Sweetwater Wrap-up

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It was good to see the cross bikes out last weekend. Seems like we even say “Old Caz” and it starts to rain. Fortunately I kept on my second jersey, vest, arm warmers and knee warmers. Although I roasted over the coals that Levi so kindly stoked up to Occidental I was glad for the extra layers by the time we got to Sweetwater. The ride started off social…for the first 5 minutes or so until the big man came to the front for a pull. Turns out he forgot his power meter so turned the oven to 475 when the recipe clearly called for a 400 degree warm up. A few followed his pace up Occi. I assessed the length of our day and the fact that I was in the red zone before hitting Graton Rd. and backed off. Turns out only Shane, Glenn and one other made it over Graton Rd. That left a group of 5 or six of us chasing what was in reality the 2nd group. By the time we hit Frei Rd. the chase group consisted of Yuri, Boyler, Royce, Brain Astell, Aaron Bradley Devon Vigus, Carl Sanders, Drew Landers, Brian Staby and Ray Simone.(other too? It’s a blur) Seemed that most of the group realized that we weren’t going anywhere so things were slow going til Sweetwater where again things split apart. Coming over the top around 5th or 6th in our group I managed to catch up to the top two, Devon and Brian Astell at the bottom of Sweetwater. We were joined by Aaron and soon the others caught up at the base of Old Caz. Early cramps had me worried especially since Boozley was still behind me and I didn’t want to give him the pleasure of seeing me cramping in the ditch two rides in a row. I drank what I had and refueled at the feed zone. Thanks again Jim Keene and NorCal. I stopped to take a leak and had to chase back. At the gate passed everyone by Brian Astell who was riding his Marin mtb. and I let it rip. Specialized Roubaix with 28c tires was perfect. I just pretended I was on my cross bike with 32c tubeless and looked for a clean line.It was at the creek crossing where everything went to hell. Had a double lock-up as we hit the climb out and let the first couple go as I drank a bottle. Rode a bit to not loose the group but cramped again. Pulled over and guzzled the RedBull I had with me from the feed. Seems my legs listened as I won the screaming battle. Anyone listening in the woods would have been certain I was wooping my dog or else accosting someone who just broke into my truck. Either way, I clawed my way up to last rider J.D Bergman. Judging by the size of his calves it became my short term life goal to hold his wheel on Caz Hwy. No easy feat as he reeled in first Yuri and George and then the other remaining shrapnel from our collective bomb. We all struggled to hang onto JD’s wheel and he eventually rode off the front solo! Only Brian Astell remained solo ahead of us, somewhere, on his mtb with full knobbies! I let my group ride away as we turned onto Willow Creek and made a stop for water at the Sizzling Tandoor. Without water I knew what fate had in store for me. With a stop…? There was a chance that I would pick some up. I lost a couple of minutes but managed to catch Aaron, George and Yuri and Carl Sanders snuck by me as I stopped to relieve myself. Thanks a million to Tera for lugging the Cokes to the finish and putting up with a pissy weather day. Great for a Hopper but not fun for hanging out in afterward. It was an epic day. Congrats to Shane for the fastest time and Glenn too for hanging on for dear life to Levi. Did he even finish two bottles or break a sweat? Roger crushed it and Giampolo is a winner too! Go eat dinner at the Riviera and see if you can pry it out of him why. Can’t wait for the finale next weekend. If Hopper # 6 seems too long, just remember, these rides are only as hard as you make them. Stay tuned for ride details later this weekend. Cheers, Mig
Here’s some video by Hans. Thanks bro’

  • Lance

    Thanks for putting together this great ride. Painful fun. Makes me feel alive. Cramped also at the bottom of Old Caz, crossing Austin Creek, thought I was going to have to call the wife early, but things loosened up. Asked God for some strength to make it up Willow Creek. He answered. Coke never tasted so delicious. I love our biking community in Sonoma County. We are blessed. Thanks, Levi, for joining. You are a humble giant in the bike world. Anyone have the stats from the ride?

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