Archive for June, 2008

612 Miles in 9 Days

| June 27, 2008 9:20 pm

Ann and FranzWe just finished the 7 day bicycle tour Sierra to the Sea. We got an early start by doing part of a club ride that takes three days up to the start at Bear Valley. Since we needed to handle registration in San Jose on the Friday night and Saturday morning for our guests, we only rode with the group to Patterson, then biked back by ourselves on that Friday.

With one day off on Saturday, we started the 7 day tour on Sunday. Including the trip to Patterson, we ended up with 612 miles and 32,000 feet of climbing in the 9 days of biking with only one day off.

We had a great time and biked with some friends, many who were also on the staff for the tour.

Here are entries for each of the days. Our 3rd day is the first day of Sierra to the Sea.

Day 4 – Jackson to Ryde (Day 2 of STTS)

| June 16, 2008 10:00 pm

After waking up at 4 am due to the sprinklers going off, we did sleep in a bit, but were up in plenty of time and ready to ride at 7:30 am. This was going to be a fun day because we would have two tandems in the group.

Two Tandems

After the initial climb we had a descent down into the town of Shutter Creek. We then  had a roller coaster ride through a series of rollers. With the weight of the tandem we could pickup enough speed and momentum on the downhill so that we could power up the uphill portion.

We kept the pace fast because we needed to get to Ryde early so we could setup the rooms so our guests could use them for showers so we wanted to be one of the first in camp. We did make a stop just before Ryde to buy a sandwich but we carried it to camp and ate it later.

Total Distance: 75.1 miles
Total Climbing: 1,700 feet
Average Speed: 18.4 mph

Day 3 – Bear Valley to Jackson (Day 1 of STTS)

| June 15, 2008 10:00 pm

On Sunday morning we got up for the 3rd day of our adventure, but the first offical day of the Sierra to the Sea bicycle tour. This route is quite unusual because you drop about 10,000 feet and climb about half of that back again. This map shows you the route we took.

We started with a 24 mile drop down Highway 4 where we reached speeds up to 45 mph on the tandem. At that point we took a side road called Moran Road which passed by some a lovely lake. We kept and eye out for the place of Gerd and Susan who have a second home on that road.

When Moran Road came back to Highway 4 there was the first rest stop. We made a brief stop there and then headed up Sheep Ranch Road. This is not a very popular road with some of the guest on the bike tour be we really liked it becasue we like to climb. The weather was still cool enough that the climbing was very nice. At mile 42 we reached the 2nd rest stop which was being handled by Russ and Sheila.

Russ and Shiela

From that rest stop we were joined by some other staff members. Cory handled provisionsing.


John was the master mechanic on the tour


Miguel, the tour director


The road took up over Independence road, a series of rollers where we had great time on the tandem. We we reached highway 26 there was a fast descent and with the tandem we were able to reach terminal velocity!

At mile 64 we reached the 3rd rest stop which was being handled by Eric and Connie.

Eric and Connie

It was not that long to the end at Jackson. We arrived so early that there was still a lot of time left. It was now getting warm so we set up our tent and headed on the tandem into town. We made a stop for an ice cream sundae and a drink, which was very refreshing.

After returning to the camp we went into the pool for awhile to cool off. Dinner was at the camp site. The evening was rather interesting because at 4 am the sprinlers went off. We did not get wet but since we were afraid that we would be next, we carried the tent over to a safe area and tried to get back to sleep.

Total Distance: 73.2
Total Climbing: 4,600 feet
Average Speed: 17.3 mph

Days 1 & 2 – Patterson and Back

| June 12, 2008 10:00 pm

Day 1 (Thursday). Along with 45 other cyclists we started in San Jose and headed up Mt. Hamilton. It was wonderful weather with clear skies and warm temperatures. We parked our car at a friends house and met the rest of the group at the base of the climb.

There was one other tandem with the group, Russ and Sheila who were also on staff for Sierra to the Sea. We rode much of the ride with them.

Russ and Shiela

There was a regroup at the top of Mt. Hamilton so we had to wait quite awhile for the slower riders. Without any need to wait after that we made a beeline to the junction where we enjoyed a sandwich. Then it was a fast paced ride down Del Peurto Canyon to Patterson. The two tandems were taking turns pulling and some of the fast riders were jumping on the train. At Patteson we made a stop at the A&W to get the traditional root beer float. Then it was into the pool at the hotel. We didn’t actually go in the water because there were too many leaves in it but we laid out relaxing.

That evening we all enjoyed a great meal at a new Italian resturant called Strings.

Total Distance: 65.8 miles
Total Climbing: 5,560 feet
Average Speed: 13.3 mph

Day 2 – we debated how to return to San Jose. The options were back the way we came or a longer route with less climbing. The problem with going back over Mt. Hamilton is that there would be no water, except at the junction and we would have to arrive there after they opened at 10 am. The other route was what we took the last time we did a ride to Paterson, over Corral Hollow. That would be an extra 20 miles, but half the climbing and not as isolated.

We got up in time to eat breakfast with the rest of the group who were headed on their 2nd day towards Bear Valley. After eating and checking out of the hotel, we went outside to check the weather. It was 7:20 am and it was already warm. That made the decision for us, to go the longer route with less climbing. We were lucky to not have the headwinds we had the last time we did that route and we knew later in the day it was a wise decision. We made very good time and got back to San Jose with plenty of time to get in the car and drive home and get our gear for the Sierra to the Sea tour.

Total Distance: 84.3 miles
Total Climbing: 3,220 feet
Average Speed: 15.7 mph

We had made a reservation in San Jose at the start hotel so after driving back to San Jose we checked in and then went over to handle the initial ride checking. We stayed in the hotel that evening and then did the rest of the rider check-in the next day at 7:00 am. We got a ride up to Bear Valley in one of the SAG vehicles with our tandem going on the truck.

In Bear Valley we got ready to do the final rider check-in, for those who were starting the tour from that point. We thought about doing a short ride but decided a day off was warranted.

Tri Fry

| June 2, 2008 7:06 pm

It was a triple sports day.  It was not that hot but we decided to call it our Tri Fry.  We started out this morning with a 5 mile run up the Provo Canyon trail.

Franz and Ann after running

In the early afternoon we went golfing.  We had not been golfing since last fall so it was a bit of a learning experience.  We found ourselves in the rough too often.

Ann golfing

After a few holes we finally started to get some good drive shots.

Franz golfing

Franz golfing

Ann golfing

And the freeway shots started to get a bit straighter.

Ann golfing

After several holes Franz finally shot par.

Franz golfing

Ann lines up for this pressure putt.

Ann golfing

To complete our triple sports day we took a ride on the tandem up South Fork, for a 26 mile ride.

Franz and Ann on Tandem

As we were headed home the clouds started to darken and we caught some rain the last couple of miles. It was just enough rain to cool off this Tri Fry day.