2003 > San Francisco 200K > Craig's Report
Craig Rides the San Francisco 200k
Arriving at the start of the SF 200k, I was surprised to see all the people doing the ride. Not only was there a large contigent of bikeaholics (KenH, KenS, LisaA, TomL, RBA ToddT, ElaineA, PaulG, and myself) but there were numerous FOBs and a large contigent down from Davis.
Bill Ellis and Graham Pollock talked about seeing the Space Shuttle reentry as it crossed over the Pacific Coast. This would become more relevant later.
A highlight at the start was seeing Reid Walden back on a bike. Reid had crashed, broken his femur on December 12, and had a titanium rod insterted into his leg. He said he was only at about half speed and was only planning to do 30 or so miles total, but that sounds pretty impressive to me. He said he would be ready for the 200ks next month, although maybe at a slower speed than his usual pace.
It wasn't real clear when the order to go sounded, but it looked like people were going, so I made a break for it. The people I planned to ride with were ahead so I had to pass a number of people on the bridge to catch up. Andrew Otto knew the route, so we just followed his directions on the roads to Fairfax.
Other than a bit of mist, things seemed pretty good on the way to the coast, but once we got over the last hill, the wind from the north became very significant. At that point I was in a group of 7 (soon to be down to 6) and we took turns pulling through Inverness. After we climbed over the shoulder of Mt. Vision and got out on the ocean side of the hills, the wind made itself felt with a vengeance. We had trouble staying together as a group. On several of the twisting descents, my bike would be blown to one side, then I'd get blown the other direction after I had rotated far enough.
The worst wind was right at the Pt. Reyes lighthouse. At one point I was blown into a curb, but used enough brake to make the "impact" about 2mph - a foot down to redirect the bike and I was back to crawling along toward the info control ("30 stories down")
The first 10 miles back from the lighthouse were tough. I got separated from the group and had to chase into the wind and over the hills for 5 or 6 miles. Eventually Bill and Daryn dropped back enough for me to catch up and pulled me back to the other two. When we got back to Inverness we waited for Andrew to catch up (a couple minutes) and then headed off toward Marshall.
The run up the coast was a lot of work, once again upwind, but at least we had a group to work together. At the Marshall store we bought some food, sat inside to eat it, had our cards stamped and then headed south. As I was leaving the store, the lady told someone that the space shuttle had broken up over Texas on reentry. I passed this on to the other people who were already outside.
This direction was more pleasant with the wind behind us. We started seeing some of the other riders, with Ken Holloway one of the early riders, Andrew's wife Carol not far behind him and Tom and Todd not much farther back. From here it was about 30 miles around Nicasio reservoir, and over a couple hills (where I was hanging on for dear life) and then some urban assualt riding through the populous portions of Marin.
We got back to the finish in one piece. Andrew was given the job of handling rider check-in until Ken arrived since he was planning to wait for Carol before riding home (they live over by Coit Tower) I packed up, went home and got in some cross training - I mowed the back yard with a push mower. And I checked the news to verify that what I'd heard was correct.
I was about as trashed as I've been in quite a while on a 200k. The wind made the riding tough, and the pace on the climbs was not at a pace I would consider even close to comfortable. As I told LisaA, it was good that my heart rate monitor wasn't working. I replaced the battery in the transmitter Sunday.