Mr. Morgan Meets the Devil, Century Prep #7 recap (Sunday, April 29, 2012)

Hey Grizzlies,

Thanks to all my co-leaders and all the riders who participated in yesterday’s Mr. Morgan Meets the Devil GPC century prep ride. It was a fantastic wrap-up ride for a great century prep series. We had riders in the full range of “T” and “TM”, and with the 6 leaders, overall the spread out of riders/leaders worked well yesterday. I enjoyed the route we took, this year from the flats of PH out to Clayton. At first my local geography memory of having lived/ridden out there for many years as “hey, this is sort of a detour” (my mind-set was focused on the “most direct route” – Canal Trail to Ygnacio Valley Rd as we’d done in the past, but really, once past Heather Farms the traffic on the trail becomes less “exciting” and the stretch on Treat and Turtle Creek was a welcome change from that on Ygnacio Valley Rd. (I believe we “borrowed” that part of the route from Ivan Peterson?). Even with a large group, the trail and back-door way to Clayton was preferable to the straight shot on Ygnacio Valley, I think (and I would recommend using this as the standard route for future Century Prep.

We had anticipated needing a leader or two to get folks back to the start/finish on the flat bail-out after the lunch stop in Blackhawk (hence the 6 leaders), but in the end only one of us opted for the flat option back (Jeff K), and it was good he did, as it looked like there was a pretty sizable contingent of riders who chose to not suffer Diablo in the afternoon sun with temps reading 79F in the shade.

Sure glad we had Eric & Gaston up front to take care of the rabbits, as the afternoon heat was seriously kicking’ my butt yesterday (especially with the extra “arm cooler” and neck gaitor layers i’d chosen to don and keep on all day yesterday so i wouldn’t end up in lobster-land as I did last Saturday)…. in spite of drinking LOTS of water at all stages of the ride (and beforehand), I was experiencing a major headache from the combination of heat spring pollens from early morning on (that’ll learn me to not have my morning cuppa!). Plus I had dilly-dallied in the back end on the Morgan Territory climb enjoying excellent girl-time with Dolores, which put me further back in my planned timeframe in terms of the whole group and pace of the ride…. oh right, i also failed to mention that some days i’m just even MORE slow than normal! (-:

South Gate pavement is a welcome improvement! (Thanks Tour of California!!), and in spite of the rising heat on South side of Diablo, the climb was nicely tempered in spots by wonderful light breezes on many of the long traverses in the section before the Ranger Station. One benefit of being slow yesterday, was that i was able to rescue Eric’s water bottles… (and Chris/Pat took one of them in their cargo bags). I had the all-time compliment up at Junction when I said I felt like a domestique…. and the solo rider who was resting there and chatting it up with us said and making much of his “65-years old” chimed in with “you ought to, you’re only 30!”. Well, i guess i can chalk that up as that rider’s aging, failing eyesight and heat-induced delirium, or maybe my allergic reaction to life which generally has my face all puffed out this time of year… better than botox (NOT!).

Thanks again to my co-leaders: Eric, Gaston, Jeff A, Jeff K and Chris.
Thanks to Toshi for organizing the leader assignments for the 2012 Century Prep series.
Kudos to all who turned out yesterday and also for the entire series…. It was fun to see the progress with some of the riders whom i saw from start to finish of the series. Yes, YOU ARE READY for the Century!!

Sherie

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