There is a lot of climbing in this ride!  This is one of the shorter ones somewhere after Mile 50.

Tierra Bella Century

It was just as well the Tierra Bella was sold out before you could register… turned out to be kind of a wild day. On top of the morning rain and some rather strong afternoon winds, this is what happened:

  • I get to the start late because I didn’t have my act together and instead of packing the night before, I packed my car on Saturday morning… this plus being rather slow in putting my bike together caused me to start 45 minutes later than I had planned.
  • At Mile 0.5, I briefly get off course because one of the staff said “turn right” and I didn’t hear her say “Red (for 200k) go straight” right after that…
  • At Mile 2, I get a flat tire. One of the SAG vehicles passes by me at that point, and after I put in a new tube I borrow their floor pump, but it took us awhile to get its chuck to seal on my valve stem… Anyhow, this all took about 20 minutes, so now I was over 1 hour behind most of the 200k riders already.
  • Not being able to follow other riders meant that I had to use the map (especially since the road wasn’t marked very well at all… instead of painting distinct arrows, they just drew straight lines with a spray can, which wasn’t always too noticeable especially since construction workers had painted their own symbols all over the roads which looked very similar). Hence I got off course about 10 times for a total of ~6 miles.
  • In the meantime I snapped about half a dozen pictures before I realized I had no film in the camera.
  • I needed to get to the checkpoint at Mile 80 by 2:00 p.m. in order to be allowed to do the rest of the 200k course… unfortunately, I missed it by half an hour. So I had to bypass a 18-mile loop and join the other riders.
  • At least then I stopped getting lost. However, with 10 miles to go, I get another flat. This one I had to patch because I had only brought one spare tube.
  • With 50 feet to go to my car, I crash. It was my fault and I didn’t hit anyone; it’s just that I was a little too focused on my car and was being inattentive, when all of a sudden I see a car pull out. This startled me and I slammed on the brakes, instantly going down. Wasn’t hurt though the impact did break off part of my shifter.

To summarize, I did 115 miles (127 – 18 due to missing the cutoff + 6 due to getting lost), and although I wouldn’t qualify it as a disaster, it could have gone smoother.

Ride Data

  • 109 mi + 6 miles getting lost = 115 mi
  • 7:45 a.m. start, 5:00 p.m. finish—9:15 hours
  • Average Speed: 14.1 mph moving, 12.4 mph overall
  • Max Speed: 41 mph
  • Total Climbing: rolling, with only significant climb being Metcalf Rd. (which I had to bypass)



  • Scenery: 4 Very green due to the recent rains.
  • Support/Organization: 2. To me, road markings were terrible.
  • Food: 4. However, I didn’t get much chances to stop and enjoy it due to time constraints.
  • Weather: 2. Some rain, lots of wind.
  • Relative Difficulty: 3
  • Overall Rating: 4 Nice, but poor road markings made ride agonizing sometimes.
There is a lot of climbing in this ride!  This is one of the shorter ones somewhere after Mile 50.
There is a lot of climbing in this ride! This is one of the shorter ones somewhere after Mile 50.