All In at the Central Coast 1000K, Roger Hillas reports

Roger Hillas posted this report on the results of the Santa Cruz Randonneurs Central Coast 1000K . Congratulations to Roger, Lothar Hennighausen and Mike Dayton on their successful rides. Mike also posted a number of reports and some pictures at his Research Trailer Park blog. Way to go, guys! And, an extra attaboy to Jack Holmgren, our buddy from rides past. — Ed

By Roger Hillas
June 27, 2010

Lothar finished at 6:20 this morning. I was fortunate to finish a few hours before dark last night. Mike Dayton finished a bit after me, and Joel Lawrence, also from NC, a few hours after that. That’s the entirety of the East Coast contingent.

What a stunning ride Lois and Bill have created! They did it in the self-reliant fashion they both advocate for riders, designing the route and handling the essential logistics themselves. The result is both beautiful and enlightening. The iconic section down the Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to Ragged Point is balanced by the trip inland to King City, the vast fruit and vegetable fields of the Salinas Valley and the thousands of people out working in those fields as we pushed off before sunlight, the barren dunes down by Vandenburg Air Force Base, and the Sideways country on Foxen Canyon Road north of Solvang.

The route is tough but fair. Climbing sections are balanced by flatter sections, although the strong winds off the coast meant that the latter were not always easier than the former. The toughest day was Friday, when we warmed up for the Pacific Coast Highway (basically the Skyline Drive with an ocean view) by riding the sixty miles up the Salinas Valley from King City to Carmel into a stiff headwind. But just when it seemed that none of us would get to San Luis Obispo until the wee hours of Saturday, the wind swung around to our backs at Ragged Point and we were riding at 22 mph on the flats for the final 50 miles of the stage.

Lois and Bill keep the pre-ride publicity low-key, and they drew a field of strong, experienced randonneurs, including two five-time PBP anciennes (and Lois, the organizer makes three). We all rode the first fifteen miles up Silicon Valley to the first climb at a parade pace that allowed everyone, fast and slow, to meet and greet each other. Several groups rode much or all of the route together. The ride had a very friendly, warm feel.

I had pretty much a perfect ride: no mechanical problems, only three hours total riding in the dark, and eleven hours of sleep the two nights. Sometimes, even what seem like setbacks turn out well. As I was cleaning up my bike before the ride, I noticed some hairline cracks in the rim of my rear wheel. This meant that I would be unable to ride the tubular tires that I had ridden with enjoyment and no flats for our brevet series this year. But it turns out that a lot of the CC1000 course runs along the sort of road margin that attracts a lot of glass shards and other debris. Now this routing decision was definitely worth it for the views, but I ended up glad that I was riding clincher rims and the Michelin Krylion tires that I have found so bulletproof over the years. The rear tire has at least 50 flint or glass nicks in it, but not a single puncture. This would definitely not be a good route for light, supple tires, which would be chewed up in no time.

I also impressed my ultra marathon running friends by finishing 10 minutes behind Carl Andersen and Ann Trason, who are new to randonneuring, but are legendary runners.

On a personal note, Jack Holmgren says hello to his buddies Ed and Mary.

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