Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The countdown!

Well I have ridden both major climbs of the King Ridge Gran Fondo, both are quite difficult although the King Ridge climb is the worst of the two.  Here are some pictures from, a great site for getting video links to all the major races, plus lots more, like these pictures!

Beautiful view on King Ridge

Northern California from King Ridge

One of many looks uphill

Meyer's Grade looking at the Pacific Ocean

The King Ridge ride was done with some friends, and it was an epic day.  King Ridge Road is very, very isolated and you need to be self-sufficient, there isn't cellular reception and there aren't any places to get food or water.  Cazadero is the last bastion of food and drink before heading up and over.  The ride to Cazadero from Occidental was very nice, a downhill from Occidental to Monte Rio at the Russian River and then an amazing tree line, covered, ride along the south side of the Russian River on Moscow Road.  At Duncan's Mills you head north to Cazadero and then the pain begins, it seems pretty relentless, keep going up and up until you finally hit the top of King Ridge and proceed to go up and down along the ridgeline until you get to Hauser Road which runs into Seaview Road, where there isn't any view of the sea.  Seaview eventually runs into Meyer's Grade on which there are signs warning of an 18 percent downgrade.  These signs appear 3 times before getting to the actual downgrade, which is downright scary!  After going down Meyer's Grade you go back up and then go down a series of hairpins on Highway 1, these are really fun, but you have to be very careful.  The rest of Highway 1 is a roller coaster ride, fun, not to hard, but no shoulder and lots of really crazy drivers.

Last weekend I went one a ride from our campsite at the Bodega Dunes, just north of Bodega Bay.  Cathy, Drew and I were camping with some friends from our homeschool co-op.  I did this ride up and over Coleman Valley Road, it is quite a steep climb in parts, but it is relatively short and the up and down once you hit the crest isn't too bad.  The worst part is that this part of the Gran Fondo is that the Coleman Valley climb is after nearly 80 miles. On this ride I just went through Occidental and back along Highway 1 to Bodega Dunes.  While camping we hit the two best bakeries in the area, Wild Flour (also known as Freestone) Bakery in Freestone, just outside of Occidental and Gold Coast Coffee and Bakery in Duncan's Mills, both of these places have scones that are out of this world and Freestone has fougasse bread that is incredible, if you haven't had fougasse before you are in for a treat!  Fougasse, at least the way Wild Flour makes it, has blue cheese and mushrooms, yummy!

This week has been crap!  I didn't ride Monday, Tuesday I rode, but started to throw up when I got back, the rest of the day I really felt like crap.  Today I worked extra hard so that tomorrow I can try and ride again, hopefully I will feel a little better.  Like the title says it is a countdown until the Gran Fondo and I am down to just a little over a week, next week I plan on riding, but taking it really easy. Well, that is enough for tonight.

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