I was zero for two on the Adventure Series for the year, but what the heck, I signed up for Old Caz. 300k is a little easier to fake your way through than 400 or 600. Or so I told myself.
There was a solid turn out of the usual suspects, and we rolled off into the dark which became a silver morning. Quite a number stuck together, and then some others who hadn’t started with us caught up around the shooting range. Jason said he was late as he’d forgotten to poop. How do you forget that?! He then wanted to know if I was planning to finish this one. “Yeah… well, I’m planning to not throw up. Have fun. That’s the primary objective. Not throw up. Finish.”
There were some teases of clearing, but it didn’t stick until we were almost to Freestone, where YES we did stop at Wild Flour. YUM! We continued on to the official control at Occidental, where Scott figured out why he was hearing a periodic scraping noise. I also got to admire Angela and Jon’s awesome socks and Jon’s well-balanced snacks.
country bounty – roadside blackberries
that metal bit sticking out of the tire would explain that periodic scraping noise!
symmetric snacks (right and left bananas)
Old Caz, the ride’s namesake road, was splendid as always, and there was still a solid group riding together, which was fun. We had snack stop at the Cazadero Store. An It’s-It seemed like a good idea, and Eric got a bottle of champagne. He offered it around and everyone else declined, but I had some.
Old Monte Rio Road
meta on Old Caz
Free on the porch at the Cazadero store
it seemed like a good idea at the time…
also on the porch at the Cazadero store
It all went down nicely and seemed to be sitting well, but as soon as the climbing started on Fort Ross Road I was off the back – I didn’t seem to have any power and then had a ferocious attack of the sleepies. No idea if it was the champagne or not getting enough sleep the previous week catching up with me or what, but I could hardly keep my eyes open. If I’d been riding by myself I probably would have taken a little ditch nap, but I didn’t want the others ahead to worry so I soldiered on.
I didn’t figure or at least I hoped that not all of them would wait – it was great riding with them, but no point holding everyone up – but there was Eric. I did have a nice chat with two cyclists who were loaded up and headed out for a weekend camping at the Coast. They had stopped and were sitting on the side of the road having a snack break. “It’s all about the snacks.” That perked me up for a bit but once I was on my own again the sleepies returned.
OK, just make it to the top of the hill. That’s probably where Eric stopped to wait. The faster you go the sooner you can stop for a nap. Oh sleepy. So. Sleepy. C’mon, you can make it.
Eventually I did, well, not quite to the top – Eric had stopped for a ditch nap himself, at a wide spot just before the ridge. I joined him. It felt SO GOOD to close my eyes. Despite some evil flies (I know, do I really need to say evil?) I managed to get some good rest – or at least enough to banish the sleepies.
ditch nap view
OK! What were we doing? Riding bikes. I sat up. Ugh. Sleepies were gone, but now my tummy was not so happy. WTH?! I sat a while and it didn’t get any worse, so I stood up. Well, so much for that not throwing up on this ride thing. Boo.
I sat back down and regrouped, eventually deciding I’d be able to limp to Jenner, and then reassess. Eric was super patient with my delay and slow riding pace. In Jenner he got me a ginger ale and some plain crackers. I sat in the sun with my eyes closed, semi-dozing and nursing the ginger ale. It stayed down, so I moved on to the crackers, which also stayed down, and I got back to almost normal feeling.
Almost good enough to suggest continuing on to Willow Creek, but not quite. I certainly wasn’t feeling the mental fortitude to get myself all the way back to San Francisco, but I do like the Willow Creek. Which is actually one of the reasons I decided to not risk turning it into a death march, but rather just go the path of least resistance back to Santa Rosa.
So we headed inland on 116/River Road, catching the magic light as we neared town. I felt much better as we rode, and I was able to eat the rest of the crackers and they stayed down. Hooray! I was a little disappointed to (again) not finish the brevet edition (hopefully I’m not jinxing this year’s), but it was nice to know that I could recover from an unhappy tummy and get back on the road and get home under my own power. I was only one for three on the objectives for the day – having fun, not throwing up, finishing – but it was the important one – having fun!
Thank you to everyone I got to spend some part of this ride with, and to Eric for being so generous and helpful and sticking with my when I bailed out.
Ride date: September 17, 2016