I signed up to ride my second Konocti Challenge, a 65 mile ride around Clearlake in Lake County. They have been having temperatures in the 100's all month. Here in Fort Bragg the marine layer has been in all month and the highest temperature has been 58!! Oh boy!!
Why not head over to Lake County a week early and try to get aclimatized?
I call my new friend Frank and ask him if I can set up base camp at his place in Nice, CA.
"Sure! Come on over!"
Clearlake! What a change of scenery!!
I establish base camp and for a week do daily rides around the area.
There is the "Annual Pear Festival" in Kelseyville so I ride 40 miles round trip to check it out. The temperature is in the mid 90's. I'm sweating like a pig but this is what I came for, getting aclimatized.
The vineyards are sucking up the heat for maximum sugar content!
I discover "Main Street Bicycles" in downtown Lakeport. The owner, Jeff, is a great guy and lets me use his wi-fi. He also takes the time to visit with me and suggest various bike rides around the area; the Scotts Valley Loop and the Kelseyville Loop.
Also, the Annual, Sea Plane "Splash In" is happening in Lakeport. A busy time of year.
During my various rides I discover walnut groves are shady and cool on hot days!
For a change of pace I managed to catch a ride in a UltraLight on floats!!
$40.00 for forty-five minutes but well worth it.
Buzzing along 285 feet above the lake doing 43 miles per hour on a 94 degree day is amazingly wonderful!!
A very, laid back, California experience and something I had never done before.
Another item off my Bucket List!!
Each day I would return to base camp, rinse out and hang up my sweat soaked riding clothes (they are dry in less than two hours!) lie in my hammock, read my book, suck down a cold beer and listen to the mockingbirds!! Perfect!
During the week I rode two 20 mile loops, one 40 miler (Scotts Valley Loop) and a 52 miler (Kelseyville Loop).
I'm ready for the Konocti Challenge!!
Friday I called a rest day and I packed up my Vanagon, left Nice and moved to a campground close to the starting line in Lakeport.
I took this photo in the evening and boop! My camera battery died! I had been trying to decide whether to take my camera on the Challenge ride or not. The dead battery made up my mind. NOT!!
Saturday morning, October 6th. The Konocti Challenge!
I'm awake at 7:00 AM and on the starting line at 7:30. Perfect. It is amazingly cool. There is an overcast! The temperature is 58 degrees! Unbelievable after all the hot weather the preceeding week. Most people are wearing jackets and arm and leg warmers. I have just my riding shorts and jersy on but I figure I will warm up once I get rolling.
This year I decide to break the ride into five chunks. Go as fast as I can to the first rest stop and then take a nice long recovery break. Ride as fast as I can to the second rest stop. Recover and repeat, repeat, repeat! By golly, it worked. I had a much better time of it this year than I did last year. And, I finished two hours quicker than last year! Of course part of my slow time last year involved two flats but still! This time it was a fun ride! Plus I ended up with a 12.1 mph moving average for 65 miles!! Not bad for an old fart!
There were over 500 riders. I meet and talked to some of them. The Rogue River Ride in Oregon was suggested to me as a fun ride and also the STP (Seattle to Portland). Who knows? I may expand my riding experience next year!
I rolled into Lakeport, crossed the finish line at 3:30 PM, enjoyed some tri-tip, pasta, green salad and a beer. Packed up and was home in Fort Bragg by 6:30. Two Advil and called it a night!
I think I was riding the only Surley Long Haul Trucker. I love that bike!