February 24, 2011 (Santa Rosa, USA) – They Cycling BC high performance road squad continued its warm weather training camp in Santa Rosa, CA with an epic ride on Day 8, featuring the picturesque Skagg’s Road, cow chases, bird attacks, steep pitches, and a crash. Erik Mulder had a great time. Read his report below.
Today was hands down the best ride I have ever been on in my life. We awoke to a cool sunny morning which as the day progressed turned out to be a nice warm sunny day. The plan was to cram all our bikes and ourselves into the van and drive twenty minutes out of Santa Rosa to the start of our ride, to which Owen Harrison commented, “It’s like a sardine can but instead of sardines, it’s bikes.”
Our ride was flat for the first hour and a half and wound past many vineyards and picturesque farms until we arrived at the start of Skaggs’s road which would make up the majority of our ride. Skaggs’s road was a 60km stretch that rose up and down the hills and mountains and valleys just north of Santa Rosa making its way to the coast of California. Skaggs’s stretched out our group to the point where we were riding in groups of two or three going at our own pace. The last two kilometres of Skaggs’s was a wall of a climb that claimed some of our teammates and forced them to retire to the van earlier than expected.
The remaining five riders kept on heading towards the coast where an incensed cow saw an opportunity and took it by chasing vegan Jasmin Glaesser as she screamed, and then later hungry birds of prey swooped down on both Owen Harrison and me.
Unfortunately we did have one of our riders go down at a high speed on a nasty descending road that reached 18 percent at its steepest and was super twisty. Sarah Coney was ok with only some road rash and was up quickly.
By the time we got to the coast, we were down to three riders, finishing off with the best part of the ride, which was a 20km descent where you could see the whole coast south to Bodega bay. The last riders then got in the van at the bottom of the descent in the small town of Jenner. A great day was had by all and the dinner crew tonight made us French toast so we had breakfast for dinner.
– Erik Mulder