Christmas Day Century

Brandy had the idea (crazy idea yeah I said it) of going on a Christmas Day Century on our tandem. It had been raining all night and it was drizzling in the morning. I fought the idea as much as I could. I wanted to stay home snuggle and stay dry. But she can be pretty convincing and cute.

I dragged my feet long enough and we headed out just before 12pm. There was a light drizzle as we left the warmth and security of our home. We turned south on the Pacific Coast Hwy and then up San Joaquin Hills towards Newport Coast Dr. On our descent on Newport Coast Dr the rain was coming down. So less than 15 miles into the ride we were thoroughly soaked. I was cautious descending and kept it under 30 mph. We continued south on the coast towards Dana Point and then headed inland on Golden Lantern/Moulton Pkwy. There are a ton of rollers and they get your attention on the tandem. A few more turns here and there and then we were in Santiago Canyon.

From a distance, before making the turn that committed us to Santiago Canyon, I asked Brandy “Are you sure you want to go into those dark ominous clouds” and she said yes. Santiago Canyon wasn’t too bad. But as we neared Silverado Canyon I asked again if she wanted to go into the dark clouds. She left it up to me. Later she confided in me that she left the Silverado Canyon decision up to me so she could blame me later. Cute huh?

I of course was thinking if we are already out here we might as well climb Silverado Canyon. On the climb up Silverado Canyon she makes the proclamation that she is LOVING THIS RIDE! Well a few minutes later the sky opened up with very heavy rain. The downpour was brief but long and heavy enough to thoroughly soak us again. As we descended Silverado Canyon she was no longer “loving this ride” and it was time to get home.

We had a couple of things to consider though. First I was having trouble shifting the front derailuer and getting the big chain ring was very difficult. We actually stopped and I manually put the chain on the big ring. We would ride home in the big ring the last ~30 miles. Second we had to make it home before our NiteRider Minewt Dual’s battery would run out. We were wet, cold, hungry and psychologically done. It was time to hammer the last 25 miles home in the dark.

We made it home without incident. It sucked but I’m glad we did it. Our first century on the tandem is done. By the way, Brandy was not aware that after being soooo cold she should not take a hot shower to warm up. The itchy feeling she got was so painful she had a little freak out. So she learned another lesson. Cool water then lukewarm then hot when thawing out. The first lesson of course was when given the option of a nice warm cozy bed on a holiday take it. It’s not so glamorous to spend 7 plus hours in the rain and cold when not racing.



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