|Club Trip: LDS Metric Century II 2008|
Saturday 09/13/08 - Earlier this year some of our club members were able to participate in the first ever LDS Metric Century in the hills of Lincoln hosted by McKay Florence and some of the other LDS Members of the Rocklin and Loomis wards. Our club had such a good time that we decided to host our very own LDS Metric Century and invite all to come along. In choosing the route we decided to take a break from the hills and head South to the cool running water of the American River. At first we weren't sure if it would be a good choice. We had heard that Beales Point and William Pond Park would be holding training exercises in case Folsom Dam were to break. Then we found out that Negro Bar was the staging area for a Metric Century. After a few phone calls to make sure the trail would be open we pushed ahead with our plans.
We meet up at 7:15 am at the LDS Building on Junction Rd in Roseville, CA. We left at 7:30 am with a group of 6 of us and heading out the usual route through Old Roseville and up and over to Douglas Blvd. Once at Douglas we picked up Brent waiting for us. The morning air was still on the cool side and no breeze to be felt. It would be a great day on the trail.
As we made our way down Auburn Folsom Blvd they finally have the concrete barriers out of the way. They are still not done with the construction but at least we had some of the bike lane back. Hopefully they'll be finished soon with this. As we headed up the park entrance we didn't notice anything different for an exercise, maybe it's not until later. What we did notice was a large group of cyclists, about 10 or so waiting at the trail head, it was 8:15 am. As we came up they asked if we were the LDS Group, we are. We waited a bit to make sure everyone was here, the schedule was to leave by 8:30 am. Just as we were about ready to leave another cyclist showed up and asked if we were the LDS Group. By the time we left we had at least 18 or 19 of us. This will be a fun day.
Despite the talk of taking it easy down the trail some of us decided to bomb down through the first section. It's just too hard to pass up as you start to accelerate down this section. Before you know it we're already at Negro Bar winding through the trail and at the bottom of the bluffs. This is always a gorgeous view as the you come down around the trail and it just opens up. The first climb of the trail comes up ahead and some of us are dropped while other hammer ahead.
The next few miles we start to see strange "platoons of joggers." There were groups of 10 to 20 people. You would see them two by two, all in a row. Like they were marching for basic training. You see all sorts of things on the trail. Up ahead is Lake Natoma, we go under the Hazel Bridge, wind up and around, and then down Hazel Ave to regroup at the bottom in the parking lot.
We don't wait too long, just long enough to get everyone back together. The pace slows down a bit but it's still moving along at 22 to 23 mph. Our Peleton line is bigger than usual and we announcing obstacles up ahead, "Pole" etc. The tandem team is leading one of the Peletons while another group has charged ahead. Most of us are tucked in behind the tandem enjoying the draft.
As we come up and over the American River we pull in to William Pond Park and regroup once again. There are police, sheriff, fire, and other various emergency vehicles all over the place. They're definitely having an exercise here. We spend a little bit more time here to use the restrooms and fill up the water bottles. We loose one of the cyclists in the group as he has to turn back. Meanwhile we forge ahead.
We are now split into three main groups. The first is powering up ahead at 25 to 26 mph. The second main one is doing about 22 to 24 mph with the tandem in front most of the time. The last group is making it's way at 18 to 20 mph. The traffic on the trail is starting to thin out. No more jogger platoons and fewer cyclists.
Shortly after Howe Ave the 1st group slows down a bit with some traffic. As they are passing those ahead them a guy on a Mountain Bike with a fixed gear decides he wants to stay with the group. He starts to pick up the pace to keep up, in doing so he is pedaling at the really high cadence (See video clip below). It looked just like a squirrel or a hamster on a wheel running way too fast. Because of this high cadence he is now weaving back and forth a bit, plus he's not drafting behind us, more off to the side. Making it difficult for us to stay in a line. Finally he hit his exit and turn off the trail at the Sac State Bridge. This allowed us to pull back in together.
At this point Chris and Robert pulled ahead (See video clip below). I think Chris was tired of the Fixie and wanted to charge ahead with whoever wanted to follow. Not all followed and we had three main groups again.
We were plenty warm despite it being on the cool side. Still no wind to speak of and even fewer cyclists now that we were getting close to the end. At Discovery Park we stopped to regroup. The third group was about 3 or 4 minutes behind. They were enjoying the trail and the views.
With all here we made our way across the River and onto the Levee Trail towards Old Sacramento. It was only 10:30 am and we had made good time getting here. Most time we don't get here until around 11:30 or even noon.
Our usual lunch stop had been closed all summer and we were hoping it was now open. As we came around the corner we found it still closed. We headed over to Subway and made that the new lunch stop. We got right to business of ordering, eating, and enjoying. The sun felt good as we sat there talking about the ride thus far. We enjoyed talking about rides we had done during the summer and things still left to do.
After lunch it was time to head North. Another cyclist had to head back down the trail to Folsom so we were down another to 16. The tandem got a flat around here so that set a few of us back to make sure we were all on the right trail.
Up ahead the Group had stopped at the light to make sure we were all there. As we went through Del Paso we got quite a few comments from the residents about the size of group. You tend to stand out more when there are 16 of you on bikes. I think they had a little too much to drink today, really.
We continued on the trail until we hit Elkhorn and then we made our way through the back farm roads. This is Roberts favorite way to go and has less traffic. Some in the group were starting to slow down and we dropped back to make sure everyone was okay. Up ahead was Watt Ave, almost there.
It's now just after 12:30 pm and we've made great time. Our pace has slowed down since the AR Trail but we're still moving at a good clip. We pass by the Antelope Stake Center, home of the Roseville 5th Ward and head onto North Loop. At the end of North Loop we turn up Walerga and pull through. At the corner of Fiddyment we start to break up as some head home from here up to Rocklin and Loomis, while others are just around the corner from home.
The last of us pull back into the Junction Building at just after 1:00 pm. Another great ride with a new group of friends.
A big thank you to all that attended the LDS Metric Century II, we'll be sure to host another next year and hope to see you in the meantime.