Chico, California has a special place in my heart. I went to school up there and have some of the best memories of my life in Chico hiking around Bidwell Park, swimming at Bear Hole and cycling up Honey Run Road on my mountain bike! I had no idea what I was getting myself into that day. My friend, who had a road bike, talked me into doing a “longer ride” and me who’s always up for an adventure cheerily said, “Sure, sounds like fun!”
The first part of the ride was lovely; we rode past the Honey Run covered bridge and past meadows of wildflowers and then came the hills…I did the 13.5 miles with a 1772′ elevation change on my mountain bike without stopping…something I’m still proud of to this day. Not bad for someone who was only riding her bike 10 minutes to campus and back each day. Needless to say, by the time we got to Paradise (name of the town East of Chico), I wasn’t talking much and could barely move, but was so excited I made it to the top! Fortunately the last half of the loop back to Chico was a fast smooth decent, and I cruised it on home.
I found a ride that includes those crazy hills I rode so many years ago–the Wildflower Century and have decided I’d like to ride those hills again, but this time on my new road bike! The Chico Velo Cycling Club offers several choices other than the Century Wildflower ride. They also have the Mildflower 65, the flat flower 35 or 65, as well as the Childflower 15.
The Century Wildflower has a 4300′ elevation gain and the Mildflower has less than a 2000′ elevation gain. To avoid the waste of 10,000 drink cups they provide riders with a souvenir water bottle that doubles as proof of entry into the rest stops and dinner area. They also switched from a paper map to an artistic map rendering on a cotton cloth bandana. They provide fresh baked goods, fresh fruit and natural fruit juices at the rest stops too! YUM!
Hope to see you there! 🙂