|Labor Day ride report- English Colony loop.||SnowBlind|
Sep 3, 2002 1:25 PM
|Our informal riding club 93 of us) decided to do our benchmark ride, English Colony. It's a brutal little 65Km loop that takes us into the Seirra foothills between Roseville and Granite bay. Four really good climbs and numerous rollers make this a challenging ride, as there is no flats to rest on. Bybee, Jim, and I are completely different riders, so it makes the ride fun and a little competitive. Jim is the real cyclist in the group, he has been riding for 25 years and can really climb or put the hammer down on the flats. I am the locomotive, I can hammer out a steady pace all day, but have to drag my carcass over the hills, "I think I can, I think I can.". Bybee is the youngest and the strongest, and can sprint up decent hills if he can conserve his reserves, which he often can't. He also has real knack of make a wrong turn and getting lost.
The day started out warm, about 68 degrees at 7:00am. After a false start the three of us got started at 7:10, Jim at the head, me in second and Bybee taking up the tail. We trundled through the warm up for the ride, a few little rollers and about 10K leading us to Roseville and onto Sierra College Blvd. Then, around the bend loomed the first major hill, a 150m climb at about 4.5% (well, a really big roller). As typical, Jim was off the front, leaving Bybee and I to trudge up the hill in his wake. Bybee stuck behind my wheel for the first 1/4 mile, then pulled ahead and started off after Jim. "Hmm," I thought, "those gym workouts must be paying off." Meanwhile, I just sat back on the saddle and kept that gear ticking over. Jim waited for us, but not for very long.
A very nice decent follows, you can get up about 50Km no trouble on the freshly paved road. Whee! But then the road tips back up in a false flat, grinding along for 2.5 km at 1%. Then it hits 3% for a short bit, and after that, 5% for half a km. Grunt, grunt, grunt. Jim's off, Bybee follows. Shortly after hitting the 5%, Bybee pulls off, looking at the rear of the bike. Figuring he has a problem, I call out once I am in range, "You OK?" Before he can answer, I know what has happened, his HR monitor is going of like a klaxon, Bybee has blown up. Oops, guess he doesn't have the stamina to go with the power. Grinding on past him, Jim is not far in the distance. "Nice of him to wait up." I thought. Not exactly true, as I found out later.
After the second hill is a short decent/climb to the turn onto English Colony proper. Jim and I waited for a minute for Bybee, as he is prone to missing turns. Bybee rejoined us, then it was full bore into Penryn over the rollers. If you build enough speed, you can sprint right over the top of them, the biggest is only about 10m. Right before Penryn is the "3 sisters" or rather, where they used to be. The 3 sisters were a series of steps, flat for width of a road, then a crushing 8-10% climb for bit. Lather, rinse, repeat. A recent construction in the area leveled out the steps, so now it is a boring 6% climb. We rolled into the Penryn rest stop, grabbing a Powerade and chowing down a Cliff bar. For the last hour and a half, the tempature has been creeping up, the mercury shows 84 on the side of the MiniMart wall. Jim's starting to look a little tired, the heat is more brutal for him than the rest of us. We regroup and head off for King Road, and the last of the hills.
Rolling through the calm country estates that line King Road gives a false sense of the ride being over, but the hill ahead is the nastiest we will encounter. It rises sharply at 5% and then hits 8 to 9% as you round the corner onto the summit. This also takes away most of the shade and coolness of King Road as we turn right onto Auburn-Folsom road. Jim and Bybee are right behind me as we turn onto the long slow decent of A-F road and I feel pretty good. As I crank up the pace to the low 30km and Bybee falls off the back end. No matter, the route is dead easy from here on out, and I switch to the big rin