After Last years sunny and dirt free Spring Classic 2013 I had to give this ride another go. This year there was dirt, steep climbs, and dirty steep climbs.
Ran with two Garmins. The new 510 for data and my old 500 because it can do turn by turn directions with a .tcx file. The turn by turn directions were both a blessing and a curse. The 500 was constantly beeping "off course" and "course found." I did manage to stumble into a screen that only showed distances to the next few turns instead of the useless map screen. This was a big help.
I managed to stay on course the whole way, with a little help from the Garmin and a ton of help of my fellow riders. Big shout out to Kari (or maybe another SuperPro rider) and the other rider who shouted at me to turn onto Grabtown gulch trail. Thankfully I was riding with Patrick who new the trails in Big Basin to make the correct turn onto Johansen trail.
The trails were steep, a little muddy, and beautiful. They required plenty of walking, and I made a point of riding a much as possible, even if it was stupid slow. Riding was faster thank walking. This ride would have been nearly impossible without mountain bike shoes.
Again my Challenge Biancha Strada tires were perfect. Virtually no speed penalty on the flat pavement, only a marginal weight penalty, and they had a wide enough footprint to handle the mud and trails. More traction would have been welcome, but it was enough. The tires were clearly superior to those riding 700x25c road tires.
Check Point 2 had virtually no food when I got there. I took the last banana and the last peanut butter pretzel. Or about 120 calories. This was not good. Plenty of coke, but that just fucks me up. I should have stopped in La Honda for food, but I was doing 30+mph and by the time thought seriously about it, it was too late. The ride to CP3 was a slow one. I ate all of my emergency food: two caffeinated gels (190 calories and about 4 cups of coffee worth of caffeine) and rode as slow as possible and hopes of burning fat, not carbs.
About this time the powermeter stopped registering. Same thing happened during the tainthammer. Last month I assumed the battery in the powertap was dead, but as it turns out it wasn't. So this day, I rebooted the Garmin 510 and I had a power reading again. Woot!
Finally arrived at at CP4. They had food: toasted cheese sandwitches. I just stood there in a non-verbal state eating toasted cheese after toasted cheese, and drank half a can of beer ( for the electrolytes ) until I felt some strength come back. While I was waiting there was some talk about bailing out and getting into the broom wagon. I considered riding out to HW 1 and taking the flat route to the finish.
Then Patrick rolled into CP4. I knew then I was going to finish the whole route. Patrick knew the trails so at least I wouldn't get lost in the woods. We only had a little confusion about directions on Johansen trail, and made all the correct turns. Patrick got a flat right at the RR cars and had it quickly patched. Seemed like we were at the next check point in no time.
CP5 had French fries. These were GOOD. I needed the salt. Another half can of beer (for the electrolytes) and some ammusing banter with the drunk aid station worker and we were ready to ride to the finish.
At this point there was only about 4 miles of climbing and then it was all downhill, and that was mostly true. The uphill was Jamison Creek Rd, and that was a bear of a climb. Putting that climb at mile 99 in a 115 mile ride? Just Psycho. Then 15 miles of rollers and a nice decent into Santa Cruz.
Finished at the Ibis factory where there was cold beer and some hot food.