By this time this route has gotten fairly predictable for me, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. I had been dreading the possibility of rain this time around, but when then 29th came around, things cleared up the day before, and we had downright beautiful weather. Showed up at the start to find virtually no one that i knew was riding this year, which was kind of a bummer, but then my messenger friends Justin and Fergus showed up (albeit too late ro register, but they rode anyhow for the fun of it).
Everyone pretty much went out the gate flat-out, as usual, which wasn't what I was interested in doing, so i didn't bother. This was my first brevet on the Taylor, so I was perfectly happy just toodling along in my nice new world of proper touring gear. Things were pretty well clear until we crested White's Hill outside Fairfax on Sir Francis Drake, and then the fog moved in until crested the hill out of that valley and over into Olema, from which point it got sunny again - and still - virtually no wind out on the Point, even less than last year. Made the lighthouse by 11, which was about the same as my time last year on the work bike, ate some food, watched the birds (including a pair of peregrines that were overhead for a while), and turned around to head out.
A little windy on the way back, but again, not that bad. Having gears can make you lazy, though - and I just wasn't having the drive to really honk up the hills, preferring to gear down and spin slowly up, which slowed me down enough despite the easy going that after stopping in Pt Reyes Station for my usuall blueberry buttermilk scone at Bovine, I made it to the Marshall Store around 1400, which was slower than it ought to have been. Hung out there for about an hour, having oysters & beer, waiting for the 2nd batch of chowder (the earlier riders had decimated the first batch), and chatting with Kathie the owner, who was happy to see me as always.
Headed out of Marshall, did fairly well up until Pt Reyes - Petaluma road, when I started to feel a bonk coming on. It hit on Nicasio Valley, a bonk of epic proportions, despite having eaten in Marshall. Ate everything remaining I had, and *still* had to limp it back into Fairfax, where I bought $20 worth of groceries and sat down and ate them. I lost well over an hour on my time between the bonk and the shopping, but things are as they are.
Started out again feeling better, and with full lights on (I'll note now that the Schmidt E6 is an *awesome* light - way better than the Lumotecs on my work bike. I can't wait to have the second, fork-tip one set up for blazing light action). Now I was really rolling, and things were pretty much home free from Fairfax - only 2 real hills in between there and the finish on the SF side of the GG Bridge, and that all passed pretty quickly. Ended up finishing at around 1930, which was a lousy time compared to what I had hoped to do, but I was just glad to be well enough under the time limit at that point.
The bike, except for my "oh look, I have gears!" laziness, was great. Handled nice, really smooth and pleasant ride. Definitely looking forward to the 300 now...
Some pics from the ride:
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