The Dyerville Loop has been a staple of the Banana Slug Series Training Rides since the Series’ inception. Its epic proportions of vertical inclination, mix of dirt, gravel, and roughly paved roads, palpable lack of motor traffic, scenery from the ridge, and the home stretch of majestic redwoods along the Eel River all combine to make it one of my favorite road rides of all time. For these reasons, it’s likely here to stay for a spell longer.
I didn’t think the gray skies looked too threatening as I loaded the car this morning. I didn’t bother loading the Easy-Up to contend with rain. My hunch proved to be reasonable. While the sky spit at us on occasion, it never amounted to a real soaking.
I wasn’t the first to arrive this morning; I had to do a double-take at my clock to see if I was running late. Nope, just some early arrivals, so I was off and running. Frantically, I broke out the food and coffee as riders got ready. Nobody else seemed to be in a hurry; everybody seemed really relaxed, moving slowly, but steadily. I didn’t think we were going to be starting even close to ten, but things seemed to magically come together; the ride started as promoted, almost promptly at 10:00 a.m. Ten riders took off at 10:03 to be more precise.
I packed up the van and was on the road within five minutes of the rest of the riders, but I chose to do the shorter version so I could be back before the fast riders. Turns out Jim Christopher rolled in and followed me around the short loop after we had all left.
Other than a couple flat tires, there were no major mechanical mishaps, and only one of us got turned around, and everybody rolled in within five hours sporting a big ol’ a smile on their face. What’s not to love?
Finally, Many thanks to Los Bagels for their generous donations for all four Banana Slug Rides this year. I hope this wonderful relationship stands the test of time.
The impressive results are as follows:
Mark Severy 3:49
Geoff Huber 3:49
Sten Tjaden 4:09
Rik Rieder 4:15
Andrea Achilli 4:19 Multiple flats
Jeff Aguiar 4:19 Off the track
Robert East 4:22 Flat too
Rick Beale 4:35
André Guimarães 4:35
Grant Lay 5:00
Tim Daniels Alt. Rte.
Jim Christopher Alt. Rte.