Alta Sierra century, April 2005

A century starting in Bakersfield, with 11,000ft of climbing ? Yeah, why not. I had never biked in this area, and Bakersfield is not too far away (2hours drive), so I signed up.

The century was nice with very little traffic, some steep climbs (9000ft actually measured on the 108 miles course), and nice landscapes as soon as we were out of Bakersfield. I especially liked the absence of cars and motorbikes. I think I'll go there again for their 'Spooktakular' century in october.

Regarding the support, I really missed a lunch stop. The rest stops were only offering those disgusting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, M&M's type of sweets, and oranges and bananas. No real food. In front of the second rest stop there was a store, I stopped to buy some ham... anyway, it was very nice from the volunteers to spend their day helping us, and the barbecue at the finish made up for the crappy food on the way. But next time I'll be sure to bring my own prosciutto, salmon, tomatoes and so on.

Starting on a bike path, 6:30am
Hopefully the landscape will improve, now it's quite ugly
I join a group of local riders
The landscape improves considerably
20 miles, first rest stop.
We have to wait for the cows crossing the road
Hills, rocks and green stuff reminds me of Scotland
First yellow patch of wildflowers for Chihiro
Here a patch of lupine
40 miles, second rest stop
mmm, a sign I don't like
Going up, I reach mountain landscapes
This creek feels like a picnic area
A sequoia ! Red and very high.
At the turnaround, after a hard climb.
Poppies (?) on the way back
I ride with Jamie on the way back.
Tri-tip bbq at the finish, it's really good.
Was my first century on this Merlin.