400km San Francisco brevet

Surprisingly, I was not the only insane cyclist, up on friday at midnight near the Golden Gate bridge. We were 17 riders starting a 400km ride, a big loop in Sonoma and Napa areas. This was a brevet, so no support at all was provided. We only had a route sheet indicating turns, and telling what stores we had to stop at and get receipts to prove that we were following the route.

Right at the start, the riders divided in 2 groups; I was with the second one, we stayed together during 200 miles. There was Fred and Eva with whom I had ridden 80 miles on Devil Mountain Double last year. Reid and Derek who completed Paris-Brest-Paris (1200km) in less than 80 hours. And Bob who was very strong, never tired, and waited patiently for us all day at the top of the hills. On the last stretch I got dropped, and completed the ride in 21:45 hours. The altimeter recorded 12,500 ft of climbing. It was a good ride overall, cold weather and very sunny.

The map of today's 400km loop
Getting ready at midnight
First control after 32 miles
We have to send a postcard to show we stopped here
The sheriff is surprised to see cyclists at 2:30am
5am, second control at Safeway
I'm hungry, let's have breakfast.
A large road debris got stuck in Fred's wheel.
He also had a flat.
Morning sunshine on the Napa vineyards
We wait for Fred whose wheel broke a spoke
140 miles, 11am. Let's have a sandwich
Roadside flowers for Chihiro
More vineyards
170 miles - 'only' 90 left to go...
We reach the ocean
It's becoming hard to follow Reid
Next control point in Bodega Bay
190 miles - I could make use of some sleep.
Control at 213 miles. Clam chowder feels real good
The sun's setting. The route leaves the coast now.
A few hours later, back to the Golden Gate bridge.