R2 (belatedly entered): Two Rock- Valley Ford: One good ride deserves another

I did not come up with the idea of keeping a blog about my rides for the R-12 until I actually thought I might do an R-12, so I never wrote a ride report for this ride. Now that it is ten months later, of course, I don’t remember a whole lot about it. However in the interest of completeness, to have an entry for each ride in the series, I will put down what I do remember for this ride and in another post, for my first brevet, the Point Reyes Lighthouse 200k.

One thing I remember is being superpsyched to do the ride. For my first ride, I was a few minutes late to the start, being a little nervous and insecure about congregating with accomplished randonneurs. For the second ride, I did not care; I had tried one brevet, and I finished!!! (Really, at least three exclamation points. Maybe a few more.) I also had discovered on the Lighthouse 200K that I liked arriving and riding by myself, and meeting people along the way. I was really looking forward to meeting new friends, and I did!

And so it begins...

And so it begins…

On our way to the bridge

On our way to the bridge

Golden Gate Bridge is hazy in late- winter mist

Golden Gate Bridge is hazy in late- winter mist

One rider I met who would become a huge influence and great friend was Ely Rodriguez. We met while riding around the Nicasio Reservoir because he rode up to me and asked me if I made my mudflaps, which I did. I explained to him what I do for a living, which opened the conversation onto talking about leather, thread, tools for leatherwork, and so on. Once we turned off onto Point Reyes- Petaluma Road, Ely spied Jason Pierce up ahead, powering up the first hill on that road, and wanted to catch up with him and his group, so he raced off.

morning mist lifting off the dairy farms along Point Reyes- Petaluma Road

morning mist lifting off the dairy farms along Point Reyes- Petaluma Road; Ron Lau pausing to remove a layer

We met up again at the intersection of Valley Ford Road and Highway 1… I was just about to turn the wrong way and miss the Valley Ford control! But Ely happened to be at the intersection coming back from Valley Ford at that very moment and steered me in the correct direction, thank goodness or else I would not have gotten credit for the ride!

Valley Ford Post Office

Valley Ford Post Office

That is another thing I remember distinctly from this ride: I was still pretty unfamiliar with the rural roads in Marin and Sonoma Counties, and getting lost repeatedly had been a constant, frustrating feature of my training rides. Now I’ve figured out that many of the roads are simply named for their beginning and end points: Point Reyes-Petaluma Road, Fallon-Two Rock Road, Tomales-Petaluma Road, Marshall-Petaluma Road.

I also remember riding with David Nichols and Mariah Whitney on this ride (I had met them in the Marshall Store on the Lighthouse brevet), as well as Alex Zeh. I met Alex on the stretch of the 1 from Valley Ford to the coast, that wind corridor agh! I drafted him for a little bit I guess, then he asked me if I wanted to speed up the pace to try and catch up with his friend who was up further. I said sure, though by that time I was pretty tired! Well, I think that was the first time I experienced how riding with another person can give you a burst of energy even when you’re tired, because we really upped the pace and caught up with his friend quickly! We also found David and Mariah, but unfortunately while ascending into Point Reyes Station, Alex crashed into David, causing his derailleur to break off! Aagh. I could not think of a single thing I was capable of doing to help him, and he waved me on, so I kept going. Bummer.

Lastly, I remember Jason Pierce working the finish control and somehow convincing me to sign up for the 300k. Whaaatttt? How did he do that? I guess after finishing my second brevet, I was on a natural high. How else can I explain it?

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