Different Spokes Century

The crew is out and about. Morgan and Max spend the night at the A-House in prep for the 730am start time of the Different Spokes Mulholland Century. This ride is a serious marker for Morgan and I; last year it was not only our first organized ride, but it was the ride where I found out about double centuries. This time last year I was searching the CA Triple Crown site in fascination that people regularly rode 200 miles…and then I started to prepare for the next ride on the calendar: The Mt. Tam DC. Here I am 9 completed (and 1 DNF) DC’s later. And a new road bike with matching outfit. How far we have come! On last year’s ride I couldn’t decide if I could even wear spandex.

Off in Max’s biodiesel Benz with two bikes on the roof and two on the back. A-House member and seasoned bike tourist, Allen Bleyle, decided to face the early morning and come along with us. With metal blaring from Metal Brad’s mix tape we roll up the park at 720am. Almost on time! We say hello to the people we know (crazy that we know people) and get our bikes sorted. Okay, an 8am start is pretty close to on time.

We lose Allen pretty early on trying to keep pace with Max. Then on a downhill Max flats. I give him my tube and my pump (in crew fashion he forgot his pump, seat bag and heart rate monitor at my house) and tell him to catch Morgan and I when he gets it fixed up. So for the next 10 or so miles we expect him to come rolling on us, but in the end, he never catches us. I almost feel bad, but I really thought that he’d catch us!

Morgan and I are making great time on a route we are now familiar with. Actually passing people and being quick at the check points (cause they are check points, not rest stops). The other riders are mostly people who are doing, or have done, the SF-LA Aids Life Cycle ride. For some this 107 miles marks the furthest they have ever ridden. We are big fish in a small pond. We have come such a long way and it is kind of consuming me as I ride the 12-mile climb up from the PCH on Mulholland. This climb is so much fun. We push at the top. Some sprint stuff (cause you know, it is only 107 miles). I see a group at the top in the shade and I ask if that is the checkpoint and they tell me, ‘We’re all just tired!’ At least 8 people chillin. Well, not really chillin cause it was sickeningly hot (someone said it hit 100?). Lemonade not far from there. Then the remaining 10 miles, the same 10 that were brutal just one year ago. We finish and are stoked. One of the first groups to come in from the century. My odometer is 2 miles up cause after going down Petrero Rd, a sick climb that we did on the Mulholland DC, and that we will do on the Grand Tour, we decided to go back up!

A little while later the SAG vehicle shows up and Allen is inside. Oh no! Ends up his knee was really bugging him and his hand was going numb. Then he tells us that he hasn’t ridden more than 40 miles in the last year. Crazy. Then Max comes rolling up all red faced. The heat had hit him hard, but he pushed through and finished strong. Crew is chillin with other riders and the main discussion is in regards to my jersey, the Devil Mt DC, that exclaims, ‘I did it one day!’ I say discussion, but really I mean everyone made fun of it for awhile until we decided we had to get in the car. And then sit in traffic. But good thing I have Vegan Express’s number in my phone cause I called ahead and we got a big order to go. Made it to the BikeSummer meeting almost on time and then got to sleep early in order to get up for the DTLA 10K on Sunday.

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