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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    801

    Unsupported Middle-Of-Nowhere Mountain Metric

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    Yesterday I did an unsupported metric century in the middle of nowhere through the Sierra Nevada mountains with a group of 13 strangers (I knew the LBS owner, but that's it!)...and I was the only woman! I had a blast!

    Our starting and ending locations were about 30 miles apart, so we figured out the carpooling and took off. The total climb was somewhere between 5,000-5,500 feet. Our start was at about 3,200 feet, our top elevation was 6,100, and we ended at 800. Lots of ups and down in between gave us the extra climbing. Not sure what the grade percentages were, but several times I was grinding away in my granny gear at under 4.5 mph for miles at a stretch.

    We began with a steady unrelenting 7 mile climb. A good warm up. Then we came to a little mountain resort/store and picked up a few snacks and some water. The next services would be about 45 miles ahead, but we thought we'd planned a reliable water stop, so we felt prepared.

    We flew through the woods on some great decents, climbed a few more hills, and found a pipe coming out of the mountain with spring water (I was too chicken to drink it...with my luck, I'd get Giardia). I wish I'd taken my camera...the vistas of the Sierras were incredible. Then we faced a huge mountain which I must admit was not fun to climb. However, we were rewarded with an exceptional decent. Thank you, US Forest Service, for maintaining your roads and for the lovely pavement! Nothing like a screaming decent to help you forget a grueling climb.

    Several more miles through the forest and our next re-grouping spot was a little reservior. We pulled into the boat ramp parking lot and discovered to our horror that there was no drinking water. Luckily one guy brought a portable water filter/pump, so those of us who were bone dry (like me) were able to hike down to the low water line and get a little water. Not sure I'd recommend cycling shoes for hiking down a steep rocky lake bed though. Then we took off towards an interesting part of our County that is kind of renowned as "redneck territory" It's kind of a unique isolated back-woodsy community. We stopped at a rather scary roadside bar in the middle of nowhere to get water. I expected the theme from Deliverance to start up at any time. We got some funny looks when we went inside, but the ice water was great.

    Then it was time to work our way to the end of our ride. A few more little climbs and we arrived in an historic little town. A few great downhill miles and then the worst, longest, most painful and tortuous decent I've ever ridden. Narrow road, super steep, curves, bad pavement...time for some serious brake management. My hands have never felt such pain. I was panicking...what if I lost my brakes? What if I heated up my rims and they blew out? What if my fingers just decided no more squeezing those brake levers? But I made it.

    Then just another mile or so and we were done. Sat outside at a great little pizza place and waited for the rest of the group. Everyone made it and only one person seemed completely miserable at the end. I was so proud of myself not being the last one in. I guess the only reason I kept up was because the main group kept stopping to rest and re-group. I rode with the group some, but mostly I was on my own because they'd drop me on the hills. But I'd catch up when they stopped to rest and start riding with them again. I guess this means they got more rest time than I did!

    So...I have decided I am a stud muffin. The only girl on a crazy ride through the Sierras.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the area where we were riding. This is from a few years ago, but it still looks the same.
    Last edited by RolliePollie; 07-24-2010 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    Sounds great - good job!

    You know what I always ask... WHERE was it??? Give me some route info! What lake is that? Gorgeous!

    When I ride/hike in Yosemite or anyplace really remote, I will generally carry my PUR pump water filter. It's the hydration equivalent of a Schmidt hub, I guess.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
    2010 Pegoretti Love #3 "Manovelo"
    2011 Mercian Vincitore Special
    2003 Eddy Merckx Team SC - stolen
    2001 Colnago Ovalmaster Stars and Stripes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Niagara County, NY (Rainbow Country!)
    Posts
    98
    Wow! Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a very memorable ride (something that I can only dream about...)!
    Jane

    Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for; for none
    of us, no not one, is perfect; and were we to love none who had
    imperfections, this world would be a desert for our love.

    --- Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,672
    Quote Originally Posted by RolliePollie View Post
    Thank you, US Forest Service, for maintaining your roads and for the lovely pavement! Nothing like a screaming decent to help you forget a grueling climb.
    Ab-solutely!

    So...I have decided I am a stud muffin.
    Indeed you are. Very well done!!

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    801
    Quote Originally Posted by maillotpois View Post
    Sounds great - good job!

    You know what I always ask... WHERE was it??? Give me some route info! What lake is that? Gorgeous!

    When I ride/hike in Yosemite or anyplace really remote, I will generally carry my PUR pump water filter. It's the hydration equivalent of a Schmidt hub, I guess.
    I was trying to do mapmyride but I have dial-up so it's basically impossible. But I can describe where we were

    We started at Ice House Road and Hwy. 50...about 6-8 miles east of Pollock Pines before you get to Kyburz. We rode up Ice House Rd. north about 25 miles to Wentworth Springs Rd., took a left, and rode 30-ish miles to Georgetown. Then we took local roads down to Coloma on Hwy. 49. The lakes in my pictures are Union Valley Reservoir and Ice House Reservoir (great for waterskiing, fishing, camping, and hiking!). You can see Union Valley from the road we were on but Ice House is a few miles back in the trees. They call that whole area the Crystal Basin because the mountains are the Crystal Range. It's just gorgeous up there.

    I wouldn't recommend doing this ride on your own unless you really know the area. I'm not entirely sure the way we did the ride was all that safe. It would be best to have a SAG vehicle up there with you. That would also help with the fact that the start and end of the ride we did were about 30-35 miles apart! I know there are cyclists out there who ride back up from Coloma to Placerville and then to Pollock Pines, but that would add 4,000' of climbing. And you'd have to ride on the freeway to get from Pollock to Ice House Road! Also, Ice House Rd. can have horrible RV and boat trailer traffic in the summer and the climb up from Hwy. 50 is narrow, curvy, and basically on the side of a cliff. We had light traffic at 8:30 on Sunday morning but there were still a few tight squeezes.

    Wow, that paragraph was kind of negative . I just think that anyone considering this ride needs to get lots of details before they head out. You could really get yourself into trouble...there is no cell coverage and it's very remote and isolated up there. But it's a great ride!!!! Dare I say...almost epic?
    Last edited by RolliePollie; 09-15-2008 at 08:26 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    801
    Quote Originally Posted by JaneE View Post
    Wow! Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a very memorable ride (something that I can only dream about...)!
    JaneE - I bet you can turn your dream into reality. I don't know your circumstances, but I've only been riding for about 18 months, I'm not naturally athletic, I'm a good 20 pounds overweight, and I'm riding an entry level road bike. If I can do this kind of a ride, then anyone can!

 

 

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