Things started well enough, we were joined on the ride by Fast Freddie
Markham, hold of numerous cycling speed records. See
(see picture-1 Freddie is in the back wearing the black pink floyd cycling
We took 2-river ferries(see picture-2), within the first 4-miles, then
stopped for coffee and donoughts(see picture-3 note the bemused locals in
the foreground, suddenly overtaken by lycra wearing cyclists..)
It all went do hill from there, or rather it went uphill towards a massive
wind farm, where it was of course, windy.
Apart from the wind this entry is about the men in my life Donnnny, Miguel
and wrenchboy-Phil. Struggling against the wind going up and across the
hill with the windfarm(see picture-4), Donny took the lead and I sat right
behind al the way. It stayed that way until the last sprint to rest stop-1
lead off by Phil and Michael.
After rest stop-1 it was out onto Highway-12, for me the worst bid of the
ride so far. It was blowing a gale down there too, there was a wide
shoulder and we tried to bike as a group but it was just too windy and
people were getting blown sideways.
Head down I pushed on, covered by Tour Director and friend Miguel. Miguel
soon took over and stayed there, riding on the outside of the shoulder, me
on the inside with my front wheel overlapping his rear wheel, to stay out
the wind as best I could. The six miles or so were very hard work.
We were soon joined by Jim and small group of others struggling up the road
to stay on, I decided to drop back and let them go. That might or might not
have been the right decision, but soon there was a forced seperation. The
light in front turned red.
Just behinnd me I heard one rider say to annother "its impossible, we'll
never catch them now"
as the light changed, I was off. Standing sprint start, 20,22,24, 26mph,
round the right turn at the end, then it was flat out chase, I was holding
26 and gaining on them, safety was the left turn light up ahead, the eased,
the sprinted and it was over because the light was still red when I got
We soon cruised into rest stop 2. A regroup followed, a lay in the sun, and
then we off in a group, Phil was taking us shopping to Rays Bikes in
Rays was a nice store, it never worked out for us though, only one of the
four parts needed was available. The group split then. All but Donny,
Kimmy, Guy and me. We were headed for Lake Berryessa past base camp for
today, for a swim.
It was a hill to far for me. I stuggled on the way up of the first part of
Cardiac Hill, we briefly regrouped at the Dam at the top, then a slight
downhill to the entrance to the swimhole in the lake(see picture-5).
I never swam much, too tired. Mostly just bobbing up and down at the edge
of the water. After about 75-minutes we started back, I actually felt
pretty good and lead back at speeds of upto 25MPH and the group only just
caught me before the last turn.
When I got back, Phil worked on my bottom bracket to cure the creak that
had developed, Peggy and Ray came with me to the store in search of a full
octane coke or pepsi for me. On the way out we passed an elderly couple sat
outside their RV, on the table there were 24-packs of both diet and regular
pepsi. When we got to the store, it was closed.
Even more desperate for sugar-hit I decided to try to "blag" one from the
old couple. It didn't go quite according to plan. The old guy said sure and
called into his wife, she seemed to carry on, ignoring him and pretty much
did. He called again, she ignored him again. By this time we'd learned
about his army service in europe and were just starting on trains.
He called again, this time she answered, she only had a Sams Club Cherry
coke that was cold. I was being short changed, but I was despaerate, out
came the cola, I jestured with a $5 bill, he dismissed me "they cost less
that a dollar each. Peggy had already left to avoid further embaressment,
at this point I gave thanks, made excuses and we were out of there too.
Dinner that night was catered, just across the street from the park. And
very nice it was too.