04/13/02 - Velo Bellas @ Tierra Bella Double Metric Century
Report by Buddy, a favored Velo Fella
Well, Velo Bella and their Fellas did the Tierra Bella along with lots of VCM'rs, including Buddy the Sag with 25 to go, Gordon "Roadkill lobster boy" Martine, Suenago, Scott, Chatty Kathy, Martin, Keith, Penny, Dana, Scott's friend, and of course, Skip and Brenda. West Clark was there, disguised as Don Hendricks, the primo Velo Bella Fella. We all were in appropriate attire. Skip even sported two new Vela Bella bottles on his Chorus equipped steel pile, I mean Steelman. Weather was 87+ degrees, but not until we had gotten to Metcalf Mauler.
Gordon did a face plant but used his body and helmet to protect his bike, so only bolt-on repairs will be required, but he still finished without a whine all day. Little pills are sure great to carry with you, I guess. I bailed with 25 to go having left my legs and lungs on Metcalf, but everyone else finished in fine style.
This year, we used a bit of a new route which sent us along a recreation trail that was beautiful, went by the water and flowers, and was between Highway 101 and the old Highway 101. Very nice and safe way to get us to the Mauler without ridding on Blood Alley like we had done in the past. We were a little disappointed in two of the rest stops which had been decimated by the 100K crowd who judging by their appearance could have skipped the rest stops all together (I know, I know, I still look like that too!), which meant we road about 70 miles without food., but every other stop was perfect, and Dana had her first potato stop experience at the top of the big hill.
Additional Tierra Bella Report by Dana
Well, Suenago predicted that if we brought rain gear, there would be no rain. She was right! It was HOT!!! On top of that, the Tierra Bella DMC was very fast-paced, maybe a little too fast? Martin, Keith, Kathy Lenno and Dana spent the first 3/4 of the ride in catch-up mode (we were running late and took a small off-course detour). Kathy was a welcomed last-minute addition; she is riding VERY strong and really pushed the pace! Of course, Keith, who just finished his 3rd Double Century in 5 weeks, was used to riding over 18+ mph for the first 80 miles. In that time, we made up for being 45-minutes late and changing poor Cole's flat. Mr. Birthday Boy hung in there very well, even with technical difficulties.
We averaged 18.4 mph for the first 65 miles. Oh, we had agreed this wasn't a race, but... Martin just had to make sure we caught up with Scott and gang. Our first glimpse of VCM jerseys and shorts was on Metcalf, a 2-mile climb at 80 miles at 1:00 in 80+ heat. Of course, the reunion was bittersweet as we saw Gordon's crunched helmet and dried blood on his arms and on Sue's jersey. What a sport. He still kicked our butts later in the day! He definitely will be in need of a Velo Bella jersey! Now, seeing all the guys with Velo Bella bottles, we realized how many Velo Fellas are really out there! (Okay, you guys, Sabine will be asking for your profiles for the website.)
For all who have never had the privilege to ride with Martin, you're in for a treat. This guys is great entertainment and just keeps on pedaling...fast! I think his M.O. is to make you laugh and loose energy.
Total ride for me was 131 mi @ 17.9 avg mph. Kathy got over 18.0 avg. She looped us so much that she clocked 140 miles!