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.
Rider 1107, Jove Graham of Clovis, is the first rider to arrive at the top of Kaiser Pass.  He was mobbed by the Scott Walker with the Fresno Bee, and had the full attention of all of the rest stop workers.
SAG Moto 1 parked at Kaiser Pass rest stop while all attention is focused on the first rider to the top.
Huntington Lake as seen from Kaiser Pass road.  Cool breezes brought out the sailboats and cooled the riders.
The last rider arrives at the top. He wasn't riding, but he was under his own power. He ended up riding down the hill in SAG vehicle.
SAG Moto 1 and SAG Moto 3 parked at the finish line.  Kevin's 2006 Honda ST1300 and Don Marshall's 1987 BMW K75 respectively.
The sponsor banner hung at the start/finsh at Alta Sierra Middle School.
End of the day statistics: 380 miles - Two trips from Clovis to the top of Kaiser pass and back.  Temperatures ranging from 62 to 102.