If you follow me on Twitter you might already know that trip didn’t go exactly as planned. Sam and I got to Santa Rosa on Friday night as planned check in and headed downtown to have some dinner and a couple of drinks. Everything was great and both of us were feeling quite keen for the ride. But shortly after we’d gone to bed Sam got ill and in the morning he was barely able to get out of bed. Riding the bike was out of the question.
So I ditched him. I did offer to drive him home and just skip the ride, but in the end his wife drove on down to get him and I went out to ride by myself. Or with 7500 strangers.
The conditions were a lot different than the previous two years. Most of King Ridge and the approach to the coast were socked in with fog. It was cold, the roads were wet and the wind was blowing, but it was a good day. Amazingly, when we got to the coast, the sun came out and it started to warm a bit.
I felt pretty good and just ground out a good rhythm most of the day. After crossing the Russian River near Jenner I opted to turn left on Willow Creek Road for the dirt option and, while it was hard work, I was glad I did. Willow Creek was probably about 10 miles of dirt and gravel roads, all of it gradual climbing with about 3 miles of proper climbing.
I’ll put together another video in the next few days with the footage of Willow Creek Road I have, but for now, this pretty much captures how the day went: