a. You should be thinking one thing on the first hill: Relax! As bad as this hill is, it’s not the worst of them.
b.I call this the Roly Poly Section, because it sounds easier than Deceivingly Hilly Section. Mind over matter, booyah!
c. This is where the bike gets really … boring (sorry, race director Terry!). Best to have a good song stuck in your head for the next 30–45 minutes. Last year for me it was “Invisible Touch” by Genesis.
d.If your race is really going to crap, this corner near Highway 101 is the best place to stop and hitchhike home.
e. My favorite part of the bike: winding, rolling roads, pastures, bridges, cows. It’s like riding through the intro to “Little House on the Prairie” (while listening to “Invisible Touch”).
f. Nasty Grade—the Wildflower Legend. Yes, it’s appropriately named.
g. Nasty Grade’s Annoying Little Brother—the Wildflower name I just made up. Beware: The corner you think is the top is not the top!
h. Into the finish: It feels like you’re almost done after Nasty Grade … but you’re not. Remember that. Lots of people will have Wobbly Wheel because they went too hard up the hill. Be smart, and avoid Wobbly Wheel.
Relax, grab your fuel, and take some time to find your happy place. It’s important to approach the run with respect, but not fear. Be excited for it!