Counter clockwise; we’ll be heading out Green Valley & return on Salmon Falls with Prospector’s Grade thrown in for good measure. RSVP via Meetup.
Route map: RideWithGPS or MapMyRide
Meet location: Parking lot across from Karen’s Bakery/Bicycles Plus
Leave time: 8:00 am
Distance: 70 miles
Climbing: Yup, its all climbing heading out. About 6,000-7,000 feet.
My ride stats: 71.5 miles in 4:20 ride time for an average speed of 16.5 mph and 6,200 ft of climbing.
The weather was great for cycling. The sky was little overcast in the morning keeping it cool enough for some to wear arm warmers, and comfortable descending the foothills later when it warmed up. Phil, Dave, Gary, and I left downtown Folsom, and then met up with Oz on Green Valley. The rolling climbs on Green Valley got everyone warmed up and ready for the climbs to come. I ended up getting a flat on Starbuck, but this allowed Bicycles Plus riders Jeff & Steve to join up with our group. We were all totally surprised to see that Deer Valley had fresh, smooth tarmac and some couldn’t help from attacking on the big rollers to Rescue.
After our water stop at the Rescue Fire Dept, Gary headed out on his own through Cameron Park and the rest of us headed for Lotus. Oz set a fierce tempo up over the climb on Lotus Road, whereas Phil and I were more interested in bombing the downhill side. We all made our way over to Prospector’s Grade; the wise climber knowing that this was only mile 28 of a 70 mile ride with another 6 miles of steady climbing to go, opted to settle into a an easy tempo and not race for the top. Of course, if you’re turning around at the top to head home early, I guess you can push the pace. Steve took the KOM and then headed back home due to time constraints. The rest of us, Phil, Oz, Dave, Jeff, & I, forged on to Georgetown.
After knocking back some fuel in Georgetown (for me that was 2 snickers and a Coca-Cola), we tore out of Georgetown looking forward to some descending. I was able to get a gap off the front at first, but then Phil resorted to drafting off some cars to catch my wheel. Oz caught up to us when we starting hitting some of the rollers and the 3 of us worked together to keep the pace going. We were almost to Cool when Oz couldn’t ride his flattening tire anymore. After pulling out a couple of thorns and slapping in a new tube, we were all gruppo compacto when we rolled into Cool. Phil did all the hard work on the slight descent (but into a head wind) from Cool to Pilot Hill; the rest of us were more than willing to free-wheel it in his draft.
After a little bit of climbing from Hwy 49 to the “rhino” on Salmon Falls, the downhill attacks started coming; first Jeff, then Phil. I was just happy to catch their wheels as they went blowing past. Me, I was waiting for the last two little climbs on Salmon Falls and then the roll-out to Green Valley. Phil, Jeff, & I crossed the South Fork bridge together and starting grinding up the first climb. The cumulative climbing for the day could be felt, and felt good; I was just on the edge of cramping. I made it over the top first and within sight of Phil. I tried to descend fast, but rest my legs a little for the next climb up to Falcon Crest. I made it up to Falcon Crest and couldn’t see Phil or Jeff and was feeling good for the run-out to Green Valley. I had a good tempo going, but I was expecting Phil & Jeff to ride up on me at any moment. I was surprised to make it to Green Valley without them in sight.
I made it back to downtown Folsom and chatted with Dave when he rolled in little bit latter. Oz, Phil, & Jeff had all headed on home while rolling into Folsom. It was a great day of riding!