The course of the 1994 Delta Century was the same as the 1993 (and later, the 1996) meandering through the vineyards and orchards of Lodi and the Delta waterways west of Interstate 5. This also means, of course, that it lives up to its promise of being “the flattest century in California” each year.
Ah, but after spending a year in Palo Alto, with the Santa Cruz mountains just to the west, I am fond of hills They add variety and allow for thrilling downhill speeds. And their prestine environments tend to be the most scenic, too.
So this year I find the Delta Century somewhat ho-hum. Not a tremendous challenge, and once you’ve seen one part of the Delta (or vineyard or orchard), you’ve seen them all. It was hot outside, too.
And the winds following the first rest stop were obnoxious. Uphills are fun to conquer, but to me a tenacious headwand just adds drudgery.
That said, the support as usual was excellent and the food, including some of the largest strawberries I’ve ever seen, was the best of any organized ride I’ve gone on. The Delta Century is a good ride to have a friend along, as Ken was. The heat, the wait for a ferry to transport cyclists over a part of the river, and the numerous rest stops may not inspire time trial efforts, but were ideal for conversation and relaxation. Ken Loo and I felt energetic and unstrained after the ride was over. Come to think of it, though, last year we weren’t, and it’s remarkable how far we’ve come along in just 12 months.
- 100 mi
- 16.0 mph, moving average
- Food provided: giant strawberries, numerous fig bars, misc. fruit and sandwiches…
Max speeds: ~30 mph