Sunday, April 27, 2008

What I'm Not Doing

Here we are the third weekend in April. For the last five years or so I have done the Chico Wildflower Century on this weekend. It is my favorite century for many reasons. Most of all is the terrain. It is classic valley/ foothills transition. The course goes up from Chico to the little town of Paradise and then drops down by Lake Oroville and climbs back up on to table mountain. Neither of the climbs are very big. They are actually a typical length of climb for what I am used to riding around Coloma 1,00 0 to 1,500 feet or so. The rest of the ride is great rolling terrain except for the finish which is about 25 miles of pan flat valley riding. I love that part, mostly because I never get to ride roads like that but there is more.

Over the last few years of doing the ride I have discovered that the funnest way to do the ride is with a crew of strong riders. At the end of the ride, when you hit the flats and start working on a pace line the speeds stay in the mid twenties pretty easily. That is how I've done it for the last couple of years and it is a treat. Usually the guys I am riding with pick up a giant line of "passengers" a group of riders that are tucked into our slip stream that wont go to the front of the group and take a pull. That is fine. For some reason on that course as the flat miles tick by, I get stronger. I really enjoy those flats. As we start rolling into Chico I get frisky and start speeding up and generally start monkeying around.

The weather is a mix. This weekend it is hot and dry. In the past I have been rained on a couple of times. But I have always finished the ride in sunshine. It is also usually the peak of wildflower season in the foothills here in CA. This year it is quite late though. The food on the ride is really good. They make a salad that is really good... Maybe it just taste really good because I am starving when I finish.

So, that is what I am not doing this weekend. Instead, I am on the couch. Not much to report. The DVD player is on the fritz. I think I wore it out watching movies. I have a giant stack of loaners from friends. I amm Feeling pretty good. I watched Liege Bastonge Liege on VS. Good gawd there were a lot of commercials! I really wanted to see one of the Schelck brothers win but Andy got dropped after that big effort. I've been enjoying a bunch of CDs that Stu made for me a while back. Thanks dude.

Feels like we are in a limbo a bit. Waiting to see if the treatment is working, waiting to find out when I go for a BMT. Waiting for the next IV Chemo session to kick my butt.

I sure am looking forward to being done with this.


Anonymous said...


I am truly sorry you missed such a favorite event. Just think how much better it will be the next time you do it. I have missed seeing you. Take good care of yourself. The CH & CHetttes too.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Spencer back from the Wildflower,Had a great time, my thoughts were with you most of the day look forward to doing it with you in the future it was prety hot and dry, but a good time was had by all. Your budy Randy c.

bikesgonewild said... get yourself healthy & that ride will be there, like a challenge, waiting for noel sez "think how much better it will be the next time you do it"... L-B-L...not just commercials, but looong commercials....while any one of the front four earned & deserved the win, it was fascinating to watch the tactics of 2 against 1 & 1, in the finale...shows you can't take anything for granted in that situation...strength, experience, speed, wily tactics & desire all played into it...
...on the face of it, you'd almost think one of the schlecks would have to triumph but they were up against two former winners & look at the results...
...& consider also, spencer, that after 161 fast miles, a man 5 years your junior kicked it & picked up a close 2nd spot while younger men like evans, cunego & so many others were lost in their own flies on davide rebellin...'la doyenne' (the old woman), the oldest of the 'spring classics' leaves her mark on the men who strive to attain her favors...

...anyway, enough about the bike've got some chemo ass to kick, so you & sarah stay good & stay strong...see ya...

Anonymous said...

Hi Spencer!

Had a good long ride in the sun w/ Alton on Sunday--you were in our thoughts all day. Made a few course changes--Table Mountain southbound (backwards) to get the descent early before the hordes started climbing; then climbed it just for the fun of doing the descent again. TTT up Hy 99 for some speed on glass smooth asphalt with a tailwind; then Alton pegged it on the Durham Hy to test the powertap (and work me over in the crosswind). We found $20 on the road and spent it in Durham on Raspberry Snapple, Haagen Daz, chocolate milk, and Spicy V-8. They were out of hot dogs. Rolled back into Chico fast and early--but not soon enough to beat the afternoon cloud cover that hid the sun just as the legs jumped into a cold pool. Hot legs felt like they were in the American. They're still numb--maybe it was being powertapped by Alton and not the pool. Maybe it was because brother in law hooked us up with limited production Celebration ale and mahi mahi fish tacos. Can't wait to ride it again with you.



Anonymous said...

Yo vecino,
missed Chico as well. Went on a ride from Napa to Healdsburg instead, were I hooked up with Jib and did Pine Flat, nothing frickin flat about it. If you have not done it yet it starts with a fun shady climb, flattens out for a mile or two before you are served the last mile that I think is the hardest mile I've ever climbed.Me and you are doing it next year!
You are my main thought when I hit the walls and keep me pumping. Thank you.
Love, Pantani,

Reagan said...

I have relatives in Chico! Grandma, aunt's and uncles, grandpa, cousins. I haven't been out there for a couple of years, but I love that town :) Go Sierra Nevada brewing!