Sunday, April 15, 2012

FOG Dweller's and my Marshall Maiden Voyage

This morning's FOG Dwellers ride marked my maiden voyage to Marshall and up the famed 'Mashall Wall'.  I have to be honest with you, I was a bit freaked out about this alleged massive climb that led through Marshall to Highway 1 (PCH for you SoCal folks).  This climb was, of course, at mile 35 of a 60 mile ride.  And this was my first ride more than fifty miles this year.  Add to that the fact that the FOGuys are all stronger riders than I am.  Basically, it was going to be a big day.  To prepare myself, I bought two packages of Clif Shots, borrowed a second water bottle and made oatmeal the night before to eat before I got on the bike.

The regular crew was assembled - Scott, Iron Mike, Jeff and myself.  But just as we were leaving Java Hut, at 6.30am, an unfamiliar face pulled up.  A FOG regular named Peter rode up on his nondescript white bike. As Jeff was wearing a full red white and blue Italian kit (see below), this Peter character did not stand out in his fluorescent green full Taleo kit.  After our first few climbs, however, Mr. Peter set himself apart a-plenty.  It seems that he rides/rode for a few pro/semi-pro teams and the man can climb.  He was kind enough, however, to topple each climb and then ride back down to pace me to the top.  Good fun.  http://taleoracing.com/teamtaleobios/peter-cook

Below is a video that Scott took at the top of the Wall.  Thankfully, it was not as crazy as I had made it out to be.  Note the lack of sun and rolling fog throughout the scene.  We really didn't see any sun until we got through Samuel P Taylor, probably 50 miles into the ride.  It was certainly work, and I was certainly last to the top, but I made it and it was worth the panting.

video

Besides the Strava data, the highlights of the ride were many.  We ran into a group (gaggle/flock/herd) of about 25 turkeys grazing in the middle of the road.  Thankfully for the turkeys, there are way more bikes than cars on these West Marin roads.  Unfortunately for me, the crew was way ahead of me on the hill where the turkeys stood.  So by the time I made it to the spot, the turkeys had all dispersed.  Second was the pace line for the ten miles from the bottom of the Marshall hill into Pt. Reyes.  Really fast rolling hills and I was so busy sucking rear wheel drafts that I didn't get to lead at all.

This was my view the majority of the day.  Beginning of the Marshall Wall.

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