The One Hill Winter Trainer ride finally happened today, after several weather delays. 7 riders, 62 miles, 4300', 4:06 riding time, wet roads, roaring creeks, snow capped peaks, a few sprinkles, and one downpour.
Darrin J, MarC M, Dave S, Richard A, Carl A, and Sarah S, a.k.a. "The Usual Suspects," rolled out with me from Howarth Park at 9:10 AM, under dry skies, and over wet roads. Spring Mt. was quite wet, with several places where water was running across the road. The creek along the road was rushing with water, and was an enjoyable distraction during much of the climb.
The group was well matched (with MarC taking it easy and riding a mt. bike), and there was little separation over the summit. We regrouped at the bottom after an extra careful descent of the treacherous East side of Spring Mt.
We formed a pace line up Silverado, and stopped briefly in Calistoga for water, then were treated to an incredible view of Mt. St. Helena, well covered in snow, as we headed toward Hwy 128. After descending the County Line climb, some light rain fell as we rolled by Ida Clayton Rd, and looked up to see more snow on the ridge top.
The rain subsided as we tackled Chalk Hill, Faught Rd, then Mark West, to Riebli, and back toward Howarth. At the final stop light, I noted to the other riders that the sky looked terribly dark. With about 200 meters to go, the sky opened up, and we experienced a heavy downpour. All riders made a mad dash to their cars seeking cover from the heavy rain. While we didn't get a chance for a proper goodbye, I am confident in saying that all present had a wonderful Winter ride experience, in beautiful conditions.
A big thank you to all riders who made the effort to attend the One Hill Trainer. Rider of the day goes to Dave Smith, who, after recovering from a serious injury, is back riding again, as strong as ever. Dave crushed the climbs, and also put in some very strong pulls at the front on the flats. Welcome back, Dave!