2013-06-01 Intermediate Club Ride Report
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