The Chico Wildflower Century Ride - Apr 26, 2009

My first century ride in 13 years, first since my new hip. I felt good, but worried about the distance and the elevation gain (4800 ft) since none of my training rides had been even close to this distance or gain. Did some "panic training" earlier in the week, which wasn't really impressive, just consistent. Got on the bike each day till Friday. The adventure got off to a rocky start, as I tried hard to negotiate my driver, Silas, to pick me up as it was on the shortest route to Chico from Monterey. But, alas I had to give in and drive to Monterey - which I'd accepted just fine... till I tried to find the address Dave W gave me. Hmpfff! on a blind alley behind Safeway?! So I spent the next 80 minutes driving all over the place hoping to find Dave and Silas....and was mentally replanning my weekend... but then I turned a corner and there was Dave! We packed and were off to Chico. Dave's also a long time record holder of the Fargo Hill Climb and had a new century-specific carbon fiber Specialized and so I feel good that I was able to pretty much keep up with him. I'm used to solo riding - no pace lines in triathlon after all - so I didn't take any advantage of the lines that passed me incessantly. Yeah, Dave could'a dropped me in the last miles, but he's basically a nice guy. As for Silas, he's built like a Kenyan what with his vegetarian diet - and is tall and lean. He reminded us on the drive up that vegetables have more protein per calorie than beef or any other meat. So all of us got inspired and stopped at SubWay for their foot-long Vege Delight, and they were indeed quite nice. Silas finished a few minutes ahead, and also spent more time waiting around for us at the food stops. No surprise; he's off right now to the Canadian border to start a bike ride from Canada to Mexico for the next month.

Now, I can't tell the story any better than author and professional photographer Dave Wyman's pix and prose so check it out. I've got some of my own photo's as well (but didn't have a tiny take-along like Dave) and will post them when I get a chance.