Days 2 and 3: Picking up the pace
Updated: May 27, 2022
Days 2 and 3 were a bit tougher rides, getting us ready for the big climb into the Sierras. Davis is a college town. We arrived early enough to to get laundry done and watch the end of the PGA Tournament.
Day 2 was a pretty easy 41 mile ride from Fairfield to Davis. Day 3 we rode through my old stomping grounds of Sacramento. Actually, I lived there for only 9 months back in 1983 and don’t remember much about the area. Most of the ride through Sacramento was on the beautiful American River Trail which ended in Folsom. From there we climbed south to Plymouth.
Day 2: 41 miles, 518 elevation gain
The main feature of this day was a head and cross wind of about 10-15 mph. It was mostly flat rides along country roads through farmland.
Day 3: 76 miles, 2910 elevation
A variety of terrains here. We rode along Interstate 80, into Sacramento, along the beautiful American River Bike Trail and then down to Plymouth, California.
Lessons I have learned about cycling
If you are not a cyclist, it might help if I tell you a few things I have learned in the last few years—mostly stuff taught to me by my Poudre Sunrise Cyclists (PSC) friends.
The first lesson we all know. It is a lot easier to ride with a tail wind than a head wind. I didn’t need PSC to tell me that. But they did teach me how to ride in a pace line. What you learn there is that it is easier to ride right behind someone (drafting). You can save 20% or more (more if you are a pro and get really tight) if you ride in the pace line behind the first rider. The first rider doesn’t ride any harder than if they were riding alone, but the others benefit. Dave, for example is a strong rider and often volunteers to take more than his share of “pulls”(riding first). He did that on Day 2.
Another PSC lesson I learned early was ”ride your own ride.” I recall one of my first PSC group rides up Rist Canyon (a challenging climb back home). One of our stronger riders Steve, started going more quickly up the Canyon and I took off after him. Marco told me “ride your own ride”— basically telling me that I probably didn’t want to chase Steve. Good advice. Had I done that I never would have made it to the top.That was not my pace. It is also important, especially on hills to ride your own ride because you find your own zone, sometimes it can be hard to ride slower than your body wants to go.
Finally, I once asked Archie for advice about multi-day rides. He told me a “ride for tomorrow.” That means that if you ride too hard today, you will pay for it tomorrow. It goes well with “ride your own ride.”
Those last two lessons will be important when riding with Dave and Bruce who are both stronger riders than I. Even when we are all in shape that is true, and it is even more true now because I am still getting into cycling shape and they are there. I have to remember to ride my own ride, even when they ”ride their own ride” at a faster pace than mine. It works for them but may not for me. It also means that I will probably be riding solo quite a bit—which means I will listen to more books and podcasts.
This was especially true on Day 3. While we stuck together for Day 2, they quickly dropped me (left me behind) on Day 3. I expected this and told them before the ride started to not worry about me. So most of Day 3 I rode on my own. We did meet up for lunch in Folsom.
Day 2 pictures
A few highlights from Day 2. We rode through California farm country. Much of the ride was on quiet country roads through farmland. We think we were seeing almond trees but were not sure.
We stopped for coffee in the cute town of Dixon.
We ended up In Davis, home of University of California - Davis.
Day 3 pictures
A few highlights from Day 3, which included a range of cycling conditions. At one point I rode along Interstate 80 on a protected bike trail. I should edit out those fat fingers in the photos, but the internet here in Plymouth is awful and I have to get to bed.
The American River Bike Trail through Sacramento was About 25 miles long and lots of great sites.
We all got back together in Folsom for lunch.
And then rode south for a beautiful drive to Plymouth.
I gotta get to bed. The next two days are TOUGH. Tomorrow we ride what locals call “Hell’s Canyon” about 75 miles and 10,000 feet of elevation gain. Then 93 miles on Wednesday. Yikes! An early exam tomorrow. Wish me luck!