which they did. Whew. And I was able to fall asleep.
EricL’s (it’s all his fault) pictures