Denise Inspired by Lance, Jim Also Rolls Big Miles

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cycle America/N, Jul 28, 2003.

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  1. Here we see Denise Hill and Jim Muellner biking from Reno to Sacramento where they were almost
    behind schedule for Denise to make it back to her work on time but at only 40 miles from the state
    capitol, they are well ahead of their Wednesday meeting with Mayor Heather Fargo:

    location: Motel 6 hot tub, Yuba City, CA

    wait, before you call me soft, read:

    we got up today and rode off at around 8, and by 11 we'd reached CA highway 49, the road we'd take
    up over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. then we spent the next few hours climbing at around a 5%
    grade, in 100+ degrees... the road entered Tahoe National Forest, and wound around steep inclines
    covered in sugar pine trees. they drop cones that can be up to 20" long, so you don't want to roll
    over them.

    anyway, on the long way up we passed signs announcing the altitude: 5000, 6000, then finally the
    peak at Yuba Pass, 6701 feet. hurrah, at long last we'd made it! then we began the coast down the
    other side, hitting speeds around 30 with ease. I noticed that Jim has been less of a speed demon on
    the downhills; he said his cautious approach to gravity is due to his rolling incident back in Utah.

    we stopped for a bite on the way, and kept riding... the traffic was pretty kind, and I was hanging
    out on or near the disappearing-reappearing shoulder. suddenly the voice of God boomed from behind
    me, "GET OUTTA THE ROAD AND GET OVER TO THE RIGHT ON THE SHOULDER." it was the highway patrol, out
    of nowhere, ordering me off the road with their hood-mounted loudspeaker. I politely explained at
    the top of my lungs that the shoulder didn't exist just then, and that I was unquestionably on the
    rightmost part of the lane, and I thanked The Voice for its advice.

    after a while, though, that downhill coast leveled off and turned into a climb just past a town
    called Downieville. we stopped there to sit in the shade and consult the map. see, we'd taken a
    detour that added quite a bit of distance on to the trip. and this would normally be OK, but I
    really need to get back to work as soon as I can. dilemma. at the rate we were traveling and the
    distance we had to go, even Lance wouldn't be able to ride to Sac in the time I'd allotted for us.

    no wait, Lance is steel, he could do anything.

    so anyway, we kept going. I'd consumed upwards of 200 oz of water already, but I was running out
    again as we pedalled along rt 49... Jim was ahead of me, slowly getting further and further ahead...

    the sun was heading towards the horizon, and this climb was taking forever, and I was really beat.
    we'd gone 85 miles already. I scarfed a few slices of bread and drained my water bottle, and
    wondered where we were going to stop and camp. none of the forest's designated campgrounds had
    water, and I was low on drinking water let alone cooking water. I usually embrace these little
    adventures, but I was damned tired, probably hypothermic and sunburnt.

    I leaned my bike on a post to fish out my remaining water when the whole back-heavy thing tipped,
    and landed on my rear derailleur. it was bent beyond easy repair, so I loudly recited all the bad
    words I know and started pushing her up the hill. I hoped Jim wasn't too far ahead.

    he was. I walked for most of a mile before the *Trail Angels* arrived. a white pick-up drove past,
    one of many many cars and trucks that had gone by in the last 10 minutes, and it stopped and a woman
    yelled "you want a ride?"

    hell YES I did, so I eagerly accepted. we hauled my bike into the bed and I climbed into the
    extended cab behind Craig and Peggy, My Saviors. we rolled down the road, and sure enough I was very
    close to the top of this climb. I kept my eyes peeled for Jim, but it wasn't for 5 or 6 more miles
    till we caught him. I was totally impressed with how far ahead he'd gotten. he later said it was to
    satisfy my goal of doing a century today, and when we caught him he was almost to 100.

    Craig and Peggy offered to take us as far as they were going, so, with the sun over the horizon and
    96+ miles on Jim's computer, the choice was made. we loaded Jim's trike into the bed and enjoyed
    a/c, cool bottled water and pleasant conversation ALL the way to Marysville. look that up on the map
    to see what gracious chauffeurs Peggy and Craig are. talk about saving the day!

    at this point, it looks like I'm going to be back on schedule after all. Jim and I got a room at a
    Motel 6, and I found the hot tub and swam in the pool, and drank - what else - Sierra Nevada.

    it reminded me of the worst/best day ever on the way to Pittsburgh, when Ora Sue and Jim and I spent
    all day freezing and wet and beat but by day's end we were slumped over in a sauna. today was like
    the opposite, except for the enormous gratitude and relief that a shower, beer, and a bed brings.

    c'mooooaaaann yellow jersey,


    **Getting Back Into the Ride is Challenging**

    Hi All You Beautiful People: Thanks to a lot of input from Tim, Deux Gros Nez owner and Randy
    Collins, College Cyclery owner, we opted for a northern route over the lowest pass over the
    Sierra's. It also was a quieter route and very beautiful.

    Since we started only at 3PM and still had to do a little shopping we got to Hallelujah Junction and
    I convinced Denise we should take advantage of the truck stop to sleep at so we could have coffee
    and use the bathroom in the morning. We picked a quiet little corner over looking the area. There
    were cows grazing across the fence and we had a beautiful view of the sun setting over the Sierra's
    a perfect way to start the ride.

    This morning we packed up and headed for the mountains. The hills seemed steeper to me and the down
    hills shorter. Was I getting old? It did take the better part of a couple days to get those muscles
    working properly.

    Denise is on a tight schedule so we, based on Tim's comments that he had done this ride in one day,
    thought we could also. Well, the northern route had added 50+ miles to our distance.

    The ride over Yuma Pass for me was a real challenge. The sun was so intense that I finally took out
    my trusty umbrella and thought it looked a little funny, but hey it helped a lot. Soon I noticed the
    motorcycle riders giving me a thumbs up and I felt better. It is amazing what a person does just for
    appearances. Lesson learned. Despite this, at one point when Denise was far ahead of me, I stopped,
    spread out my canvas and took a little nap right along the road. Refreshed I rode a few miles and
    found Denise had done the same while waiting for me.

    The top of the pass 6700 feet does not seem high but Halleujalh had to have been at minus 3000 ft in
    my mind. The ride down was fast and long, at least 20 miles of mostly down grades. At around 75
    miles I started looking for camp sites, but Denise realizing how close she was to 100 miles, a
    century, convinced me we should try. I had not done one myself so it was not hard. I did not let
    myself visit with her so I would not talk myself out of it.

    We had stopped earlier and I had a big juicy burger and a strawberry malt. Well that energy must
    have kicked in because before I knew it, I was at 95 miles when then I heard a little toot behind
    me. There was Peggy and Craig Carberry of Yuba City with Denise and her bike in tow. It seemed her
    bike needed some work. They found her along the road wondering how she was going to catch me. They
    graciously said they would run us into Yuba City. There was no argument from us. Craig is a Realtor
    and knew the area well.

    So now we only have 40 miles to get to Sacramento, plenty of time for Denise to get herself and bike
    back to Reno.

    But, I have skipped some facts about the ride: Flowers were few and far between. One yellow bunch
    was spectacular and yet I failed to take a picture. Today was really pine cone day. There are
    numerous pine trees as we entered the the more forested areas. Every ditch had its fair share of
    pine cones. The most interesting were from the Sugar Pine that grew form 10 to 20 inches in length
    and they smell like artichokes. The most dangerous are the ones that are almost solid and weigh a
    lot. They release their seeds only during forest fires, when they burst. As I was laying down I kept
    thinking that one of them might fall and do me in. Some were small, some others were also solid and
    longer, but there was no way to identify which tree they came from. Where is that beautiful docent
    when you need one. The mountain formations were very impressive, but when you are going down at a
    fairly fast pace it was no time to let yourself gaze too long. That's all folks, Jim

    Local access to PocketMail mobile e-mail now available in Europe, North America & Australia

    67 year old, trike riding Jim Muellner can be found at His email on the road is:
    [email protected]

    Denise Hill
    ll.php one of the stars of the DC to Pittsburgh relay leg can be reached at [email protected]

    If you want to start from the beginning and/or follow Jim our other NBG relay riders as they move
    forward in the National Mayors' Ride at
    <>, point to their blog at
    <>. All of this excitement will
    al be consummated at the second annual Santa Cruz NBG Bike FestĀ  on Sunday August 17 c/:eek:

    btw: If you want to become a rider, we still welcome you!! Go to
    <>, to find out how!! btw2: We
    have pictures from the various ride legs on line at btw3: If you want to see who these
    cyclists are, go to <>

    MARTIN KRIEG: "Awake Again" Author c/o 79 & 86 TransAms, nonprofit Nat. Bicycle
    Greenway CEO Ever wanted anything so bad U were willing to die for it? Really die? By moving thru
    clinical death and reversing paralysis, *I saw God* when I answered that question.

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