Lodi Sunrise Century 2004

Perfect weather today for a ride!  Left Lodi High at 7:00 and within the first few miles found a few guys to pace.  The first 20 miles into Clements was cool as the four of us took turns pulling to the first rest stop.  I grabbed a bagel and strawberries and threw some more food in my jersey and took off by myself... not wanting to wait around too long.  From there I headed up to Lake Camanche.  The climbs were mild but I could still feeling them,  I only needed my triple one during the whole ride.  The views going up were spectacular ... and the oddest... I've never before seen an ostrich and an emu on the same ride! After the lunch stop at mile 52 in Wallace I headed out on Hwy 12 looking for riders I could pace.  I didn't get to any other riders until Johnson Rd and rode with a group of guys for 8 miles or so.  That group flew past 4 huge painted arrows indicating a turn... luckily they heard me yelling, "HEY, TURN, TURN... ARROWS" or they may have ended up riding way out of their way.

Then came a 9 mile stretch of Clements road that was very long, straight, no shade and had a killer side wind.  At one point there was a nasty dust cloud from a farmer plowing a field... visibility was cut to a maybe a hundred feet so I slowed down to cut through when there were no cars nearby.

Finally making it to the last rest stop in Linden I rested a full 10 minutes or so and then waited to find others that were leaving at the same time so I could draft.  Heading West was difficult after 75 miles... right into a nasty headwind.  No one else was leaving so I took off before this one guy that looked like he was leaving soon.  Sure enough, he passed me a mile later and held on for dear life.  Heading west, we traded pulls for 45 minutes or so, through the toughest part of the ride.   He helped me get the next 20 miles and then I had to drop back and let him go on his way (thanks Steve!)

I finally rode back in to Lodi, tired but feeling great.  I met a lot of other riders (most giving me great advice for my next century - The Sierra Century).  I also beat my goal by 10 minutes so I was not disappointed at all.