I drove down to the Sea Otter Classic yesterday. I dropped my $10 and then lost the next 5 or so hours to la la land. I wandered around sampling samples, trying demos, and asking "What have you got that I won't kill?" I'm hard on parts. I bought myself some socks. This pair, is my favorite. I also picked up some "bike bling" in the form of anodized valve caps. I managed to make some more decisions on components for my up near future new mountain bike. I also managed to watch the practice for the dual slalom race. I saw the dirt jump and trials demo's, and the short course cross country race. I left tired, but happy I had gone.
So I had signed up for the Tierra Bella 100 km ride for Saturday (today). I wasn't sure if two of the people (Mark & Margaret) I knew were going to show up because of the impending rain, and the third (Michele) was not feeling well on Friday and wasn't sure if she was going to feel well enough. When I got a hold of her in the morning she felt up to it. The weather radar showed some rain off shore, but it looked way out, and light so I decided it was worth it. As a precaution, I made sure to wear the wool socks I had bought at Sea Otter . This would prove to be wise. Going over the mountains to Gavilan, where the Tierra Bella started, it rained a fair amount. When we got there it had stopped. We registered, met up up with Mark & Margaret, and were ready to go, but they were not. So M&M suggested we ride ahead, and they would catch up. This was likely as Mark races road bikes, and Margaret is in insanely good shape. It was overcast, the pavement was wet, it was cold, but it felt good to get going. M&M caught up with us at the first rest stop (at 11 miles). But, as were were ready to go, they were just getting there. "We'll catch up." they said. They did about 5 miles later, and blew by us. I could see a moment on Margaret's face where she debated whether to keep going with her husband, or slow down with us. She kept going calling back they would wait for us at the next rest station. I could tell Michele was not at 100%. We were averaging about 12.5 MPH. On out training rides, we had averaged about 15 on similar terrain. We make it to the next stop(22 miles), and the sky is looking very threatening. No sign of M&M. We head out and Michele asks me if I would be disappointed if we only do the "25 mile route." (There was no 25 mile, but lot's of people had been talking about a 25 mile route at the rest stop, so we both were confused). I said not so much. I was cold. She said she wasn't sure yet if she was up to 100k or not. I could tell she wasn't feeling great. Then, the rain started. On Santa Teresa Rd. it began to rain hard. whenever someone passed me water sprayed off their tires. I could taste the road. At Michelle looks over at me and asks, "Is it going to break your heart if I say I don't think I can do 100k?" I pretend for a moment that it will, but then admit I'm very, very cold. Only my feet, in their nice wool socks, still felt anything close to warm, and they were cold. We decide to ratchet up the speed, thinking it's only a few more miles. We were at about 26 miles at that point. We kept up a good pace, around 20 MPH for a while on the flat. At one point were were going down a mild hill at about 30. The rain stung when it struck my face. I had, for reasons unknown to even me, grabbed my fingerless gloves. I could barely feel the brake levers under my fingers. We Around mole 32 we slowed down some. the terrain got more rolling, and we were both suffering from the cold. When we got to Gavilan it was raining hard again. All I can say, is that it felt good when the heater kicked in on the truck. Total distance, 37.78. I feel confident I could have done all 62 miles if it had not been raining.