Sunday, October 2, 2011

Something different.

 Saturday, October 1st, I attend the Konocti Challenge bicycle ride.
This is the first time I have ever joined a large"group" ride.
I originally planned to ride the 40 mile route but a friend talked me into trying the "Metric"; a clockwise, 65 mile, ride around Clearlake.

In preparation I remove the pannier racks and fenders from my touring bike.  Lighter is better, right?
8:30 AM and off into light drizzle.  This is much better than the heatwave Clearlake had the week before.

At twenty miles when I am starting to get weary the first rest stop appears.  The theme of this rest stop is "Italy".
Each rest stop is sponsored by a different group.  They are competing for the most votes from the riders.  They really go all out!

 Italiano music is playing and the costumes match the theme.

 Even the food!

During this rest stop I meet and talk to various riders like this couple riding a tandem.

 I hate to say good bye to "Italy" but it is time to hit the road, much refreshed!

Turn-off of HWY 20, into some hills and, Oh boy!, a flat!!
  I didn't bring a spare tube with me because these tires are "puncher proof" with Kevlar linings, right!  Wrong!
  I do have a patch kit so while riders pass by asking if I am okay, I fix the leak, get the wheel on the bike and pump up the tire with my wimpy little tire pump which, in itself, is a lot of work.


Only to find, a mile later, my rear tire flat again!

Off with the rear wheel, off with the tire, pull out the tube and this time I can not see, hear, or feel the leak!  I decide to stick the partially inflated tube into my water bottle and watch for bubbles.  Three quarters of the way around the tube I find the small leak, patch it and, just as I am putting the wheel on the bike a "Sag Wagon" arrives.  He asks if I need anything.  "Do you have a tire pump?  He does!  He helps me pump the tire up 80 pounds.  Hot and bothered, and way at the back of the "pack" I press on.

 And then, just in time, another rest stop!  This one staffed by Gypsies!!
Great snackage and drinks and....,

A "Gypsy" loosens my shoulders and back!
Revived, once again, back to the road.

 More hills.  Some I have to get off the bike and push!  I'm thinking..., if I had stayed with my original plan I would be done now!

 And siddenly, the third and final rest stop!.  A M.A.S.H. unit!!
"Colonel Klink" helps me off my bike and leads me to the recovery tent!

 A fifteen minute rest and an bag of I.V. solution, I am ready to roll.
(Just kidding, we staged these photos!!)

 They even had a still going!  What a fun group.  They got my vote.
 I'd love to stay but decide I better get rolling; the cut off time is 6:00 PM!

 Along the final stretch I spot a heart for my Lolli.  :-)

 5:15 PM.  Made it!

 The "Can-Can" girls are still waiting to welcome me!!

A few folks are hanging around enjoying the post ride barbecue and I joined them.
Tired but quite pleased with myself I head home to Fort Bragg.
What a fun event.  I just might have to do another one, some day!!

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