Stockton to Tracy Ride

The Newman Bike Club (Chuck & Bill) traveled all the way to North Stockton for an early 0530 start.We rode through town to the Calaveras trail and then through UOP and on through the beautiful downtown Stockton.  Much to their disappointment, we didn't see a single gang banger (probably because it was too early in the morning).  We turned west at French Camp and headed right into a head wind at Mathews / Howard roads.  We rotated turns up front but I kept dropping back.  I kept promising a rest stop at mile 20 or mile 30 but as we rolled through the twentieth mile with not a damn thing in site other than dirt and road I realized it was 25 or 30.  Bill was so distraught over having to ride further than expected to get to the 1st rest stop that he, in anger, tried to take me out of the ride.  He clipped my back wheel and bit it hard!  Well, of course I'm joking about his intent... he had one hand on the bars and one hand on his water bottle when he looked up and WHAM! Actually it sounded more like, "OH SHIT!!!" and then WHAM! Bill was down hard!  Chuck and I stopped and after a couple of minutes we were back on the road again.... Bill suffering a major cut to his arm and probably a deep raspberry on his ass.  He'll have to re-tape his bars soon, too. We finally made our first stop at mile 31 in Tracy (205 & Tracy Blvd) and then headed toward the raging metropolis of Banta.  As we crossed 11th street and Grantline Mike text paged me with the results from the Tour (Lance takes the stage and is now 22 seconds behind the Yellow Jersey)! This ride could be coined as the HEADWIND TOUR because it seems we got it from every direction.  Going East on Grantline, South East on Kassoon and North on Airport, it all felt like we were riding right into it! I kept falling off the pace on Kassoon and Union and Bill and Chuck were gracious enough to allow me to catch up (mostly because they didn't know the way back). Bill rode extremely tough and I did my best to keep up as much as I did.  All in all, ass kicked and all, it felt awesome... plus I knocked 45 minutes off my time from when I did this same ride in April.