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Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My wife, myself, and a group of friends rode the Pardee Party Metric Century out of Ione, California on Saturday. Turned out to be a completely awesome trip even though half of our group made a wrong turn and almost ended up riding a full mileage century by accident. But, all ended well.

The ride starts in Ione, CA which is a small town built on the brick and mining industry. I'm not too familiar with all the history of the town but it seemed to be a fairly neat place. It's about an hour from Sacramento and Stockton and is nestled in the foothills of the Sierras in the old Motherlode country. When we left for the ride on Friday night (from Carson City, NV) the weather was horrible with lots of snow and very heavy rain in California. It didn't bode well for our ride and the roads were flooding in many places which worried us even more. The forecast was for a small break between storms on Saturday, so that's what we bet on.

Waking up at 5:30am on Saturday I looked out to see a few puffy clouds and otherwise gorgeous clear skies. The day would end up being a mix of clouds and sun and a perfect 60 degrees with high humidty. Overall, it was the perfect weather we were all hoping for.

The ride started in Howard Park and wound its way around on back country roads. The route took the riders around three different reservoirs (Commanche, New Hogan, and Pardee) before looping back to the start. The country is beautiful and right now is so green my camera had issues capturing it properly. The wildflowers are just beginning to pop out and the fruit trees were just finishing their blooms. The route is a mixture of rolling hills with some short steep climbs that I think they put into the ride to make sure people were staying awake. For the most part I found myself pushing hard up and then flying down the other sides. The roads were a mix of new pavement, chipseal, and some deadly potholes. A word of caution for anyone wanting to do this in a paceline. . .make sure you know your signals and are staying alert. We passed several groups that had multiple flats from hitting the same pothole! :eek: Traffic was very light with only one idiot who thought we were pylons in the Daytona 500 or something. Otherwise, everybody was quite cool, the route was well marked for the most part, and lots of warning signs for motorists. The only complaint I had on the route was one turn was not very well marked and half my group missed it. Added about 10 miles to their trip. Not a big deal but it took a while before they realized what happened.

In general the ride was well supported with very nice stops. Food was good, lots of Cytomax to go around, and the volunteers were nice folks. One suggestion. . .double the number of porta potties at the first stop. The twenty minute wait was a long time to stand their crossing your legs. But, they made up for it with the quanity and quality of the food. There were 1300 riders signed up for this ride and it attracted every sort of person you can think of. I saw hybrids, Huffies, mountain bikes, and Colnagos all sharing the same road. Quite the mix. Total length was 66.7 miles by my computer with 4151 feet of climbing. Only two real mountains and the rest being very cool rollers. I highly recommend the ride for anyone not quite ready for a hilly 100 miles but who wants a challenge without the race speeds.

Anyway, here's a whole deluge of pictures. Hope I don't overwhelm you all. Also, I apologize for the quality. Between me and the flat light they are only so, so and can't compete with MB1's shots but at least they'll give you an idea of how it was like.

The drive over Highway 88 to Jackson was quite interesting. More snow than I've seen in years and the rain was so hard once we got below the snow line it was hard to see the road.


Starting out in a trailer park? Is this some kind of hint?


The ride started with flooded roads (only a few inches deep but flowing), flooded wineries, and lots and lots of beautiful green meadows and mountains. Wow, how I've been missing the green stuff.





The first rest stop was jammed with people. Only 15 miles into the ride there were plenty of people who were capable of riding this far. As time went on the crowds begin to thin out. "I've got to go. . .I've got to go . . .friggin' porta potty lines!"


The wildflowers were finally beginning to show up. They looked good, even squished under our wheels.


The ride continued up the hills past more and more flat tires, horny riders, and fun rollers.





My feet in their brand spankin' new Sidis. Quite an upgrade from the 17.00 Nashbar pair they replaced. I gotta admit, they are a lot more comfortable. Now if I can just figure out the mechanism to get them to release. . .


Lots of climbing from time to time. This is the long uphill near the second restop. Lots of people who were doing well before began to either walk their bikes or look very sick right here. My wife powered right over it and I tried to encourage the folks on 50lb hybrids as I rode past them. The second rest stop was in some really pretty flowery areas. Quite nice.



 

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Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Pardee Party Part II

After the second reststop you climb up and over New Hogan Dam. This is the more boring of the dams we saw. Lots and lots of water coming out from underneath though.






After losing, and then finding the rest of our group we climbed up into the third rest stop. Not so many people here by this point. Had a turkey sandwich which could just have been the best sandwich ever (at least for that moment in time). And then, on to Pardee reservoir.





Pardee Reservoir! The infamous place the ride is named after. Honestly, not sure why it is infamous but it sure has an awesome dam crossing. Kinda scarey though as the cars are crossing with you and there aren't any pullouts. By the way fellow riders. . .the stop light won't detect you so your going to be there a long time if you wait :).

Looking down from the center of the dam. Hello water!!


The last and most miserable climb is out of the dam. It's short but seems like forever. Lots of people looking pretty worn out by this time. Get a good view of the reservoir though.



And then, you cruise back into Ione for the party. Except we got such a late start and screwed around with taking photos and missed just about everything. At least there was a little food and beer left. Half hour later I think we were the only people in the whole park. Party poopers.




And how do you end a ride like this? Why, you find a 150 year old building in Sutter Creek California that serves good local wine and has karaoke of course! Food wasn't bad either.



Anyway, it was a great ride and I am definitely going to do it again. Pardee on!
 

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Pardee dam is pretty spectacular. If you liked this ride, you should ride the Sierra Century in June. It's a very good ride, and it goes through Ione and Sutter Creek.
 

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Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wish I could. We're putting our house on the market and looks like I'm going to be stuck here in Carson City for the most part for the next couple of months. I was really looking forward to the Sierra but not sure if I can do it or not. Gotta talk my wife into letting me go.
 

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Ridgetop said:
Gotta talk my wife into letting me go.
Put out these pix (on the sly) in a few weeks to reminder her of how nice riding is. Then let her talk you into going.
 

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Very nice and colorful.

[QUOTE
My feet in their brand spankin' new Sidis. Quite an upgrade from the 17.00 Nashbar pair they replaced. I gotta admit, they are a lot more comfortable. Now if I can just figure out the mechanism to get them to release. . .

[/QUOTE]

To release the strap, all you have to do is press down on the red locking mechanism. Keep it press til the strap is completely out or until your feet is out.
 

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Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Took me like 15 minutes to figure it out. I kept trying to lift it like a ski boot. Dumb. I was laughing as I was sitting in the grass trying to do it. Felt like a complete doof.
 

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Nice pics

I was out there and I'd say you did a pretty good job of capturing the ride. A buddy and I did the 100K and our wives and my 8 year old daughter did the 50K. Overall we were pretty impressed with both the course and the organization. There was one glitch for us though.
My wife had a mechanical and a sag came by and asked her what was wrong. After she told him he said, "You really shouldn't do a ride like this if your equipment isn't ready." or something to that effect. Apparently no one told this guy that crap happens. After my wife tells this Einstein where to go another sag shows up. When she tells him that she just needs some mescle power to yank on something he says, "Well I guess you have what you need." and leaves. Needless to say my wife wasn't real happy at this point.
When we got home she e-mailed the ride coordinator and let him know what happened. He got right back to her and said that he would let the sag coordinator know. Sounds good, that's all the response my wife was looking for. The next day we get another e-mail from the ride coordinator saying that because of the trouble they are refunding my wife and my daugter's entry fees. The Sacramento Bike Hikers definitely seem to be a stand-up organization that want the riders to be happy.
We'll be there next year for sure.
 

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Bacon!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm glad you enjoyed the ride. That really stinks with respect to your wife and the SAG drivers. That attitude is ridiculous to say the least. I'm sure glad we didn't need them. It sounds like your wife was plenty prepared, but even if she had not been they know they are getting people from all over the place with a huge variety of knowledge, expertise, and abilities. I saw people on Walmart bikes for crying out loud. And in one case a mechanic at a reststop was working on one. They need to better inform their SAG drivers that they are there for two reasons - provide any assistance at all that people may need and to be a representative of the organization. I am glad to see the coordinator responded positively though. We'll definitely be riding it again next year also. We're doing the Wildflower next. Looking forward to more green and foothills.
 
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