Since we try to be earth friendly and I knew Brent might be either A. too tired to drive himself home or 2. too drunk to drive himself home or a combination of both, I decided to ride my road bike to the start of the Death Ride so I could drive him home. This was initially my friend Kathy's idea and the two of us were going to both ride from Carson City to Markleeville together and stop for coffee along the way and just take our time getting there. Then she had something come up so I was on my own. Yes, I only have one friend so what!
I was pretty nervous (as you can see in this picture) because I have never changed a road tire (have changed a MTB). Also, my bike has a smaller front than rear wheel and I only have room for one tube so I carry the smaller one since the are not as easily found at bike shops. Basically if I got a flat on the rear, I was screwed. Bottom line, my husband is who I call when I need help and he was going to be "busy" doing some little Tour of the California Alps thing (stay tuned for his post).
After riding through town which was not nearly as nerve wracking as I expected, I crossed over 395 and rode to Jacks Valley Road. The night before we drove my route home from the Death Ride Expo so I could clock it and all that. I remember saying "it is all downhill, I will be fine". Then I turned the corner off 395 to JVR and looked ahead. There is this hill that looks really really steep and long but in actuality it was not bad but at the time I was saying to myself "self, this is gonna suck". The first picture of this entry is at the top of the hill looking down into Carson Valley.
Once you get through Jack's Valley you arrive in the most quaint of towns, actually Nevada's first settlement and where Brent and I got married, Genoa. This is also the location of one of the nicest public bathrooms I have ever seen. I made my first pit stop here and stopped to take a pic. I had planned to stop here for a coffee or something to waste time but I just kind of wanted to get to the Death Ride so I could relax.
After Genoa, it is a long ride on Foothill road with great views of the farms and mountains. Once you leave town the number of cars is considerably less as well so that is nice. It had been about 2 hours so I was starting to get hungry so I decided I was going to stop at the first shade I saw to enjoy my Hammer gel. The next shade was about 45 minutes away! This pic is of the view I had while enjoying my gel.
At the end of Foothill I was at HWY 88. I decided to take a side route on Carson River Road to avoid traffic and it is much more scenic. This is also the spot where you lose cell service. This is also the spot where I started to run out of water and seriously think that if the road did not end soon, I was in trouble. It was about 1:00 and getting hot.
At the end of Carson River Road is the Woodfords General Store and the gateway to my final climb to the park where the Death Ride starts. As you can see I am pretty happy now knowing that I only have about 2 miles to go even though they are all uphill miles. I had also just finished an ice cold vitamin water and had a pit stop. I sat on the bench here for about 10 minutes and then was just too excited to get to the park and had to leave.
Here is the first place I saw actual riders at a pit stop. This pit stop is on the way to the last climb or the 5th pass. So as I started my accent to the park people started cheering for me because they thought I had just finished the last pass and was on my way in to the finish. I kept saying "no, I did not do the ride - just here to meet my husband" but then decided if they want to cheer for me so be it. I did not have a number on my back or my bike so it was not like I was pretending right?
I finally arrived at my car and noticed that Brent had not been back there yet. The way they mess with your mind on this ride is you have to pass your car after the 4th pass on the way to the 5th pass. It takes a lot to not just give up here I would imagine. I won't spoil the outcome because I want Brent to write about it but what I will say is that I am very proud of him for what he endured yesterday, absolutely amazing.
PS. Notice the jersey? It is the "Team Susan" jersey from the fatcyclist. We ordered ours when they were first available and I contacted Fatty last week explaining that we really wanted to wear ours at the Death Ride....they magically appeared on Friday just in time. You can get yours here from Twin Six great cause and great jersey everyone wins.
Here are my stats for the ride:
Miles traveled: 38.96
Total Accent: 2457 feet
Calories burned: 1615
Pace: 6:01/mi (I was taking my time)
Avg Cadence: 65 RPM (see above)
Total Time: 3:54:44
Rednecks that tried to run me down: 1
Beers consumed post ride: 2 Fat Tires, 1/2 Sierra Nevada (Over several hours - I was driving remember)