02 October 2016

2016-10-01 - Grizzly Century

After last year's last-minute, but very necessary and accepted cancellation, the North Fork's Grizzly Century was back for 2016.  It was welcomed by about 400 riders, covering four routes.  Most of the riders chose the regular Century (100 mile) or Metric Century (100 kilometer) routes.  There was an optional, eight-mile, unpaved portion to the Century which gave riders the opportunity to see a different route without additional mileage.

In late 2015, North Fork, Ca. and surrounding communities were threatened by devastating wildfires.  Many reminders were seen throughout the day.  Much of the first 30 miles of the course was left scarred, or otherwise completely changed where whole forests were leveled either by the fire itself, or by the clean-up and more recent restoration efforts.  It was a stark contrast to the virtually untouched portion along the last 30 miles of the route.

The day was nearly perfect for a ride with a clear sky, light breezes, and temps between the high 50s to low 70s.  Most of the SAG duties were nothing more than tire issues and water.  I personally fixed four flats, two of them before 8:10 in the morning.  There was one relatively bad spill near the end of the day that required EMS; a mix of tree-root produces pavement undulations and downhill speed.

Ride pictures below... 

Three SAG motos in the parking lot prior to the start of the event.  Kevin's Honda ST1300, with Chuck BMW K75 and Bryan BMW R1200 GSA.
The Yosemite Bicycle & Sport SAG rig is a staple at the Grizzly.  Better service & experience cannot be found anywhere.
Lion's Point Rest Stop.
Fresno Cycling Club President Dennis Ball at Lion's Point Rest Stop.
Reminders of the 2015 fires that threatened North Fork and forced the cancelling of the 2015 Grizzly Century. This is less than a mile from North Fork.  The pavement is still red in places from the fire retardant which was dropped from air tankers in an effort to control the fires.
Parked along Minarets Road. Reminders of the 2015 fires that threatened North Fork and forced the cancelling of the 2015 Grizzly Century along Minarets Road between Lion's Point Rest Stop and Mile High Rest Stop.

25 June 2016

2016-06-25 - Climb to Kaiser

The 2016 Climb to Kaiser went relatively smooth.  There were no major accidents or heat related illnesses to report.  That's always a good report.  Most of the days SAG duties were air (flat tires) and water (low water bottles) related.  There was one minor crash with what was initially thought to be a possible broken collarbone.  Luckily it ended up just being bruised.

The day got off to a rough start with a confusing lead-out.  A minor miscommunication between Clovis Police Department and the lead SAG caused the group to miss a turn on it's route through Clovis.  Clovis PD took it in stride and managed to get the riders through Clovis safely.

All told, I (SAG Moto 1) made two full trips from the start in Clovis to the top of Kaiser Pass and back. Plus a few miscellaneous side trips. I left home just after 4:00am and left with the mass start of Kaiser and Tollhouse Century riders at 5:30.  After leading out that main group, I returned to the start in order to lead out the second group of riders for the Millerton Metric ride at 6:30am.  After their lead-out, I began working my way to the front of the pack to stay with the lead riders on the Climb to Kaiser.

After very brief stops at Wildcat and Tollhouse Rest Stops (I didn't even get off the motorcycle), a quick stop at the Tollhouse top water stop and Shaver Rest Stop, and another brief stop and he Huntington Rest Stop, I was at Kaiser Pass Rest Stop at 10:53 when rider #1107, Jove Graham of Clovis arrived.  He made it in 05:23.  Incredible.  He was only there for maybe two minutes.  Just long enough to grab a bite, be mobbed by the press (literally), have his bottles filled, and then he headed down the mountain.

I followed him down the hill, stopping at a few of the Rest Stops, and escorted him the last 20+ miles to the finish, just before 2:pm.

I returned to the top for the last rider's arrival at 5:00pm and closed Kaiser Pass Rest Stop at 5:pm.  The last rider made it to the top under his own power - by walking the last half mile - but unfortunately, requested a transport down the hill.  I swept the course for riders down Kaiser Pass Road, Tamarack Ridge and Highway 168, pushing the remaining riders toward Shaver.  We closed Shaver Lake Rest Stop at 7:00pm and swept Alder Springs and Auberry Road pushing the riders and remaining SAG vehicles toward Millerton Store Rest Stop.  We then closed Millerton Store Rest Stop and had all of the riders back on the road, headed to the finish by 8:45pm. The Motos escorted in the final riders. I escorted the 3rd-to-last rider from Millerton to finish. Nancy Dooley followed in the final two riders.

The day's temperatures ranged between 62 and 102 degrees.

I rode 380 miles total on Moto 1.

A copy of the Fresno Cycling Club's Rough Draft Newsletter, including additional Climb to Kaiser info can be read here: July 2016 Rough Draft

Early morning stats.
Moto SAGs linup prior to the mass start.
Riders line up for the mass start.
Shaver Lake rest stop gets ready for riders.
Big Creek rest stop.
Flags line the last few yards of the Climb to Kaiser.

07 May 2016

2016-05-07 - Fresno Cycling Club's Kirch Flat Cinco de Mayo Ride

This year's Kirch Flat Cinco de Mayo ride sponsored by the Fresno Cycling club was another hit this year.  Cooler temps and a bit of rain on parts of the course during the day made for some easier riding compared to last year's heat.  Along with a new start/finish venue as Paso Tiempo Park in Clovis, there were some minor route changes to the longer rides.  The intent was to even out the route distances; the reality added to a bit of confusion on the road for some of the riders, and SAG vehicles.  With the exception of one rider who got into a corner too hot on Maxon road, everyone made it back to the finish for barbecue, though, and generally had a great time.

Riders line up at the start.
Event Hostess Yvonne Moreno.
Riders line up at the start.
Jim Johnston's BMW R1200 GS SAG Moto.
Riders line up at the start.