Patterson RR - the early bird
Can I hope for a rainless ride... yes.
And setting out at 5:00 am Saturday for an 8:00 race start... I was hoping for a rainless ride.
Driving south to Patterson, down I-5 below Tracy, I pass through Stockton and notice the rain has stopped. My super-charged mind-set has me scanning the sky of breaking clouds.
I arrived at 6:30 am for a reg that would happen at 6:45. I packed my powder pants and parka for reg., but did not need them. Got my race # and went back to the car. I could not stay parked right there near reg, typically (prev. w/other Frank and Todd) I poach a sweet covered restaurant, store front (hours before it opens)- in case, and some of the time it does, rain. I set up my trainer with 50 Cent blaren. Warming up street riding guys looked at me funny, but I'm super-charged, and warming up. It's good!
And it's not raining !
Races going off at 8:00, mine is 15 minutes later. Whoop, back to the car drop off the rain/wind break, and the wind vest too!
My race goes off with only 35-40 guys, but only 5-8 were cool. I wrapped out with the cool guys during the 1st 15 miles, dealing with the squirrels, and "fitness" banter. Then the 4 mile hill hits. This is the west side of the Sac. Valley (TOC will check these hills out) where the foothills lead to the "coastal mnts". I hit the hill and the SUN comes out. Hum, my oh my, I am warming up, I'm hot. This may be a good reason to hate winter- to many temp changes, requiring layers, and cool weather gear. I'm hot cuz it's work. I did pretty good for a large dude - midpack topping. I fired up some 3,4 and then 5 guys- we rolled in a group fast forward. But along comes Big Maggie and his other 10 buddies. We had a big group now, fun stuff ! We rolled along to the finishing rollers, with a moderate 1 km uphill finish. 750 mt I see 'em looking around and not doing nothing- so I bolt up the rise all by myself. I take a couple of looks back and they are not gaining yet, but at 200 mt I'm ready to blow chow. I look back and one of the spectators (only 20) says "don't look back just go". But no, ...so I fade to the right and take a charging newbie into the dirt/gravel as he was trying to take a win, "sorry".
Great training, with plenty of pack stunts.
Maybe I finished 20 or 25th. It was FUN, and on a RAINLESS, winter ride day !