Monday, August 21, 2006

2006 Aug - We Lost Cat Ride

{Click on photos to view full size images}
August 20, 2006 NC/NV VROC Ride - Lake Berryessa - Clear Lake


Cat from Fillmore
Cranky from San Jose
Tiny from Pinole
Ron and Patty from Citrus Heights
David from Woodland
Jim from Rio Vista
Nite Lite from Petaluma
Don "VSP" from Stockton
Wayne from Santa Rosa - at the Corners
Mad Ma from Santa Rosa - at the Corners

Eight bikes arrived at the Jelly Belly Factory before 10:00 AM on Sunday, August 20, 2006. Cat and I arrived early since Cat needed to buy her four bags of Belly Flops. She also found a "Bad to the Bean" T-shirt that she just HAD to get for herself.

The ride from Stockton to Fairfield got really windy and cold as we got to the plain that is just south of Travis AFB. So a hot cup of coffee was a high priority.

Cranky gets to the JB and is trying to warm up. He said the ride from San Jose got real windy like 40 to 50 knots as he approached Fairfield.

Nite Lite rides in from Petaluma. And David then Ron and Patty shortly thereafter.

I lead the eight bikes from the JB to I-80 and a short ride to the exit that gets us to Pleasant Valley Road. Pleasant Valley Road is a neat little two laner that is frequented by bicyclists galore. Auto traffic is minimal and there are just enough twists and turns to make it a very interesting ride. We get to Hwy 128 and find a clear road in front of us, pretty good for a weekend. Finally get behind some traffic and I slow down to let it get in front of us. We then had pretty clear sailing to the Corners.

At the Corners the restaurant and bar has had their liquor license suspended and that is where the rest rooms are located. So NO rest rooms. The General Store has been remodelled and is now open {it was closed last month when Skid was there}.

I just missed getting Nite Lite's obscene gesture behind the "Rest Rooms Out-of-Order sign" as Cat is cracking up about it.

Cat and Nite Lite


Jim and Wayne and Mad Ma. Mad Ma had to sleep in so she and hubby Wayne rode to the Corners from Santa Rosa and skipped the first part of the Ride.

Ron and Patty from Citrus Heights


Tiny takes over the lead at the Corners and Nite Lite is riding Sweep. We travel along Lake Berryessa. Then take the road over to Pope Valley. As we near Pope Valley there is a bicyclists event going on and hundreds of bicycles.

We stop in front of the Pope Valley School which is our scheduled rest break.

Then it is off to the Lakeside Inn Pub. Now the Ride is really nice but uneventful. That will change shortly.

It was a Comedy of Errors.

At the rest break at Pope Valley it was discussed that the right turn to Point Lakeview Road is easy to miss and to "slow" way down in the right lane at about one mile from the left turn at Lower Lake where Hwy 29 turns.

I will now relate the Ride from my perspective from Middletown, some 15 miles before the Lower Lake signal light. Nite Lite was riding Sweep. I was next to last and in front of me was Cranky then Jim Epstein. At the stop sign Cranky told Jim Epstein that his saddle bag was open. Then Cranky took off. Jim got off his bike to shut the lid which took a couple of minutes. The heat was up so Nite Lite rode up to me and said he was going to turn left and head home. So I waited for Jim and followed him up Hwy 29 a few minutes behind the pack.

It was at the signal light at Lower Lake when to my surprise there were 4 bikes waiting to make the left turn. Jim and I pulled into the rear of the pack. I was thinking that the lead 3 bikes would be pulled off the side of the road a little bit up the road. No bikes, but then I thought that the bikes would be waiting at the Point Lakeview Road turn off. No. And Wayne Hovey on was in the lead of the"second pack" and blasted past the turn. It was then that I decided to take off from the rear and to run him down to turn the "second pack" around. I never saw the lead three bikes, since I was totaled focused on the 6 bikes and running down Wayne. I got in front of Wayne and am now looking for a side road, since a U-Turn on Hwy 29 was out of the question. I never saw you guys because I was not looking for you assuming that you had made the turn onto Point Lakeview Road. I was totally focused on finding a side road.

I found a cross road and managed to get turned around. I led 6 bikes back to Point Lakeview Road back to the Ride Route and led them to the Pub. It was not until the lunch discussion that I found out that Cranky had seen the first two bikes going back and forth and had seen Cat going past us in both directions by herself. It was not until lunch that I had found out that the lead bikes had missed the Point Lakeview Road turn. Everyone was passing each other in opposite directions. AND WE LOST CAT!

Usually the Ride Leader will regroup after a Major turn like at Lower Lake, but failing to do that created a "Comedy of Errors" that will become a new VROC Legend.

When we, the second pack arrived at the Pub, I asked "Where's Cat?" and no one knew. I checked my cell phone Contacts and no Cat. I called the Sublow's and Laura answered and she did not know Cat's Cell number (Howard called when he got home a lot later and said he doesn't have her cell number).

So next I called Sherm's cell phone. He was at a rest break on a motorcycle ride and I got Cat's cell number from him. But in the mean time her cell phone was off in her saddlebags so I left a voice message. So now Nite Lite and Sherm know that Cat is "lost".

Our Chapter says we owe Cat a dinner for getting her "lost".

Cat emailed me that she got back home around 9:00 PM, since we lost her some 400+ miles from her home.

Where's Cat?

Dialing Sherm's cell phone.

We had lunch at the Pub. Cranky is taking the photo.

After lunch David leaves to get back to Woodland. My 2.9 gallon gas tank is a bit lower than expected after the "Keystone Cops" episode along Hwy 29, so we decide to gas stop in Lake Port. A nice ride along Clear Lake's west side as the road is right on the water. We continue around Clear lake in the clockwise direction and then keep heading east. At the Hwy 53 intersection Wayne and Mad Ma wave good bye as they head south back to Santa Rosa.

The rest of us continue east on Hwy 20 and blast along the road. We turn south at hwy 16 and ride the twisty mountain section a decent clip as the road is not busy. There are a lot of river rafters down on Cache Creek. Eventually we leave the mountains and enter the Capay Valley at Rumsey. We pass the Cache Creek Indian Reservation which is a very modern village of homes, schools, medical facilities that is only a few years old. All funded by the Cache Creek Indian Casino and Resort, I am sure. We get to the hamburger stand at Esparto and the end of the Ride. We have to cross the street and use the Port-a-potties at the Esparto City Park, since the hamburger stand has closed their inside room and rest rooms. This is the NO rest room Ride.

After a soda and some water and a butt break, Cranky and Tiny head off to I-505 and then I-80. Ron and patty are off along Hwy 16 to Woodland and then home. Jim and I head over to I-505 to Midway Road to Hwy 113 to Hwy 12 and back home.

I got an email from Donna saying that Cat had called her from Fresno to email us about her safety. Cat emailed when she got home around 9:00 PM.



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