Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 11 (of 22) riding ...

Redway, CA to Ukiah, CA
Staying at Ukiah United Methodist Church
96.7 miles today, average pace 12.4 mph
Total ascent 5,203 feet (grades mostly 6% with a 7% here and there)

A false report yesterday. The final hill we climbed (that I had to walk some of), I reported as 12% grade. I found out this morning on the way down it was actually a 15% grade which explains why I had to walk it, because I have done 12% before and was surprised I could not make that climb. Going too slow I don’t get an accurate reading, and going downhill too fast I don’t get an accurate reading. So, this morning I went down the hill at a reasonable rate and got the reading of 15%. Then I checked it on a highway downhill that was marked as 7%, and it was right on.

Today was mostly a bummer for me. I started the ride and just could not find my legs. I was working much too hard and not getting any rhythm or speed going. I struggled almost the entire first 25 miles. I was the last person, and riding just in front of the sweeps; Jason was sweeping and was very supportive of my feeble efforts. I didn’t spend much time at the van stop, because I didn’t want to keep the sweeps out any longer than necessary. The second 25 miles I was feeling a little better, and actually caught up with some riders. I think they must have stopped for pictures or something. Then there was another group of riders struggling with a flat tire ‘cause they couldn’t get the tire off the rim. I wasn’t needed so I went on ahead of them. On the third leg I was struggling badly again, but at least I wasn’t back in front of the sweeps. The last 20 miles was a little better again, but I had gotten a flat just before the stop. A rock punctured the sidewall of my front tire, but after I changed the tube it managed to hold air the rest of the way. So, of course, I changed the tire tonight.

We enjoyed another great meal tonight, provided by a small group of the congregation. We then had a presentation to this small group of about 5 or 6 people. The presentation went well, and Allen had asked me to speak again. For a change, I think I managed to stay with what I wanted to say, and got in all the points I wanted to make.

Now it's close to bedtime. I’m sharing a room with Turbo and Chris, and these ‘old guys’ need to be in bed at 9:30, which is before official lights out at 10:00. So I'm typing this in the dark on my iPad and trying to be quiet.

Two more days of riding (only about 65 miles each day) and we'lll be in San Francisco to enjoy a day off on Monday. Somehow I thought we only had one more day of riding with a day off on Sunday, but, I thought wrong ... oh well.

Peace ...


  1. Hey Geezerman--I've had days like that and you know I can commiserate with being the last person out there besides the sweeps. I feel your pain about that 15% grade. I did a ride today with mostly rollers but there was one short steep hill that hit me with a 15% grade to start and I was woefully unprepared with an unacceptable cadence so I had to walk until the grade leveled out a little bit. You're doing great. I'm pulling for you and so proud of you.