Gnaturday at the Gates of Doom

It’s the 59th solar circumnavigation for Gregg Bone, so he put together a 59 mile ride for all comers amongst the viney hills west of Paso Robles. Since I met Gregg last year at a BBZ Sunday ride, he has progressed from medium paced rides on a heavy hybrid bike to being a really strong rider on a lightweight high-end Specialized road bike, and losing quite a bit of excess weight in the process. I, on the other hand, have regressed from being a pretty strong rider to being a non-rider due to some physical ailments.

So when Gregg announced this ride, I was disappointed that I would not being able to join the crew, but I was still able to participate as the SAG meister. I drove the course in my velo-wagon, carrying nutrition bars, a cooler full of cool water, a floor pump, and endless encouragement.

Here are the riders at the start, Gregg third from left.

Gregg's 59th birthday ride

Gregg’s 59th birthday ride

The course headed through some residential and business areas of Paso Robles, then out to the west side vineyards. The first flat was a mere 5 miles into the ride, several more ensued. Goathead thorns were abundant. Ken T blew a hole in his tire and had to nurse it back early with a boot in it. Gregg dropped his front wheel into a slightly-wider-than-tire pavement crack and hit the deck at low speed, rashing his lower leg but saving the bike.

Everywhere we stopped the gnats were out in force, going for ears, eyes and nostrils. The turnaround was at the “Gates of Doom” entrance to the Lime Mountain mine. We took a break here despite the gnats, rewatered from the cooler, and washed off the rash on Gregg’s leg.

On the way back the heat seemed to double, and Christie blew her rear tire on a slow climb just short of where she was going to take the SAG option anyway. The last regroup was at the top of Adelaida Road near Lone Madrone Winery. I took the opportunity to pull in and listen to some live music being played out front. From there it was nearly all downhill back into Paso.

Contents of my trash bag post-ride:
post-ride trash

post-ride trash

Happy birthday Gregg!

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