Tuesday Climbing Ride

Tonight's evening climbing ride of 14 riders split-up into two groups (OK, maybe 2 1/2 groups): the Billy Goats doing the full clockwise route, the Easy Riders opting for the easy clockwise route, and the Junior Billy Goats knocking out the easy clockwise route, but at a faster pace than the Easy Riders. I opted to cruise with the Easy Riders.

Chief Billy Goat, Jeff, was gracious enough to lead the front group and take Frank, Andrew, Patrick, & Tim on the romp through the foothills of Folsom. I'm not too sure of what all went on in their group, but I think Frank was the first one back that did the full route (but also skipped the water stop at the park). Jeff and Andrew were not far behind and had an average speed of 17.3 mph. Nice riding guys!

The Easy Riders got dropped by the Billy Goats about 4 miles into the ride, but they caught a couple of green lights. Ya, OK, they were flat-out faster, no excuses. I lead Krysta, Cesar, Stan, Danny, Rowland, Oz, Bruce, & Kevin over the local cols. Junior Billy Goats Bruce and Kevin were itching too much to go faster and attacked over the top of Ridgeview and disappeared off the front. However, the Easy Riders skipped the water stop at the park and scooted on up Sophia toward Cote de Costco and slipped up the road, leap-frogging the Billy Goats and the Junior Billy Goats. That didn't last long! Up near the little climb on Sophia near E. Natoma, a blur of cyclists shot by us as the Easy Riders were searching for lower gears! That would be the last time till the ride's end that we would see the Billy Goats & Junior Billy Goats.

The Easy Riders cruised over Cote de Costco and suffered through the lights on Iron Point, but put in a solid effort for a great ride.

My Easy Rider stats for the evening were 25.4 miles in 1:37 ride time for an average speed of 15.6 mph and about 1,800 feet of climbing. I was happy to have a mellow ride keeping my average heart rate at 134 bpm.

Thanks for the ride everyone!


Coon Creek via Garden Bar Road

My ride stats: 68 miles in 3:46 ride time for an average speed of 18.0 mph and 4,300 ft of climbing.

We had a good group with 7 of us setting out on the ride to see where Coon Creek was at and to see what riding Garden Bar had to offer for cycling. The weather was very cool for this time of year (low to mid 60s) with a south wind of 10-15 mph. It was a good thing we were heading north first to have the tailwind help us up and over the rolling hills west of Auburn; but as always, heading down Auburn-Folsom Road into a headwind is no picnic.

The pace was moving along around 20 mph for about the first 10-15 miles. John (I think the guy's name wearing the gray jersey on the white Tarmac was John; could be wrong) decided to take over the pace setting for Jeremy and bumped it up to about 23 mph on the uphill rollers on Val Verde Rd. That did it for me; I've been riding too hard the past couple of weeks without the proper rest and I went right out the back and rode through Penryn and over English Colony solo. I bet the lead group was fast and punchy over English Colony and the little climb up to Sierra College was making its self known.

We all regrouped at the top of Sierra College (thanks guys!) and I ramped up the pace on the descent down to Hwy 193; going downhill is the easy part. We had a good double pace line heading toward Lincoln, but I was on the front; not the ideal place to be to sprint for the city limit. I waited till the sign was clearly visible for everyone and then made my successful jump. OK, I got to admit, I was the only one that remembered the sprint and caught everyone off guard.

After a short water stop at the park in Lincoln we headed north out of town to Virginiatown (12th St) to work our way through the country roads west of Auburn. Although there isn't any serious or signature climb, the whole area is generally rolling hills and starts to sap the strength in your legs. We headed north on Garden Bar for the out-n-back to Coon Creek (Garden Bar Rd turns to dirt for about 3 miles and has private gates). The road is small and generally quite (a couple of cars), and the surface is decent. It climbs gradually up and over an oak studded hill that changes in elevation about 400 ft and then descends down to Coon Creek. We regrouped at the bridge and took a very brief break and then climbed back out of the little valley.

Next up was Wise and Lozanos Roads. After some route finding issues, everyone was on track wandering the windy (and windy now) Wise Rd. We regrouped near the fire station at Crater Hill Rd, then dropped down through Ophir, only to be surprised by more climbing up to Ophir Road.

We made the regular stop at the gas station in Newcastle and then headed up the high point of the day, Indian Hill. The last big obstacle of the day was the ride down Auburn-Folsom. It's certainly not a hard ride, but after 50 miles, the high pace, wind, and rollers could easily unhitch you from the group. I got passed by John and the Webcor guy, but quickly jumped on their wheel for a nice draft. Carl caught on behind me making the group 4 strong. Mr. Webcor did a monster pull at 25+ into the headwind for the first few miles. I think everyone was happy to sit-in; I know I was. I was surprised when Jeremy came over the top and went to the front to pull. The Webcor guy swung off and wasn't see again; I think he may have returned home, since we picked him up earlier when we were heading north. Oz was unhitched and rode into the wind most of the way, and Patrick had a cramped or pulled calf that kept him from riding with the lead group. Carl eventually swung off at Cavitt-Stallman to head home. Upfront, it was me, Jeremy, John, & Tom trading pulls into the wind and keeping the pace as high as possible back into Folsom.


Tuesday Climbing Ride

Hot! Hot! Hot! We were feeling hot, Hot, HOT! At 5:30 pm the temperature in Folsom was about 103 degrees! A dedicated group of us rolled out despite the heat to get in a ride: CF regulars Phil, Gary, Kevin, Stan, Carl, Krysta, Curt, & myself were joined by Chad and Bob for a counter clockwise jaunt around Folsom.

The group started to split up on the first real climb (Carpenter Hill) and, combined with the heat, some folks decided to pull the plug and head back to the start. No problem! It's all about riding within yourself and knowing your limits, and then come out swinging another day.

Curt, Carl, Chad, Bob, and I crested Carpenter Hill (Costco) more or less together and made a moderate run down Sophia to Beatty. Curt must have been wearing an ice jacket under his Road Rash jersey because he flew up Beatty unfazed by the heat. I was in no hurry to kill myself just yet and kept a high-moderate pace. We all regrouped at the top and Gary was able to latch back onto the group. We dropped down Montridge at 45 mph and then watched Curt sprint to the top of Wilson. We soft-pedaled on EDH a little ways to get the group together, and then shot down EDH at 25 mph to Brittany. After a little more climbing and a mellow descent, we stopped at the park for shade and water. Phil caught back up with us and we all rolled out 7 strong.

Curt wasn't messing around with the final miles to the ride start. He went to the front on the little climb on Sophia to E Natoma and hammered it. I was barely able to hang onto his wheel, but others were put through the wood chipper and spit-out. Curt and I made a good run into Folsom, but had Phil and Carl hot on our heels. Chad and Bob rolled in not too far behind. Gary split the route to go to his house. Great riding guys!

Stan gets big kudos! Our Chief Evangelist was opting out of the climbing ride at the beginning of the ride due to the heat and was thinking of doing a ride on the bike trail. We gave him some friendly encouragement (Come on you loser! What are you talking about?!) and he stuck with the ride. Way to go Stan!

My ride stats: 27 miles in 1:40 ride time for an average speed of 16.3 mph and about 1,900 feet of climbing.



Counter clockwise; we'll be heading out Green Valley & return on Salmon Falls with Prospector's Grade thrown in for good measure. RSVP via Meetup.
Route map: RideWithGPS or MapMyRide
Meet location: Parking lot across from Karen's Bakery/Bicycles Plus
Leave time: 8:00 am
Distance: 70 miles
Climbing: Yup, its all climbing heading out. About 6,000-7,000 feet.

Ride Report
My ride stats: 71.5 miles in 4:20 ride time for an average speed of 16.5 mph and 6,200 ft of climbing.

The weather was great for cycling. The sky was little overcast in the morning keeping it cool enough for some to wear arm warmers, and comfortable descending the foothills later when it warmed up. Phil, Dave, Gary, and I left downtown Folsom, and then met up with Oz on Green Valley. The rolling climbs on Green Valley got everyone warmed up and ready for the climbs to come. I ended up getting a flat on Starbuck, but this allowed Bicycles Plus riders Jeff & Steve to join up with our group. We were all totally surprised to see that Deer Valley had fresh, smooth tarmac and some couldn't help from attacking on the big rollers to Rescue.

After our water stop at the Rescue Fire Dept, Gary headed out on his own through Cameron Park and the rest of us headed for Lotus. Oz set a fierce tempo up over the climb on Lotus Road, whereas Phil and I were more interested in bombing the downhill side. We all made our way over to Prospector's Grade; the wise climber knowing that this was only mile 28 of a 70 mile ride with another 6 miles of steady climbing to go, opted to settle into a an easy tempo and not race for the top. Of course, if you're turning around at the top to head home early, I guess you can push the pace. Steve took the KOM and then headed back home due to time constraints. The rest of us, Phil, Oz, Dave, Jeff, & I, forged on to Georgetown.

After knocking back some fuel in Georgetown (for me that was 2 snickers and a Coca-Cola), we tore out of Georgetown looking forward to some descending. I was able to get a gap off the front at first, but then Phil resorted to drafting off some cars to catch my wheel. Oz caught up to us when we starting hitting some of the rollers and the 3 of us worked together to keep the pace going. We were almost to Cool when Oz couldn't ride his flattening tire anymore. After pulling out a couple of thorns and slapping in a new tube, we were all gruppo compacto when we rolled into Cool. Phil did all the hard work on the slight descent (but into a head wind) from Cool to Pilot Hill; the rest of us were more than willing to free-wheel it in his draft.

After a little bit of climbing from Hwy 49 to the "rhino" on Salmon Falls, the downhill attacks started coming; first Jeff, then Phil. I was just happy to catch their wheels as they went blowing past. Me, I was waiting for the last two little climbs on Salmon Falls and then the roll-out to Green Valley. Phil, Jeff, & I crossed the South Fork bridge together and starting grinding up the first climb. The cumulative climbing for the day could be felt, and felt good; I was just on the edge of cramping. I made it over the top first and within sight of Phil. I tried to descend fast, but rest my legs a little for the next climb up to Falcon Crest. I made it up to Falcon Crest and couldn't see Phil or Jeff and was feeling good for the run-out to Green Valley. I had a good tempo going, but I was expecting Phil & Jeff to ride up on me at any moment. I was surprised to make it to Green Valley without them in sight.

I made it back to downtown Folsom and chatted with Dave when he rolled in little bit latter. Oz, Phil, & Jeff had all headed on home while rolling into Folsom. It was a great day of riding!


Tuesday Climbing Ride

12 of us rolled out of down town Folsom for a 30 mile clockwise loop of the local climbs. We all stayed together more or less onto Green Valley and Sophia. I'm not sure what happened to Rowland and his two friends; I thought everyone made the light onto Green Valley.

Jeff was off the front up the first climbs of Sophia, Elmores, & Brittany starting the splits in the group. Oz, Jeff, new rider Jim, and I formed a small lead group and were happy to let Jeff pull on El Dorado Hills Blvd to the base of the Ridgeview climb. We all settled into our own personal pergatory up this climb, but the climbing gods were smiling on Big Ring Jeff; we wouldn't see him again until the park. Jim, Oz, & I were gruppo compacto at the bottom of Montridge and more or less were together up and over Powers. We met up with Kevin along Powers; I guess he had some route finding issues & happened to take a short cut. We all met up at the Park after dropping down Beatty at 50 mph. Bruce met up with us after a late ride start, and Tim was also able to catch back on.

Seven us rolled out of the park and into the head wind on Sophia/Empire Ranch with our sights set on Cote de Costco (Carpenter Hill). I knew Jeff would be knocking out another KOM on Carpenter Hill; I thought I'd do my best to sit on his wheel and draft considering the wind. He went over the top a ways ahead of me, but it was no holds barred on the descent to Serpa. The key is to carry your speed onto Serpa to roll over the next little hill. I put in a dig here and was able to go over the top of Jeff. I was hoping to keep the gap until the next pass of Cote de Costco, but just as I swung back onto the climb and looked over my shoulder, yup, there he was. So, for the second pass I tried to ride out of the wind and on his wheel.

We all regrouped at the top of Carpenter Hill for the run down Iron Point. I wanted the pace to be high, so I rode at the front and tried to keep the pace around 23-26 mph. Everyone was on board, but unfortunately the lights were not our friends. We cruised a moderate to high pace along the trail as the sun was setting.

This was a great ride with a lot of folks staying in the lead group. My ride stats were 29.6 miles in a ride time of 1:46 with a 16.6 mph average and about 2,275 feet of climbing. Jeff was the first one over every single climb and averaged 17.2 mph.

Krysta and Stan did the whole route and had a great ride doing the 29.6 miles in 2:06 for an average pace of 14.1 mph. Great riding guys!


Tuesday Climbing Ride

Wow! Ten of us set out to conquer the local cotes: new or returning Cycle Folsom riders John & Brad, Peloton group regulars Joel, Kevin, Bruce, Stan, & Krysta, and Performance group regulars Jeff, Patrick, & myself. The group stayed together on the warm-up along the trail and Iron Point. As expected, the first pass of Carpenter Hill (Cote de Costco) started stringing folks out, and the second pass sealed the split. John was strong over the first two climbs, but had to bail-out on the ride due to time. Jeff, Patrick, Bruce, and I formed a small group off the front and took pulls at 25-30 mph along Empire Ranch/Sophia. Bing Ring Jeff decided to drop us all on Beatty, but Patrick put in a dig to stay with him. I had to drop down Montridge at 45 mph to catch back up to them & Bruce was close behind. I thought I'd take a dig on EDH and try and ride the others off my wheel on the false flat. I think I had a gap for a little ways, but the lights were not my friend. We all swung onto Brittany where I got dropped on the little climb up to the school. From there it seemed that route finding became an issue. I got back to Karen's first, but I think Bruce & Jeff just rode home. Patrick showed up a few minutes later followed by Krysta. Not too long after that Joel and Kevin rolled in. Unfortunately, Stanley Steamer got a flat at the bottom of Beatty and rolled in a little bit later.

All in all it was a great ride and I'm glad everyone showed up! My ride stats: 30.8 miles in 1:48 ride time for an average speed of 17.1 mph and about 2,300 ft of climbing.


Eight 'Hoods

Route map: RideWithGPS or MapMyRide
Meet location: Parking lot across from Karen's Bakery/Bicycles Plus
Leave time: 8:00 am
Distance: 75 miles
Climbing: Relatively flat

Ride Report
Carl, Gary, Phil, and I set out from Folsom and hit the rollers through Orangevale and Fair Oaks. We met up with Patrick in Carmichael and kept the pace high along American River Rd, a great alternative to the Parkway. We made out down to Discovery Park and then onto Old Sacramento. The plan was to stay on the levee trail along the Sacramento River, however there were gates and gravel that prevented us from cruising along this route. Instead we opted for Riverside Blvd and Pocket Rd through Pocket that were great roads that let us keep the pace high and unencumbered. We wound our way along South Land Park and then shot through Mid Town Sac and jumped onto the Parkway trail for a short stint. Gary opted to continue on back to Folsom on the Parkway. The rest of us got back on American River Rd and rotated through at a pace around 20-23 mph. We made our way up toward Sunset where we said "hasta" to Patrick. Carl, Phil, and I hit all the rollers along Sunset; for me it was a little more challenging after 65 miles averaging nearly 20 mph! We rolled into Folsom just after noon.

My ride stats: we ended up riding 74.2 miles in 3:45 ride time with an overall average pace of 19.8 mph and about 1,790 ft total elevation gain.


Tuesday Climbing Ride

Colleen, Patrick, Phil, and I set out to conquer the local buttes in the regular clockwise direction. We all stayed together until we hit the climb up Ridgeview. Some of the folks short cutted the Montridge climb due to route finding, but Colleen and I did this nasty little climb on the sun baked slope. I don't know if it was the heat frying my electronics, but I was surprised to see my Garmin 305 record a reading of 15% grade on Montridge. This may have been part of the reason why Colleen ducked out a little early from the ride. But she also said she "was feeling the weekend" (too much riding or too much partying? I'm guessing the former).

We all met up at the park for a nice water stop and then headed south on Sophia giving Colleen a tow to E Natoma where she headed back for the barn. Patrick, Phil, and I did the two loops around Cote de Costco and enjoyed the climbing in the shade; Phil liked it so much that he had to do it in the Big Ring. The three of us kept the pace high (20-26 mph) on the run down Iron Point, then backed off a little to cool down as we returned on the bike trail.

My ride stats: 29.7 miles in 1:46 ride time, with an average pace of 16.7 mph (my max speed was 48 mph, Beatty), and about 2,290 ft total climbing.


The Ups and Downs of Callison Road and Shirland Tract

The Peloton had a super ride out to Auburn on Saturday. We started out with an unbelievably crisp morning (in July??!) and lucked out with stunning weather throughout our jaunt through the hills. Fitness was not an issue with this pack as we averaged a tad under 20 mph over most of the terrain but often exceeded that to bring in a 17.4 mph average over the 43.5 mile course with 2400 feet of climbing thrown in. A fresh face in the crowd was Patrick, who drove the pace most of the morning. He looks suspiciously like Performance group material to me!

Callison Road was a treat with its pastoric countryside and still-green hillsides. And Shirland Tract rewarded us with a fast twisting downhill that kept everyone focused on technical skills. Another newcomer to the Peloton was Krysta, who did a magnificent job toughing it out over the rollers and making it look easier than my legs told me it was. Kudos to you, Krysta! Back in Folsom we finished on an upbeat note at Karen's Bakery parking lot and agreed it was a fun workout in the midst of great company. Looking forward to next Saturday already!