Saturday, November 1, 2008

Inaugural TDR (Tour de Rosalie)

Rosalie said: "Whatever the weatherman says, don't believe it!"

Almost a year ago the inaugural ride was cancelled because the weatherman said "RAIN", but it didn't rain. So today Rosalie was persuasive: Many riders wanted to call it off. But despite solid predictions of rain, Rosalie insisted, "Let's go boys! What, you afraid of a little sprinkle?"

And so we went. Sure enough, just half an hour into the ride, it poured like Noah's biblical deluge. And it was great fun.

But the thing is, you have to wonder why no "De Rosa" bikes showed up, despite the ride being named for De Rosa owners. So we got hold of a De Rosa "Owner's Manual", and found this entry on Page 17: "Dear De Rosa Owner: Thank you for purchasing one of the finest bikes in thw world, with a rich history. But do not ride it in the rain! It will melt. PS: Don't tell anyone."

OK... Just kidding.

Anyway, today you needed a snorkel to get through the ride. It poured, then stopped, then repeated. We quickly got used to it. "Pour it on!"

In the "END", as Mang El wrote... " The ride was one of those special rides (wet & soaked), but I believe all of us enjoyed it. Overall, the ride turned to be as expected but the rain. Lunch!!! Ssorry for those who didn't go. The food was catered & very very good for hungry riders."

With all the rain, you'd think we'd get a photo of it. . Over 600 photographs were snapped today. Regrettably, there's not one single photograph of the ferocious thunderstorms blanketing the riders. But here's a great shot of the dark skies pregnant with water, ready to come down anytime.

It was awesome. We got soaked to the bone. And got "road spray" on our faces and bikes, as if being dunked in a lake and rolled in sand.

The ride started at Rosalie's hometown, Moorpark. Start point was MILLER PARK, on top of a hill at Miller Parkway. The route was 60 Miles long, with 4,800 feet of climbing.

The excellent SAG crew consisted of Rosalie, Vince Pacheco, Barbara (Rosalie's neighbor), and Ricky Herrera. Rosalie's twin sister was also there for the first few miles, but had to go somewhere soon.

The route featured the great "horse-back" roads of Moorpark and surrounding rural land; The impressive winding road of Grimes Canyon Rd; The awesome Balcom Canyon (20% gradient) which is a Tour-of-California favorite; The Reagan Library situated on a hilltop; And just for fun a steep climb on McGrea (their version of our own Punta del Este in Hacienda Heights ).

We were welcomed by the wonderful locals (Rosalie's great neighbors and friends).

Jennifer, Edwin, Mat, Stan, Barbara

As usual, the ritual at the parking lot is always humorous.

And off we go

"This is gonna be fun"

Balcom Cyn was a "hit". Yeah, it hit the riders in the face.

William took the summit, followed closely by Ramon. What Animals! The rain gave it a greater degree of difficulty.

The heavy thunderstorm (the kind with really big drops and no space between the drops) came down at Balcom Canyon. It made the ride very interesting.

William "Legstrong" observed that "the adobovelos are doing their homework. Everyone was riding strong, attacking those hills and even on the flats."

The rain poured again at the rest stop at Alliance Gas Station (mile # 30).

We took shelter at the store (which got good business from us on coffee). Riders shivered terribly you'd think they were "dancing" Good thing Barbara had brought a lot of beach towels and blankets.

Even Mang El wrote: " Going down hill was another exerience. I was cold but my body heat was still working. Later along the way we stopped at a gas station where we waited for everyone, and decided to cut our ride short. At that time my body heater was getting weaker. I started feeling the cold, even the coffee almost didn't help."

(Please end this misery)

People started to mutter about cutting the ride short (our cars were parked just 2 miles from the rest-stop). Rosalie the Iron Butt-erfly would have none of it. She runs a stern ship, with a smile. The rain abated somewhat. "Let's go boys and girls" she said. She can be persuasive.

And off we went. Again.

Next was The Reagan Library, a 1-mile climb with 9% grades and great views.

We got refreshments there from the support crew.

And oxygen-recovery from the freshly-scrubbed air in the hills of Reagan Library

Then Mc Grea (their version of Punta Del Este).

Here they are at the summit of McGrea.

Then it was back to the park, and a hefty lunch, care of Rosalie.

William posted that "We had fun in spite of the heavy rain. The best part of it is, we were able to finish the ride without any accident. The rain was pouring hard and the road was so slippery but we managed to ride it safely."

All in all, a great inaugural ride. Great job Rosalie!
Ride courtesy of Rosalie. Thanks to volunteers and riders.