Siskiyou Century
This was Lisa's and my first event century on a tandem. We had done a self-supported tandem century earlier in the year, but not anything you could classify as hilly. Including some extra run-arounds, we ended up w/ 110 miles at the end of the day (the ride itself is actually 105 miles). Cumulative elevation gain: about 5,000' in only two notable climbs. The first of these two begins 2 miles into the ride, which was probably the most laborious part of the whole ride.

The route is basically a big counterclockwise loop around Scott and Shasta Valleys in Siskiyou County. Just south of the Oregon border here, so we met a lot of Ashland and Medford folks throughout the day. Hardly any Bay Area folks. Very sparsely populated ride: probably no more than 80 on the century course.

Scenery is fantastic, though I have to admit that it got a bit monotonous in the middle parts of the ride. Big time bovine meadow country. Even got to see a couple of bad steers having a head butting match. View of Mt. Shasta doesn't come until late in the ride, on the way to Gazelle (around mile 80).

It drizzled when we started the ride. And it drizzled again when we finished. No significant mid-afternoon downpours this part of the state is famous for, thank goodness. When we rolled back to the Motel 6, a curious old lady in a neighboring room, who was visibly fascinated with our tandem, cheered "Just in time!" She looked so pleased. We both smiled at her as we coasted to our door.

"You just beat the rain! Now what would you have done if you got caught in it?"

"We'd get wet," Lisa muttered wryly. I wish I could think of simple answers like this on a day-to-day basis.

95% of the roads we rode on today had silky smooth surface. And the folks who put on and volunteer to support this ride - they're really really nice.

Distance: 110 miles | Elevation gain: 5,000' | Ride time: 6h40m
see related photo album | return to table of contents
Copyright © 2000-2009 | All rights reserved.