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A few weeks ago team Lost Coast Brewery sent Matt and Emma to the unofficial official early season world championships of Paskenta.
There are two words that come to my mind when I think of Paskenta, those words are pain, and pain. The Paskenta road race comes every Superbowl Sunday and is a venue for many heavy hitters to test out their early season fitness. This year was no different.
The Paskenta road race was my first introduction to “century” riding back in 2006. The 105 mile course seemed to last forever, and to top it off we missed the start by nearly 10 minutes, and managed to catch back on after 50 miles of riding in just under two hours.
This year would be different. It was Emma’s birthday, and everyone arrived early to celebrate with Emma, and Ethan. After cake, and two beers it was off to bed for an early start.
The next morning food and coffee down the hatch we headed to the start of the race/ride; Bidwell park, all of 3 min bike ride away. Soon enough 8 am came and off we rolled through Chico. About 10 minutes into the ride, I had to pee, and was definitely not going to make the whole ride without going, so I stopped and watched the pack ride away. As I worked hard to chase back on I reflected on the advise given by Ethan at the start of the day, “relax for the first 60 miles, when we hit dirt prepare for attacks.” Great I thought, I’m on a cross bike, rolling at the end of the pack catching back on with the tachometer at 190 bpm. Great, blown event before it even got fun. After catching back on it was a fight just to stay with the group. Picture Indiana Jones running across a bridge with the rocks falling away as he stepped on them. Finally I caught on to the main pack. Where I hung through the fast dirt section, and through the rollers that immediately followed. My cross bike would be in it’s top two gears for the next hour. There were fewer surges by the group at this point, rather a quick pace, that wound up dropping my worn out butt off the back. After two moto paces back to the group, and a fresh water bottle, it was time to throw in the towel at the four hour mark. Little did I know that there were only a few miles to go (half an hour) and one turn off of hwy 32 that I was not going to make. Emma lost the group in one of the hardest sections to keep on, and after chasing for some time ran into Ethan with a flat tire. The two took the 80 mile cutoff and enjoyed a beautiful ride through the not so pan flat roads back to Chico. Can’t wait to go back for more in 2011 🙂