Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tracy Rider's Windmill Ride

August 22, 2010. The festivities started on Friday evening as out of town cycling groups had dinner at Island Gourmet Restaurants, Pres. Allen Escobar's ( Tracy Riders) restaurant. The food was delicious. You know it's good when it's as good as your mom's cooking. Louis Rivera and I, however, arrived late at 6:30 pm and
just missed on meeting our fellow Pinoy cyclists. Allen and Raymond (fellow Tracy Rider) were kind enough to keep the doors open to give us a warm meal. What a great host! There we spoke of the upcoming event and found out there would indeed be 100 riders for the next day's main event.

Louis and I checked in to Hampton Inn, one of the sponsor. Sure enough, our room was comp'ed. Kuya El gave us his room since he and his group, including Deo, and Francis, would arrive super early for the ride, at 2:30 am, Saturday. Hehehe. Roy "Tisoy" came to town at 1:00 am.

After getting settled, went for a few beers and hoisted our glasses with Fort Gascon (Pres.) , Angelo both from FACT Siclista, Fresno. Also joining us were Legendary Maui Reynante and his son George from Luzvimin. (Forgot Maui's blond GF's name, sorry)
The mass start was from Thoming Park and sure enough, there were 100 riders. All the Pinoy cycling groups from Northern Cal were present: MyTropa, FACT (Siclista), Luzvimin, local cyclists and of course, the host club, Tracy Riders. For a first inaugural fun ride, they really pull it off by having so many participants. The weather was predicted to have a high of 86 and low of 52. Everyone was expecting a scorching hot ride as we gained elevation. However, the clouds held all morning making for a pleasant ride.

The ride was supposed to be a fun 51.51 ride with total ascent of 3063 ft. Three SAG vehicles were in tow with a motorcycle guide to keep everyone in check. As we approached the base of the dreaded Patterson Pass with 8 miles of ascent and 2100 of elevation gain, it was abruptly announced that there will be a KOM based on Category levels! Well, no one wanted to reveal their Category so it was then decided to make it an open category for an overall winner. Thankfully the climb was cool, weather and scenery wise. You could hear the blades of the windmills go whoosh, whoosh up on the hills. As we got exposed in the open areas, there was cross wind, head wind 15- 20 mph. You're struggling to climb and wind tries to knock you down. On one of the rollers, you can only go 18mph max on a steep 12% downhill. The last 300 meters to Patterson summit was greeted by a 20% grade. This is where Deo and a local rider (puti) battled like Contador and Schleck for KOM honors. Valiantly, Deo lost by a wheel - his nemesis was better geared and knew the local mountain. A battle well fought.

The entire peloton regrouped at the first feeding station at mile 23, looped around Flynn Road, descended down County Road 5822, then returned to the same feeding station, now mile 32. The Adobovelo peloton decided not stop at the feeding station. There you could here the rest of the cyclists at the rest stop
saying, "Eto na sila" (They are here!) Everyone scrammble on their bikes and started to give chase. It's just pure cycling delight for all the hard work from grinding the gears going uphill was all over. Ahead was pure 18 miles of smooth as silk, freshly laid asphalt down hill from then on. 20>28 > 35> 40 > 48 mph. Francis, Roy, Deo, El, Louis would bomb down the hill. ( I decided to drop, thinking erroneously that we were doing another uphill loop. By the time I realized, I was all alone, waaahhh) Down Altamont Pass we all went. Groups of ten riders would zoom down the pass at break neck speeds. Your compact crank would be hyper-spinning by now. Wish you had a standard instead of a compact. Why is everyone riding so fast? They must be hungry for food!

A party with all Pinoy fixings awaited us at the finish line at Thoming Park. There was lechon, kilawin, kaldereta, dinuguan, pinakbet, pancit, pichi-pichi, puto, bibingka, sa-malamig ( Melon juice), rice and so much more food that I forgot to mention! Food was catered by Pres. Al Escobar's restaurant, Island
Gourmet. There was music with a DJ.
Kuya El and Deo met and reminisced with their old cycling buddies, Maui Reynante, Rommie, Steve, and Rozel Tupaz. At the end, visiting clubs were recognized with a plaque of appreciation. We said our goodbye's and thanked our host and headed back home.
Adobos you must go to this ride next year, don't miss it!
On behalf of Adobovelo, we would like to thank our gracious host for, President

Allen Escobar and the rest of the Tracy Riders for having a successful, most memorable, not to be missed, must do it again, most definitely fun ride.
Dennis L. Gorospe