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Wildflower Century question(8 posts)

Wildflower Century questionrockbender
Apr 16, 2003 8:01 AM
For those of you that have ridden the Wildflower (Chico) in the past I was wondering if you could give me an idea of what the climbing is like (how steep / long).

The sensible side of me says to just put on the 12-27 and forget about it, but the lazy part says just leave on the 12-23 and deal.

Any other advice/info/stories about this ride would be great too!

I wouldn't ride that with a 12-23 on a Kawasaki.cory
Apr 16, 2003 8:13 AM
Bear in mind that I'm the worst climber in the history of cycling, but I've heard strong men whimper on that course.
No, wait--maybe that was me.
re: Wildflower Century questionmohair_chair
Apr 16, 2003 8:51 AM
I did it in 2001, so the route may differ this year. There were three "major" climbs. Humboldt Road was the first, approximately 700 feet over 4 miles, with really awful pavement.

The second climb was Honey Run, which I loved, but I'm a crazy climber. Honey Run is about 1500 feet over what I call a "stepped" or staircase climb (steep, flat, steep, flat, etc.), and it weeds out the weaklings pretty quick. I did it with a 23, but believe me, if you aren't a good climber, you'll want a 25 or better. The hardest part of this was only a couple of miles long.

The third climb is Cherokee Road, which is maybe 1000 feet, and it caused a lot of suffering when I was there. A lot of that was because the road was fairly exposed and it was very hot at the time, but there are some steep sections to deal with. This is a crazy section because people are randomly stopping and weaving all over the road. Once you get to the top, the payoff is a very fun descent.

These are not major climbs in my world, but they are big enough for most. If you are doing similar climbs in a 23 now, I wouldn't bother with the 27. If you haven't been doing many long rides this year, consider a 25, because there can be a lot of wind. You don't want to expend too much effort flying up the climbs in a 23 and then suffer on the 20-30 miles of flats on the way back.

The only other advice I can give is to find or form a paceline at the last rest stop. I was with three friends, and I pulled for the first mile after the stop, passing all kinds of people. When I pulled off, there were 20 people in our line!!!
Comparison to GMRCHRoadie
Apr 16, 2003 3:07 PM
Have you ridden Glendora Mountain Road? If so, how would you compare that climb to the ones on the Wildflower?

so my options are...rockbender
Apr 16, 2003 9:34 AM
buy a Honda or go with a bit bigger cassette. I guess it would be smart to go with gears bigger than my ego! :)

Since it is a group ride (aka supposed to be mellow), hopefully I won't be too bummed about jumps in the 12-27.

I've been climbing pretty strong this season, so I will be looking forward to the grades regardless!

thanks for the info!
re: Wildflower Century questionMrCelloBoy
Apr 16, 2003 2:50 PM
My sweetie and I did it on a 23 but it was on a Calfee Tandem with a triple in front (probably a 30).
It was still a bit of a grind on Honey Run and a DEFINITE grind on Cherokee Rd.
re: Wildflower Century questionTarantula
Apr 16, 2003 3:27 PM
I did it last year with a 12/27. I was 15 pounds heavier and just finished my winter "pizza training". It was tough on me. I told a guy that passed me that it would be easier if I wasn't stuck in the big ring. He looked and then started laughing and had to stop. He couldn't get unclipped and fell over creating a small traffic jam...sorry.
This year I skipped the "pizza training" and my weight is in the good zone, so I'll be the old, slow guy that isn't breathing heavy.
ha! that's good for a laugh!rockbender
Apr 17, 2003 10:25 AM
Organized rides always bring out the best in folks... especially if they are a bit taxed out and the brain is a bit fuzzy!

I'm pretty excited - I havn't done a big group ride since Cycle Oregon about five years ago.

BTW, I'm with you this winter - amazing what happens if you skip the pizza training! plus, it was a lot cheaper to shave 10 pounds off my butt than mu bike!