Oz and Brian from the Performance group lead a smaller group of us than usual as a lot of the CycleFolsom group was riding in the Party Pardee ride down in Ione. Today’s route was a modified Iron Serpent route that included less climbing than the original but still packed a potent bite of its own!

We started out from Karen’s as usual and had just worked up to a good warm up pace across the Folsom Lake Crossing when Stan calls out “I’ve got a flat”. Once we all got stopped to help out he mentions that he put new tires on a couple of weeks back and has dealing with chronic flats ever since caused by what he described as a metal thread from the tire rubbing against the tube that he couldn’t get rid of. So he decided to turn back and have the shop take a look at it. Turns out he did have sharp piece of gravel or glass that caused the flat and didn’t realize it ’til he got home. A visit to Bicycle Planet fixed him up and he was able to restart his ride from there up Mt. Costco, to Beatty to Serrano, out to Bass Lake Road. Looking back on it I’m surprised we didn’t end up crossing paths as that’s just about the same route we took and we could have met up on Sophia Parkway or Bass Lake Road. Still, it sounds like he got a decent climbing ride in.

Meanwhile we continued over to East Natoma and Sophia Parkway and up to the top of Beatty Road. Just as we crest the top, John, who usually rides with the Performance Group and wears the Folsom High kit, met up with us and rode with us until we came down Appian Way on our way back to Folsom.

From here we continued up the rest of Beatty Road down to El Dorado Hills Blvd up Serrano Parkway all the way to the top where it meets Bass Lake Road. Now, here’s where it gets interesting because little did Joel and I know we were heading for the south side of Hwy 50 and what turned out to be a 20%+ grade climb up Boulder Ridge Road. We rode right past that buffalo ranch that you can see on the right driving east up Hwy 50 just before Bass Lake Road. We continue under Hwy 50 and up a short climb on Marble Mountain Road. As we get close to the start of the big climb, Oz tells all of us “make sure your in the lowest gear you’ve got before turning the corner up here because once you start up the climb you won’t have time to shift” – great, sounds like this is gonna be fun, not!

And he was right, that left turn onto Boulder Ridge does come fast and immediately you’re starting the climb up. As I start digging in, Oz calls out the percent grade, “12, 14, 16…” that’s when I interrupted him by saying “Ok Oz I’ve heard enough” as I look up the climb looks like your going straight up. No kidding folks, I felt my front tire coming off the road a couple of times as I found myself pulling up on the handle bars just trying not to fall off the peddles! As you get to the top of the ridge it takes a left turn and guess what, yep another climb! Thankfully, it’s a short climb and we regroup at the top before heading back down to Bass Lake Road.

Once we got the north side of Hwy 50 on Bass Lake Road, we take a left and ride down Hollow Oak Drive to a much needed water stop and short break. From here we head back up Hallow Oak to Bass Lake and over to Serrano Parkway. From here Oz takes the group thru the entrance to the Serrano Country Club and we ride thru the Serrano gated community with its big homes and great views of Folsom Lake and the surrounding areas. Exiting the gated community we met up Appian Way which some of us had ridden up to the “water tower” during a mid-week ride on Thursday which turned out to be a bit of precursor to this climb fest!

From here we continue down Silva Valley Pkwy across Green Valley down Lakehills Drive to Guadalupe Drive and more climbing, great! At this point I’m just about climbed out but surprising fell pretty good about the fact that we’ve ridden what I consider to be a challenging route for the Peloton group. Continuing on Guadalupe connects to the “back side” of Francisco Drive and El Dorado Hills. Its here we take a slight detour and make a pit stop at Oz’s house for a much needed “bio break”! Thanks Oz

The rest of the ride was pretty standard stuff, down to Green Valley over to Folsom Lake Crossing and back on the American River Bike Trail. Thought I heard some mumbling that Joel wanted to head up to Beales Point before heading back but gotta say at this point I was glad we skipped that last climb and headed straight back to Karens.

Sorry about no pictures for this ride, it was all I could do to hang on without having to fumble with my cell phone camera. Here’s where we missed our “unofficial/official” group photographer Ron!

This was a great climbing work out and after the Thursday afternoon ride on much of the same roads didn’t seem too bad. Overall about 4,350 feet of climbing over 46+ miles for a total of just about 3 hours of riding. Not too bad boyz, not too bad at all!

See ya next week