|Team Mang at the SOC Bike Club area|
|Having a fun time at the festival!|
|Pre-ride tour of the Monterey Coastline (see video below)|
Saturday was the day of the ride and the guys and gals wasted no time getting ready - our vehicles were actually the first ones in the team parking lot at 6:30 AM. Boni, Cris, Eric, Harry, Jay, Rene and Roland were joined by Josh and friends from H2Velo for the 92 mile Carmel Valley ride. Jun and San Francisco Manger Kiko met up with Dondi and Arlene to do the more scenic Coastal route. Everyone made their way to the Laguna Seca racetrack for the starting gun where the 92 mile Carmel Valley riders would start off first followed by the 49 mile Coastal riders. The atmosphere was festive and fun as over 1800 riders got to the start line.
|Here's the whole team at the raceway|
There were a few unfortunate incidents (nothing serious, though) along the way - AC/DC's tandem lost 5 chainring bolts at mile 1 (while still inside the raceway). With the help of on board allen wrenches and zip ties, they McGyvered their way and got by on just the big chainring through the beginning climbs. Fortunately, the general trajectory of the first half was downhill. They were able to crawl their way into a local bike shop for repairs in downtown Monterey so that they could climb back for the second half of the ride. Josh blew a tire - twice - going down the first hill on mile 2. He had to walk back to the repair guys who swapped wheels with him temporarily because it would take too much time to do repairs. But because he was so far behind most of the Carmel Valley riders, he had to change his plans and opt for the Coastal ride instead. All the Coastal riders finished together in a little over 5 hours. The Carmel Valley riders had their own version of fun, racing through the first half in the flat sections. Eric, Boni and Cris flew towards the front and stayed there; this, in spite of Boni's difficulties with his lower gearing. But Jay, having dropped his water bottle and stopping to pick it up, together with Rene, Harry and Roland, opted to hang back to help each other out. Their pacelining skills earned them the nickname "the strategic team" from the other riders who observed their speed when they got passed. By all accounts, the climbs were brutal, specially within the last 3 miles when they were all exhausted and still had to face hills as steep as 16%! The first Carmel Valley ride Mangers clocked in at just under 6 hours, just a bit behind those quick H2Veloers, while the back of the Mang pack checked in at just over 8 hours.
|SOC Finishers, both Carmel Valley and Coastal routes|
And here's a video of the Coastal Riders' ride (thanks to Kiko): http://vimeo.com/92111258