Scott McKinney

RideWithGPS: Scott’s Ride Library

My cycling “career” started in 1985 on a rusty stationary bike that I used to train for a triathlon. I soon borrowed a 10-speed from a neighbor who threw in a pair of used bike shorts. Then, in the late 80’s, I read an article about the Davis Double Century. “That’s crazy,” I thought. “I want in.” Eventually I worked up riding the Davis Double Century (the DC). Then I learned aboout riders who race that distance. I’ve since finished the DC in the top 10 a few of times (PR of 10:08 ride time). In all, I’ve ridden about 20 double centuries and finished the Death Ride seven times (35 passes total).

I’ve had the privilege of riding in some extraordinary places that should be on every rider’s bucket list (see below). While in college, I rode all over the Napa Valley. I often use our family house at The Sea Ranch as the launch pad to explore Western Sonoma and Mendocino. I’ve worked cycling into vacations at the Grand Canyon (north rim), the San Juan Mountains in Colorado (Durango, Silverton), the San Juan Islands in Washington, and Idaho (Boise, Sun Valley, Red Fish Lake). I’ve also ridden around Sacramento, Folsom, Placerville, and Auburn for more than 20 years.

I’m proud to claim status as a founding member of Cycle Folsom. I’ve been a ride leader and whipping boy since 2001. I’ve written a bunch of essays about cycling and even had a few published. I’ve crashed eight times, four of them involving motor vehicles. So given all that, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Whether you like racing, centuries, double centuries, commuting, cyclecross, mountain bike, BMX, or unicycling — everyone else should too.
  • ​You can finish a single ride that’s about equal to your average weekly training mileage.
  • Riding in the rain isn’t that bad; it washes right off.
  • Clean your bike every 200 miles and after every rain ride.
  • Replace your chain ever 2500 miles; your bottom bracket every 15,000; and your cassette every 10,000.
  • Ride solo now and then.
  • Every jersey tells a story. Socks too.
  • If you schedule it, people will come.
  • Getting hurt really bad makes you really appreciate cycling.
  • Sometimes, it’s preferable to ride without a predefined route; that’s how you find new roads.
  • Most dedicated, new riders require five years to become rock solid, unless they have talent.
  • Changing a flat tire should take 2 – 5 minutes (not 15 – 20). Changing a flat tire on a group ride is NOT a spectator event (get the pump, roll the tube…)
  • Learn something new on every ride.
  • Carry a real pump.
  • Accidents happen. When they do 1) Stabilize the head/neck; 2) Send someone to warn oncoming traffic and avoid a real disaster.
  • No matter how good you are, someone else is better.

Favorite Rides: