Brads Birthday ride is a 107 mile loop from Fremont over Mount Hamilton and back via Livermore. There is sag support and it consists mainly of FFBC members. Due to logistical problems my wife started the ride from Fremont but I rode out from Livermore via Calaveras. I set off a 6:30am thinking I would catch the ride before Mount Hamilton but I was way off the mark and only caught up with them at the top of Hamilton where they were having a pit stop.
This was the first time I have ridden up Mount Hamilton on the Bacchetta and I tried pretty hard to get a good time. The winds were very light on the climb and it was really warm. I managed to pass a lot of people on the way up but I also got passed by quite a few people too. I was quite surprised to see that my time was not much faster than my time on the Catrike. With the Bacchetta being around 8 pounds lighter than the trike and only having two wheels I expected quite a big difference. Here is a comparison of my best times by platform:
- Specialized Tarmac Road Bike : 1h21m19s
- Catrike 700 Recumbent Trike : 1h55m11s
- Bacchetta Corsa Recumbent : 1h52m34s
The ride from the Top of Hamilton to the next rest stop at the junction was windy and bumpy as usual. I took it very easy on the Hamilton descent and even when descending It was really warm. I rode on the front for most of San Antonio valley road ,taking advantage of the recumbents superior aero properties, but I was feeling pretty tired.
After the junction rest stop I tried to hang on to the climbers on the first climb on Mines road. Despite trying really hard I simply couldn’t keep up and about 5 riders got away. Looking at the Strava Data I was actually faster up the climb than the first rider but because I left the rest stop a bit late I had a deficit that I couldn’t make up. I chased hard on the descent and got to within a few hundred meters by the start of the second Mines Road Climb. I tried everything I could to get back on terms but lost more time to the leading 5 (I lost another 12 seconds on this climb).
I absolutely hammered it on the rolling terrain after the second climb and blew past 2 of the riders and got on the back of the remaining 3 riders. The rest of Mines road we had a superb fast paceline going and the Bacchetta felt really quick. I was hammering it on the front at around 27MPH when I hit a sharp rock on a right hand turn and exploded my front tire. I don’t know how I stayed up but the instant flat caused me to go into a major tank slapper and I barely stayed upright. It was a very scary moment and my ride with the group was done for the day.
I managed to boot the damaged tire but I didn’t dare go above 15 MPH for the 20 miles home for fear of another blowout. See Picture below.
Overall it was a hard, hot and tiring day over 110 miles with 8,600 feet of climbing. The blowout was a nasty surprise but I am just glad it didn’t happen on one of the 50MPH descents that were just a few miles down the road. I will have nightmares about that !