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.
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.
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.
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.
A rider climbing 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.
Riders climbing 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.
Riders climbing 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.
Parked at the Mile High Rest Stop.  More than a few trees are missing.
By way of comparison, in 2012, parked in the same location, shown many more trees.
Mile High Rest Stop food station.  More than a few trees are missing.
Also by comparison, this is from 2011.  The food station is in the same location every year.
Cyclists at Mile High Rest Stop with the treeless overlook behind them.
Parked just above the sandy curve along Minarets Road between the Minarets Work Station Rest Stop and Arch Rock turnaround.
The north end of Minarets Road, where the pavement stops.  Riders had the option of traveling the 8 mile unpaved section instead of the 12 mile Grizzly cut-off road.
Route signage at the north end of Minarets Road, where the pavement stops.  Riders had the option of traveling the 8 mile unpaved section instead of the 12 mile Grizzly cut-off road.
The fender bolt which I've used to mount the auxiliary lights had worked it's way loose.  Glad I caught it before I lost it.  A few minutes with a few tools fixed it.
Minarets Road between the Minarets Work Station Rest Stop and Arch Rock turnaround.
Minarets Work Station office.
Minarets Rest Stop at the entrance to the Minarets Work Station.
A view of the west end of the Grizzly cutoff.  The cyclists travel 12 miles along this mostly single-lane road between Minarets Road (on the east) and Beasore Road (on the west).
Beginning of the day. 5:00 am.
Day's end.  7:15 pm.  293 total miles.