Ah yes, another dart. Another Dart event where I control the route, the choice of team mates, and most importantly, the team name. This year I was choosing between the Delta Fairies (since we ride on a ferry) and one of best names ever, Too Big To Fail.

Roster included the usual Juliayn and Carlos, plus the addition of Angela and Jon B. Carlos and I prepared for the event by gaining weight and not riding bikes, Juliayn and Angela trained by putting in long hours at work, and Jon trained by doing the SFR1000 a few days before our event.

The day started off with a phone call from Jon that he had gotten off the train at West Oakland and was riding the mile or two to the start location and would be a few minutes late. Unfortunately Juliayn and I were awakened from a sound sleep by the phone call and we ended up being about an hour late to the start.

At the start, Angela and Jon were there, but no Carlos! Who is going to complain? Who is going to not listen to me? Who is going to be the one person on the team who is older than me? All of these concerns were quickly lost in the mad dash to make up time. Lucky for the team, the only thing that matters is getting to the 11.5 hour control on time, and the rest is up for grabs.

I lead us out and set the pace all the way to Black Diamonds – or at least set the pace when Jon will let me. Nothing much happens along the way, but later my team mates said I was doing 20+ mph on the multi-use paths mixing it up with the grannies. I thought I was just maintaining a brisk, yet civil pace.

At Black Diamonds we enjoy the steep climbs and the bumpy descents, but we still bail half way through because no one wants to do any more climbing, especially after we are delayed by a pinch flat Jon had. Sigh.

Riding through the sad suburbs of Brentwood, etc we are forced to detour through a vacant lot. The lot was covered with goat’s head weeds. I have Pacenti Parimotos. I call a halt to check our tires for thorns and we all spend 5 minutes removing thorns from our tires and another 5 with all of us removing thorns from Jon’s tires. He has conti extra thick tread slicks that suck up the goat’s head thorns like a vacuum cleaner. 5 minutes down the road we pause for anther flat fix for Jon.

Soon we are back on the road after a quick stop at the usual family Vietnamese food restaurant. Nothing much exciting happens after that, we enjoy the ferry ride and the beautiful delta, stop for a beer in Clarksburg, eat dinner at the wonderful Sac Natural Foods Coop (thanks for picking that stop Jake!) and even have time to stop at the pretty good Rubicon Brewing for a beer.

Fun is had meeting up with the rest of the teams in Davis, and the train ride home is quite nice. Good job team! Thank you Davis Bike Club and Budzilla, for another nice day on the bike. I have some new ideas for a mostly quiet and scenic ride that is flatter.