Folsom Lake Rhino Loop

Ride Stats from my Garmin:

69.7 miles in 5 hours ride time.

7,783 feet of climbing (We cut out Folsom Crossing Bridge, started the ride with Steve Ward's group up to Salmon Falls Road)

Avg speed (15.3)

This morning was a little brisk on my warmup ride from home to the meetup. At the start of the ride there was just three of us, Jeff, Doug and myself. We decided to ride with Steve's group up to Salmon Falls Road where we would turn left while Steve and group would continue on towards Georgetown. Tom joined us at Salmon Falls Road. I was happy to see Tom as we would have another rider to share pulls with. At Zee Estates we picked up Oz who had been waiting for around 5 minutes. Now the group was five strong riders. I rode off the front on the descent to the start of the climb to the Rhino. Steve Ward told Jeff this morning a good time would be around 17 minutes to the Rhino. As typical with the performance group the challenge was on once we crossed Salmon Falls Bridge. It did not take two pedal strokes for Big Chain Ring Jeff to move off the the front of the group with Tom, Doug, OZ and I chasing. For a short while I was solo chasing down Doug, Tom and OZ. I made an effort on a flatter section of the climb to overtake and pass them. They grabbed my wheel and we traded pulls until the last section of road up to the Rhino. We could see Jeff in the distance and I wanted to try to close the gap on this last stretch of road. I took off and heard Oz say "I'm done". I ran out of road trying for the catch.....Jeff completed the climb with a time somewhere in the mid 18 minute range to earn the KOM on this climb. Great climb Jeff! I came in behind Jeff at 19:24. We made our way through Rhino Estates, a rolling road with a few short climbs to get us onto the road that winds down to Rattlesnake Bar road.

Picture at right, Water stop at the end of Rattlesnake Bar road.

After the effort put out on Salmon falls Road, the climbs on Rattlesnake Bar road were at a slightly slower pace with everyone staying in a group during the climbs. Tom was doing alot of the pacing (great job Tom) on each climb. As Tom says....he wanted to keep the climbing pace reasonable. We briefly stopped at Pilot Hill for a nature break. Oz decided to return home via Salmon Falls road. Oz, you rode strong today!
Picture at right: Forrest Hill Climb.
We rode hwy 49 with Tom putting in a monster pull to Cool for a brief water stop before continuing on hwy 49 to drop into the confluence. I made a furious descent to make the right onto Old Forrest Hill Road with a small lead on the group. I stopped to take a picture of them climbing but did not get the iphone out quick enough. So you are seeing what I saw....the backside of the group spinning away from me up this climb. Big Chain Ring Jeff made another break from Tom and Doug. We topped the last climb on Forrest Hill and made our way through Auburn to the last water stop at Madiu Market. From there I pulled to the first descent and bombed it using a Harley rider for a moto pacer. Jeff moved to the front and put in an enormous pull to get the peloton moving at a fast pace. We all traded pulls down Auburn Folsom with Doug doing a fine pull from Douglas until Tom turned off at Beals Point to make his way home. Jeff turned right at Oak Parkway to head home. Doug and I rode into Karen's together. Everyone in the group rode strong today. Great job all!


Tuesday climbing ride

Finally! An evening when the temp wasn't 95+ degrees! Kevin, Joel, Bruce, Gary, and I were joined by first-time Tuesday Climbers Patrick and Krysta (my partner) for the full counter clockwise route. The weather gods smiled upon us with temperatures in the mid 80s and a mild south-southwest wind that propelled us on Sophia & EDH Blvd, but hammered us on the return on E Natoma.

We rolled out on the bike trail and were briefly joined by Phil on his TT bike (Phil is going to make the podium this Thursday in his TT race series; Go Phil!). We headed up Iron Point riding at a moderate pace around 17-20 mph to loosen-up the legs. We were gruppo compacto at the base of Carpenter Hill (Cote de Costco), but as typical, everyone rode at their own pace up the first pass. I guess newcomer Patrick was feeling a little spry and jumped off the front on the upper slope of Cote de Costco when the light turned green. I wasn't interested in chasing since this was the first of 5 climbs. We were all relatively close together over the top. Krysta opted for the medium counter clockwise route which skipped the second pass of Cote de Costco and headed off towards Beatty. I thought I'd toughen up the ride a little and attacked before the stop sign at Broadstone & Empire Ranch, hitting the left turn onto Broadstone fast and carrying my speed up over the next little uncategorized climb. I slipped away... at least till I hit the red light at Serpa & Iron Point.

We all started the second pass of Carpenter Hill together. I thought Patrick had caught back on as we turned onto Empire Ranch, but it turns out he missed the turn and hit the dead end at the east end of Iron Point. Latter he let me know he finished up his ride heading out Sophia, to Green Valley, and back to Karen's. Kevin, Joel, Bruce, Gary, and I were more than happy with the tailwind on Sophia to set us up for Beatty. We knocked-out the grind up Beatty (tops out at 13% grade) and skirted the ridge up on Powers, only to drop down Montridge to have to climb back out over Wilson.

We swept Krysta up on El Dorado Hills Blvd and gave her a tow over to Brittany, but the heat was on to hammer down the short descent to set-up the little climb on Brittany. We made a quick water stop at the park and then turned south on Sophia into an uphill headwind; I think we were all happy to let Gary do the work on the front. Gary split at Blue Ravine to head home and Kevin, Joel, Bruce, & I pointed our noses toward the barn and hammered down E Natoma into a headwind at 26 mph to finish up the ride.

My computer registered 31.2 miles in 1:54 hours for an average speed of 16.4 mph and about 2,300 ft total elevation gain.


Magnolia Road

Route: Magnolia Road (Nevada County) from Folsom
Meet location: Parking lot across the street from Karen's Bakery/Bicycles Plus
Leave time: Saturday, 24 July, 7:30 am (Sharp! You've been warned)
Distance: about 74 miles
Climbing: About 5,500 to 6,500 elevation gain; mostly rolling hills.
Pace: Variable, but we'll likely average about 17-19 mph. It really depends on who shows up and does the pulling.
Past Cycle Folsom ride report

Ride Report (By Phil)
The Performance Group had around 8-10 riders at the start. Gary, Dave, Frank B (Hammerin Wheels), Scott, CycleFolsom guru Steve, myself (Phil), and a few new riders (sorry guys for not remembering all your names). We started off on-time heading up Auburn-Folsom Road. I lead out for a mile or so taking it slightly slower than normal pace not knowing the fitness level of the new riders in the group. Steve and Scott came to the front and picked up the pace slowly over the next couple of miles... and then put the hammer down. The group stayed together with three of us trading pulls until the main climb up to Auburn. Steve made a move off the front and drew out one of the new riders who put in a good effort to break off the front. Shortly after, Steve started to chase. Scott, myself and another rider traded pulls up the climb into Auburn. Steve took the KOM on this climb. Scott dropped off to head home (some kind of excuse, like make breakfast for the kids). We rode our way through Auburn where Steve showed us a route with less traffic, including riding through a school. Steve was keeping the pace high on the climbs. A few riders commented on how beautiful this route was. We had good shade on most climbs and the descents were long enough to recover before the next climb. During one long descent, Steve and I made a breakaway and worked together to put time on a four man chase group. We held them off all the way to Hwy 49. The new riders were great climbers staying up at the front on most of the climbs (great job!). The run down Auburn-Folsom was at a decent pace. We pulled up to a few other groups of riders at Douglas. You know what happens next... it was on to pass them and get lined up for the last sprint. The pace was high and there were only four of us left for the sprint. I was pulling up the last slight incline and decided to drop off and rest for a few hundred yards. I knew Steve was marking everyone and waiting to see who would make the first move. One of the new riders asked me if there was a final sprint just as I decided to go at the 200 meter mark. I got in a good dig and held Steve off until the last 25 meters where Steve clicked down a gear and moved passed for the win! After the sprint we soft pedaled into Karen's.

Notes: Gary went down hard descending a hill at 45 mph on his bike about a month ago and is back improving every week. Steve had his bicycles stolen and was testing his fitness level with the performance group on a brand new Specialized Tarmac SL3. Steve won all the jerseys today!


Tuesday Climbing Ride

A great group of 8 of us set-out to do the clockwise route: Performance Group riders Phil, Gary, Jeff, & myself, along with Peloton Group riders Kevin & Joel, & regular Tuesday night rider Colleen, & new to Cycle Folsom rider Megan. It was another hot night with the mercury peaking in the mid 90s. Everyone rode Ridgeview Rd at their own tempo tackling the climb that tops out at 13%. I thought it would be best to take it a little easier with the heat, so we bypassed the sun baked Montridge Way climb and rendezvoused at the park for a refreshing water stop. The south wind made itself known when we headed out Sophia/Empire Ranch; it noticeably took the spring out of the step of some folks before we got onto the slopes of Cote de Costco (Carpenter Hill). After circumnavigating Carpenter Hill and hitting the 6-9% climb on Empire Ranch twice, we were gruppo compacto on Iron Point until Jeff decided to put in a dig up the gradual slope near McAdoo. I quickly closed down the gap jumping on his wheel. It wasn't my goal to slip off the front with him; I just didn't want him to get away. So there I sat making him do the work. Phil came up from behind and pulled through off the front, and again, I was right on his wheel, not wanting anyone to slip away. With the signal lights, we all ended up being brought back into the group and worked together till the end of the ride. It was a great ride with a dedicated group of cyclists that were challenged in one form or another. My electronics registered a ride of 28 miles in a ride time of 1:48 with an average speed around 15.5-16 mph (max speed of 54 mph descending Beatty!).


[Posted by Stan Schultz: I've taken the liberty to post a recent e-mail sent to me and many others in our group by Ryan Bankerd after he finished the Cycling stage of the Eppie's Great Race. Note to Team Revolutions, nothing but respect for you folks. We all need motivation during competition.]

When we all run in the same "Pack" its hard to see the progress we are making because everyone is getting faster, stronger, and skilled together. Now we all know that I am fairly new to Cycle Folsom and have found myself struggling to hang on to the rear of the Peloton group week in and week out, as a matter of fact with the help of Phil, I learned how to change my first flat on a ride to Discovery park. Well I had an opportunity to test myself against other cyclists Saturday and after seeing the hoard of T/T bikes, shaped helmets and racing team jerseys, I was convinced (to prevent disappointment) this was a race against myself not anyone else.

Riding into the staging area, I heard the familiar voice of Phil, who spotted me in my Cycle Folsom Kit. Phil, who has 3 wins in Eppies (and would get a 4th that day) was there once again, to offer last minute advice not far from where he showed me how to change a tire a few months back. He said: Cut all the turns, use the slight rollers to build up speed conserving energy, and save something for when you see Sunrise bridge because that is when you make your move.

Phil was long gone by the time I received my timing chip, as a matter of fact, almost EVERY rider was gone since my runner struggled in a skilled field. By the time I got my chip we were somewhere near last place. I got up to speed and realized there are A LOT of competitors seeing a Cycle Folsom Jersey blasting by them, and as you folks know, you get a little spike of adrenaline every time you "run down" another cyclist... I was getting a lot of that. I looked down and saw 21 on my speedo and kept repeating Phil's advice in my head. "cut the turns, use the hills to keep your speed up". It was about 8 miles in when I saw a Team Revolution jersey ahead of me. Now some of you may call this childish, but my goal now shifted from merely finishing Eppies, to having a Team Revo rider read the back of my Team Cycle Folsom shorts. I wanted at least one person on that team to know that there is a 1st class cycling club in the foothills and it is not Team Revo. It was during that epiphany, adrenaline washed over me, legs felt light, they turned over easy and my breathing slowed. I looked down at my speedo seeing 25 and realized a peloton had formed behind me. It was not much longer until I passed that Team Revo rider and he jumped in the peloton.

Phil's last piece of advice hit me at that point, "save something for when you see the Sunrise bridge". So I dropped back into the peloton and conserved energy. After a few more twists and turns, there was the Sunrise bridge, and my time had come. At this point wish I had something dramatic to tell you, something like; the Team Revo rider was on my rear tire and I could feel his breath. However when I looked back he was gone, as was most of the peloton. There was just a handful of other riders in the group now and they didn't get the memo about the bridge. I broke out with another rider and we walked away from that pack and they saw, what I set out to show them, the back side of the CF kit.

After that ride I took my team from a certain last place finish, to 6th place, we ultimately finished top ten at Eppies in our division. I am writing this not to boast of one of the best sprints of my life (okay that is part of it) but to assure you that Cycle Folsom is doing great things and Phil's 4th win proved that our pack is getting faster, stronger, and skilled.

Ride leaders; Stan, Kevin, Joel, Phil, Lisa, Ross, Bruce and everyone else, you all have something great here and I will gladly take my spot on the rear tire of the Cycle Folsom Peloton group any day.

Chase or Be Chased



Where's Wilton?

Route: Where in the world is Wilton?
Meet location: Parking lot across the street from Karen's Bakery/Bicycles Plus
Leave time: Saturday, 17 July, 8:00 am (Sharp! You've been warned)
Distance: about 55 miles
Climbing: None to speak of except a bump north of Rancho Murieta.
Pace: Variable, but we'll likely average about 18-19 mph. Note the CF Peloton Group will also be doing the same route, but at a little lower average pace.

Ride Report
We found Wilton! This was a great ride with a lot folks turning out. Both the Performance Group and the Peloton Group rolled out of Folsom together. I think this was one of the biggest Cycle Folsom groups I've seen for a while, about 20 of us! Once out on Scott Road, a natural selection began to take place and 10 of us were off the front: Oz, Gary, Jeff, Joel, Dave, Jim, Erik, Mr. CSC (sorry, didn't catch the name), Megan, and myself. We battled a moderate headwind all the way to Wilton, but everyone took their turn at the front keeping the group moving at an even tempo through the rolling open grasslands and oak woodlands. Once we turned onto Stonehouse Road just outside of Rancho Murieta, those of us that knew what was coming up, amassed toward the front. I think it was Gary that jumped first to fly up the short 130 foot rise at 10%. I passed him about half way up, but I heard someone coming up and getting ready to over take me. I thought it was going to be Jeff, but no! It was Oz that took the KOM points.

I'm not sure how everyone else fared behind us on the climb, but just down the road when we turned west onto Jackson Hwy we were gruppo compacto. Jackson Hwy's wide shoulder allowed us to double up the pace line and chat a little at 18-19 mph. We headed south again (into the wind) on Dillard and Green roads through hay fields and wine vineyards. It seemed like everyone that could, dug down deep and took a strong pull at the front. With the wind, you certainly didn't want to loose the wheel in front of you.

Once in Wilton at mile 30, we took a nice nutrition stop at the corner of Wilton and Grant Line
roads. The hard work was behind us; we would be heading back northeast with, more or less, a friendly tailwind! Dave lead us out on Grant Line, taking a monster pull for 3 miles. Then we jumped on the South Canal. Some of us were certainly feeling like they had a little more gas in the tank than others. I'd have to say that Jeff owned the South Canal; probably from his Tuesday night South Canal rides. There were at least 3 little ascents where Jeff hammered off the front putting us all in a world of pain; or at least me. Then on the final stretch of the Canal, while I was sitting second wheel to Jeff, I looked down to see a big 27 mph registered on my computer. I was hurting (and likely everyone else), but there was no way I was going to let his wheel slip away! Once at Hazel and on the bike trail back to Karen's/Bicycles Plus, we cruised at what now seemed like a mellow 18 mph to the ride finish.

My ride stats ended up as 54.2 miles in 2:51 with an average pace of 19.0 mph and about 1,100 feet of total climbing. Great ride everyone!


Goal Rides Accomplished!

"No regular Weekend Rides scheduled by Cycle Folsom leaders" didn't equate to lying in a hammock sipping lemonade this past weekend. Between South Tahoe and the Bay Area, members of Cycle Folsom duly canvassed a big slice of Northern California sporting spiffy new kits designed by our own Stan Schultz.

While part of the group hashed it out over five mountain passes on the Death Ride Saturday, others spent Sunday touring 100 miles of San Jose's countryside on behalf of the Livestrong Challenge. This fundraising event to fight cancer-- which raised 1 million dollars (wow!)-- is dear to us: Stan's co-captain for the Cycle Folsom team and Peloton leader Kevin Harris is a cancer survivor who gives inspiration every day, reminding us that life is to be savored.

However, around mile 70 savoring turned to suffering as we approached the mountain range standing between us and the finish line. Cyclists generally speak of "climbing" hills, but the 1.8 mile long Metcalf Road is more appropriately, um... scaled up a 12% gradient. But that regular training we do together week in and week out was apparent in the ever-present power of OZ Lee, who scampered up every tilt the road dished out. This far into the ride Kevin couldn't resist chasing the carrot and beat everyone to the top of the grade handily. I think I saw a trail of AAA batteries in his wake though...

Now that goal rides are complete, we'll be dialing back the intensity of weekend rides. Come join us and enjoy some fun times!


Tuesday Climbing Ride

Gary and I knocked out the 2 hour training ride around the foothills of Folsom and El Dorado Hills. The climbing is a touch more difficult in the counterclockwise direction. We conquered the upper slopes of Cote de Costco twice, slogged up the steep pitch of Beatty berg, and wallowed over Wilson. We were hoping for a south tailwind on the flats of Empire Ranch and EDH Blvd, but ended up battling a western crosswind, only to turn into a head wind on the way back to the barn. All in all, it was a great training ride. Stats: 29.9 miles, 1:50 time, 16.5 mph average, about 2,200 ft climbing.


Pilot Hill, out & back

With many Cycle Folsom riders out of town for either the Death Ride or the San Jose LiveStrong Challenge over the weekend, the Performance and Peloton ride leaders decided to consolidate the groups and do an out-and-back to Pilot Hill. This was a great opportunity for the Peloton and Performance riders to compare their fitness on a decent climbing ride over a mild distance. Peloton ride leader, Joel, and Performance ride leader, Brian (that be me), decked to the nines in their new Cycle Folsom kits, were joined by Roxanne, Erik, Danny, and Gary. Unfortunately, Gary departed early due to a mechanical issue left over from his from his spectacular spill on Prospector's Grade back in June. The good news is that Gary is getting back in form and will soon be pushing the pace on the Performance Group rides.

Danny was the strongest rider of the day, yo-yoing off the front, and coming back to offer words of encouragement and pace folks back into the group. The notable challenge of the day was the 3.5 mi climb from the South Fork American River up 900 feet to the rhino at Safari Estates. Everyone did a great job of riding at a steady pace within their means. All in all, it was a great training ride with my electronics recording 40 miles with 3,300 feet of climbing averaging about 15.5 mph for a ride time of 2:40 (3 hours including stops).


Tuesday Climbing Ride

There was more challenges tonight than just the tarmac tilting upwards. The mercury was topped out around 95 and the flags were saluting a 10+ mph wind. Colleen and I were up for the challenge & opted for all the climbs with a short break at the park. My Garmin logged 29.6 miles in 1:50 with an average speed of 16.0 mph and 2,300 feet of climbing. Folsom Tuesday climbing ride, regular route.


Holiday Disco Dance

Since the 4th of July fell on a Sunday this year, some of us with Monday as a holiday decided to ride down to Discovery Park and back from Folsom. Kevin, Joel, John and myself were joined by Graham (Gram?), a rider new-to-Cycle Folsom. We did the trail dance with a few thousand other cyclists that had the same idea as us. The plan was to ride a mellow recovery pace. Everyone cooperated at the front and we completed the 57.5 mile ride in just about 3 hours, averaging about 18.5 mph (a little faster than I was expecting). Great ride guys!


Coffee Republic route ride

The Cycle Folsom Peloton group set out at 07:30 to ride the Lincoln-Chili Hill-Power House Loop. This set up a perfect "fox & hound" ride for the Performance group. Could the big dogs close down a 1/2 hour gap on the foxes up the road? Oz, Eric and I set out at 08:00 sharp opting for the very similar Coffee Republic ride route that snakes up to Penryn from Folsom, then hits the quick rollers on English Colony, winding through the country roads of Placer County, and climbing the stair-step Ridge Road. Our goal was to catch the Peloton group on the speedy run-in on Auburn-Folsom Road.

The three of us worked well together and kept our small group together, even over Ridge Road. We took a quick water stop at the gas station in Newcastle, then quickly got back to business of hunting some foxes. Once on Auburn-Folsom we got our rotations organized and all of us contributed to the pace. Next thing you know, there were a couple of cyclists up the road; perfect carrot. I could tell that all of us were thinking, "OK, just catch those guys and take it from there." We reeled them in. As we passed, we heard "alright, now we got a tow home." Turns out it was Stan and Chuck from the Peloton group! Foxes caught!

OK, I have to be honest with you. Back at the gas station we decided to drop Indian Hill and hit Powerhouse Road (the Peloton's route). This shortened-up our ride a little. Also, it sounds like the Peloton group had some bad luck with mechanicals and route finding. All in all, it was a great ride for the three of us finishing in about 2 1/2 hours and averaging 18 mph over 46.5 miles with about 2,800 ft of climbing.