This ride was routed and started by the late Tom Cuthbertson about 23 years ago and some of his freinds have kept the tradition of the annual ride going, usually around the first week of May ,close to Tom's birthday . This is the start of the ride at around 8:45 a.m. at Jolon rd. just north of King City, Calif.
At the top of the climb, just me and Dumpstervaagen. Most folks chose to stop on the climb for removing vests or roadside breaks but I went non-stop just to see if I could do it.....it was not easy. This is the first turn to get into Hunter Liggett military base.
After a long downhill and some valley riding we passed through a fake 'checkpoint' and a model of a village not unlike something one might find in Iraq or Afganistan.......or Pakistan for that matter.
After the checkpoint we had a paved climb, not as severe as the first that got us to this nice river valley.
There were some really interesting rock formations along the desolate road.
After a stream crossing we got back onto the dirt and rode along a creek and eventually came to Tom's swimming spot, about 1/2 way into the total mileage of the ride.
After the swimming spot we went steadily up a side-hill double track dirt climb that had some amazing yuccas and wildflowers.
This is the third climb of the ride and the most dramatic , traversing with many switchbacks over a ridge and down into Arroyo Seco.
Here's the group at the summit , having some food and removing a few ticks. There are all sorts of creatures here that you won't find at home.
Right before the final descent I shot this photo of a bush with some pale blue flowers...too bad they got bleached out in the shot. This was taken right before the incredibly long and amazing downhill run.
At the bottom of the dirt descent there's a campground where one can refill bottles and air up the tires as needed. This was the end of the dirt and the start of 28 windy paved miles back to the cars.
Here's the last food stop and the only actual store on the ride, about 20 miles from the finish. It's an odd place with more souvenirs than actual foodstuffs for sale-I managed to find some 'pop chips , edible and non-offensive.
This is an emerging wine area with some award winning Chardonnay grapes growing right off the road , lining the valley with green vines.
Here we are at the finish in just under nine hours , supposedly fast for this ride. No matter how fast or slow the group rides it is always about nine to ten hours long. I can't think of a better way to spend the day.