Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You gotta watch this guy!

Larry -- the sleeper.  The only man I know with the pipes to hold a full on conversation climbing Bear Valley!

The Coulterville Loop

Well, Easter Sunday a group of us head up to the hills and rode the infamous Coulterville Loop.  It starts in town and then after two short climbs, Highway 49 zig-zags in a series of hair pins down to Moccasin.  It's a fast, fun descent and I was impressed with how much the Storck handled like my Ridley -- stiff and responsive.  I'm glad, because I love to go fast and a flimsy bike would not cater to my Bodie Miller-like downhilling skills!  I did discover that the brakes were not like my old Dura-Ace and came cooking into a near 180 at 40 mph expecting to scuff off speed, ah nope.  So instinct took over and I railed it hard and managed to stay in my lane and avoid a blind head on with a car coming from the other side.  So from that point on I was braking waaaaaaaaaaaaaay before each tight turn!  

At the bottom of the downhill 49 intersects 120 and 132 at the fish hatchery.  From there it's a 6 mile 8 percent average climb to the top of new Priest Grade.  I was wondering how my body, especially my knee would handle the long climb which starts out rather steep.  At first, I won't lie -- it hurt.  But I found myself climbing fairly well, keeping the two mountain goats of the bunch in sight and holding off Ron, Mitch and Eugene (always have to beat the husband ha!).  After 35 minutes or so of climbing I was at the top and impressed that my legs were coming around and not much blood was oozing my knee. 

From the top of where new Priest and old Priest connect (old Priest averages 20 percent -- Eugene did it once in with only a 23, we had a blast on the rolling section of Coulterville Cut-off Road.  There is a section of mild downhills punctured by short hills that with speed and a good draft, you can almost motor up them.  Yet, just as our group of Mitch, myself, Rick and Dave gained a good sized gap, the climbs start and man they're a b*tch!  Steep, deceivingly hard step-up climbs.  You have to do four of these to gain the downhill into town.  Admittedly this is where I suck.  Although I can keep guys like Dave who climbs amazingly well in sight, I slow way down on these climbs.  It's a suffer-fest for everyone really.

Buuuuuut, at the top is the awesome downhill back into town with sprint for the "Welcome to Coulterville" sign.  With everyone re-grouped (Ron, E, Kimmers, Dave, Roy, myself, Mitch, Rick and Larry) we all took off trying to out smart the other for position.  The downhill has a false flat and usually it temps someone into to taking a flyer.  Larry and E jumped and opened and nice gap but I knew it was too soon.  Dave roared to life and I followed his wheel while Mitch chased from behind.  Dave and I both opened our sprint and threw equal bike tosses at the sign.  It was a tie from the naked eye stand point.  Mitch slotted in behind us.

Post ride is a trip to the Coulterville Cafe -- huge burgers and shakes make the Coulterville Loop so worth it!

Monday, April 6, 2009


1.  Crash in up scale towns ... their hospitals are nice!
2.  Don't get a concussion in Napa because you can't drink the freaking wine!
3.  Ladies don't pedal the crown of a 180 turn because you can really bring down someone who was about to light up the bunch sprint.  Me.
4.  Thankfully Mary kick butt in the break-away and put us on the chalk board with a sweet
5.  Go to work bleeding, it gets you lots of sympathy -- and I teach high school, they thought is was way cool!