Grizzly Peak Century Support
On Sunday I volunteered at the Grizzly Peak Century as I did last year. The only difference this year was: RAIN! I took two buses to get to Berkeley since BART doesn't run that early on weekdays. The city was shrouded in this beautiful blue glowing fog at 5:30am. I would definitely get up early again for that view. I biked up with Rob from there to the Briones Rest Stop. It was a constant trickle of light rain, a steady spray, not the heavy kind, but I could feel the water running down my leg into my shoe. I was not dressed properly for the weather and somewhere along Bear Creek Road I realized a longer visor would have been nice. Next time in these conditions: a full extra change of clothes in a plastic bag. This was just a little taste of what the century riders were experiencing.
Ernesto brought canopies and recycling bins and stoves for us to set up, and though the support van was a tad late we managed to pull the food boxes off the truck down a steep muddy slope and set up in time for the first wave of riders. There were a few early birds, but I think they took a short cut. Rob constructed a beautiful amphitheatre from tarp for our bike mechanic, and we had an oasis of water and gatorade. I don't have photos because things got quite hectic. Unfortunately not a dry seat in the house for tired cyclists. It's all about surrendering to the rain at this point.
Hot coffee was popular this year, hot cocoa, hot soup, anything hot. Unfortunately it took forever to boil water on the camping stove so we had to stay vigilant with the backup burners and get creative. Barbara was making the hot coffee so she was the magnet. We had tons of fresh fruit, shot blocks, homemade cakes and cookies. Whoever made the chocolate brownie cookies was a genius. Though we were not the lunch stop, some cyclists were ready to down some hot food. There were some things we wished had which we didn't. One of the cyclists described it as "like a bad camping trip". Most of the riders were looking good despite the bad weather and were grateful to have a hot cocoa, coffee, potatoes and some gatorade. One cyclist had done 100 miles the day before, and was participating in a "year-rounder". I had a great time meeting and working with everyone and finding out what events everyone is training for. On a day like today, the right attitude is extremely important, and the right preparation.
I haven't even done a full century yet. Will I ride it next year?