With a ‘C’ ride or recreational ride scheduled for 8am, six of us met up at Folsom Bike for a ride down the trail and around Lake Natoma. After our overview of the route and safety briefing, Daniel, Mike and Sean Poore, Dave Peralta, Jill and Dave Stone left the parking lot and entered the trail.
Just after going under the Folsom Lake Crossing Bridge Dave’s chain derailed. After a quick fix, we were back in motion. The route we took was down the trail to Lake Natoma Bridge and surprisingly we saw very little traffic. While we were heading down the south side of the trail, we enjoyed the breaks from the sun as we entered the shaded portions. We started to see more traffic from the other riders, runners, walkers and families. We came upon a rider on a hybrid bike as she was trying to make her way up a short hill. We yelled “on your left” just before we passed. She mentioned to Jill she wasn’t used to so many people on the trail and it was a little bit scary. Jill told her that she was doing great and to keep on pedaling. At some point along the way during one of our stops she passed us. As we were going up the north side we passed her again and Dave S said “hello again” to her. As Jill was passing her she said OMG did you guys lap me! Jill laughed and said no… you passed us! She was relieved!!
As we got to the Nimbus Flats area, the lanes were set up in the lake for the Folsom Triathlon that was taking place on Sunday. The parking lot had road cones staged ready to set up. We took the trail under Hazel and rode UP the Hazel Bridge. For those who haven’t ridden with us, Dave S is not going to win KOM anytime soon, but watch out on the downhill! LOL The group used the area at the top of the bridge as a regroup and drink break.
Coming back on the north side of the lake, we had a good ride. Again the shade breaks from the sun were well received. Sean and Daniel were taking lead at this point, this allowed the younger legs to stretch out and open up the distance. We continued up the trail and regrouped at Negro Bar parking lot. Along the way, a middle aged rider who was just starting was having trouble making the climb just after the sprint. As we passed her, we encouraged her as she went up the hill.
After the regroup, we came back to the shop by crossing the Folsom Historic Truss Bridge, then catching the short section of the trail to the road behind the rodeo grounds. Coming through the rodeo grounds, we came up to the light at East Natoma. This is one intersection that the sensors do not pick up bikes and the crosswalk lights are not quick to change. Even with all of our bikes on the sensor, the lights didn’t trigger until a car came up behind us. Patience, patience!
The final leg of the ride was to come up East Natoma to Folsom Lake Crossing and finish with a fast downhill ride back to the shop. We found that the intermediate ride lead by Richard and Vicki Sandness had just come in shortly prior (they left an hour earlier) so it was good to be able to take some cool down time with a cold drink from the Grind and socialize with them under the pop-ups that the shop had up JUST FOR US! J Ok so maybe not JUST for us, but we were happy to have them there!
This is perhaps not the ride for those that “feel the need for speed”, but if you are so inclined to take a fun recreational ride and meet some of the other folks from the Club Team we encourage all to join us on the next ride.
Have a great week!
Ride Stats: 18.6 miles, just under 1k feet of climb and 1hour 40 minutes of ride time.
Dave and Jill
The plan was to start at 7:30 from Folsom Bike and ride a Deer Valley Loop, approximately 40 miles. After our introductions and bicycle safety checks we counted 11 riders. 9 men and 2 women. Included in that group was a National / World Championship Jersey (Xterra 2012) worn by the youngest rider, Neilson Powless,17, and escorted by his Ironman father, Jack Powless. I noted that it was 7:33, so I retorted, “What time does the 7:30 ride start?” And we were off.
I took my position as one of the ride leaders and brought us up Folsom Crossing into a nice little cooling breeze. This was a good sign for a day that was supposed to get hot. It was nice to hear the riders chatting and getting to know one another as I was splitting the wind. Over the top with a view of Folsom Lake and the snow capped Sierras we caught our breaths as we rolled down toward Green Valley Road. Peeking back at trafﬁc I saw we were clear as we approached our turn toward the hills. I took a couple of pictures then I settled back to assess the group and get a little breather as we cruised to the county line with Vicki in the lead.
We got Neilson on the front at the county line, where he set a good pace keeping the group together up to the waterfall at Francisco Blvd. There Tim Lee dropped his chain and I waited to pull him up to our group waiting at Malcom Dixon. (Little known is that Malcom Dixon was the ﬁrst Chief of Cal-Fire.) This is my neighborhood, and Malcom Dixon was my ﬁrst climbing challenge when we moved here in 96. It still hurts. It is 1.6 miles to the top and we made it up in about 10 minutes. It starts under a canopy of trees and about 2/3’s of the way up I said hello to the Tin Man mail box.
The group was split a little as we got back onto Green Valley at the strawberry patch and we road the mile to Deer Valley Road. There, in several groups, we started the 7 mile climb and roll to Rescue. After sweeping the back and seeing everyone was at their own pace I zipped up to Tim Lee who was riding alone. I said my hello and put him on my wheel as we closed down some distance on the lead group. The early start time gave us some nice shade from the trees and the road was a smooth chip seal. At Starbuck Road is a nice descent that gives another view of the snow caps. The air felt great and I felt like I had no chain. At the end is the Rescue Fire department where we regrouped, ate our bars and reﬁlled our bottles from the drinking fountain. The group was chatting again, telling stories and measuring up the rest of the ride. I gave instructions to get on Green Valley for the short climb to Ponderosa where we would regroup.
At the top I waited and waived the group through and got us reconnected intact. All 11 riders on 2.8 miles of fresh roadway. Riders used to vibrate at the patch job surface, but now it is like butter. Once together, I jumped up to the front to push the pace knowing we could get some top Strava results. On this portion I did not even take time to look at the mountains although I did quicken the pace of two deer. I wanted some PRs.
Our turn onto Meder down to Cameron Park Blvd was again led by Neilson. Group together, wind at our backs we headed toward Starbuck. At Green Valley Road 3 turned to home as 8 went forward. Starbuck is tree lined and dips down to a creek, keep your speed and keep the momentum uphill. The road climbs into beautiful Sierra Pines for about a mile with a great view of the northern foothills at the top for a reward. A short steep down connects back to Deer Valley and the 2.3 mile descent begins. I took the opportunity to sit back and take some draft to the kicker at the end. Short, but legs screaming, the kicker brings us to Green Valley Road where we make a plan for the descent on Malcom Dixon. I lead to get us back on the Fire-Chief’s road and fall into 3rd to catch a breather to the summit. That took about 30 seconds and I jumped back to the front for the winding downhill. Around the corners I sneak a peek and everyone is on my wheel, so I just look forward and push the wind. At the bottom we connect onto Green Valley Road and back into trafﬁc and lights for the last 4 miles. The group rolled down from the waterfall and Mike “the Poolman” said he would be turning at Raley’s, I suggested that he should pull, so he jumped out front. We changed leads pushing our limits and as Mike pulled off we gave a good-bye and turned toward the shop. Back up to the top of Folsom Crossing, a view of the lake, a peek at the Sierras and the shop is in sight. We reconnected at the Grind for refreshments and some laughs. It was a good ride.
37.9 miles, 2:15 minutes ride time, 3,047 feet of climbing
Folsom Bike Intermediate Plus Club Ride.
So, what is it. Who can ride? You might be asking, “Can I join? Can I make it?”
The simple answer is, if you are reasonably ﬁt and want to make the leap from a bike rider to a ﬁtness cyclist, yes, you can. Our rides are attended by experienced riders and novice to intermediate riders who are making the leap. Our experienced riders have raced, or completed century rides, and have trained for ﬁtness for years. We are here to integrate you into the pace line and bring you up to speed. Expect to ride for 2-3 plus hours. Our average speed tends to be around 17 plus mph depending upon the amount of climbing. We tend to go 40-65 miles depending on the group and the conditions. You will not be dropped, and we have divided our group for those who want to go shorter when necessary.
So how do you do it? Suit up and show up. That’s how I did it. Before you show up, do a bike check. Tires, brakes, bars, nuts and bolts tightened. Bring two bottles of ﬂuid to drink, bars or gels to eat, your Road ID or order one now, wear sunblock, protective glasses, gloves, at least one tube and a CO2 cartridge system. And here is a tip; apply chamois creme, generously, to your self and or the point of contact inside your shorts, to prevent chafﬁng and the pain that would follow. Sunblock and here is my secret tip: lotion your toes, to prevent hotfoot. The shop can help you with your needs.
Additionally, some of you will want to get a bike ﬁtting. Many will attest to the comfort and performance improvements they have experienced just by having the bike ﬁt properly. And, the beneﬁts of using a personal coach to set goals and assign a training plan can not minimized. The training plan I used one season have been a building block for a lifetime and lifestyle of cycling. Many of us have joined Strava, an online ﬁtness social network, and we are tracking our rides and our improvements. It’s free for basic members and you can upload your Garmin or add miles manually, and compare with other riders.
Before the ride we will match people up and if we have to big of a group we will divide in two. We will go over safety and our ride route. Our goal: Have a good ride. If you can’t ride this weekend look for our ride recap and see if you are up for it. We hope to see you there.
Vicki and Richard Sandness
Folsom Bike Intermediate Plus ride leaders