Friday, June 22, 2007

Saturday Intercept

I rode with the Cycle Folsom
group last Saturday. Since they were heading up to Auburn via Auburn
Folsom Road I decided to try and intercept them. I would attempt to
connect with the group at the corner of Auburn Folsom Rd. and King Rd.
I checked on Google Maps, and it was about 12 miles from where the
ride starts and about the same distance from my house. I did a little
group ride math in my head and figured that they would be crossing
that point around 8:30AM. Given they would have a group and would be
able to ride much faster than a solo rider I needed to allow a bit of
extra time to get there. I left my house at 7:45AM, thinking I would
have plenty of time. As soon as I got rolling and up onto Crest
Drive, I was greeted with a nice headwind courtesy of the Delta
Breeze. The nice cool breeze felt great, as we had just experienced a
week of very hot weather, but I knew it was going to jeopardize my
attempt to intercept the group. Since I had a head / cross wind that
meant the group would have a bit of a tail wind and they would be even

As I got out onto King Rd and started heading east it was about
8:15am. If I really hammered I could just maybe pull it off. I
hammered the big ring most of the way, then finally had to drop into
the small ring and whip up the cadence for the last small rise. As I
crested the last roller I could just see Auburn Folsom Rd. ahead maybe
3/4 of a mile. Then I saw a pretty large group go whizzing by. Damn,
I had just missed them. I saw a few stragglers passing by, so I
figured maybe I could jump in and hook up with another rider or two.
Unfortunately I don't know everyone in the group yet so I wasn't sure
who I was chasing. There was one female rider ahead of me with a Vail
Colorado racing kit on. I marked her and tried to catch her.
Eventually I caught and passed a couple of other riders on the climb
up Auburn Folsom Rd. I had a nice smooth spin going up this climb and
made it up in just under 8 minutes. As I turned into the parking lot
at Maidu Market I saw a large group of cyclists taking a break. Sure
enough it was the Cycle Folsom group as I quickly recognized a couple
of the riders. I introduced myself and we then discussed the
remaining route. We were heading over to Mt. Vernon Rd. then down
Millertown Rd which I'd never ridden before. A few straggling riders
made their way into the parking lot. These were guys I had passed on
the climb or who were even further back on Auburn Folsom Rd. A few of
them had showed up a couple minutes late in Folsom and ended up
chasing the group for 10 miles.

Millertown Rd. was great! It was a pretty long snaky descent down
along Auburn Ravine creek (I think). It dropped us out near the
bottom of where Bald Hill also connects to Lozano Rd. From there we
climbed up Lozano Rd. to hang a right on 193. The rest of the group
was heading up Indian Hill Rd. then back down to Folsom. Since I was
already feeling beat from my catch up attempt, I decided to TT it down
Taylor Rd. back to Rocklin. When I got home it turned out to be a
nice 35 mile ride with about 2300' of climbing. It was just right as
I was fighting off another sinus infection which is now in full swing. Yucko.
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