Saturday, January 18, 2020

2020 SMR 03

MDSP put out the word yesterday that Summit Road was closed at Juniper for ICE; and they expected the same for Saturday. And they posted some nice snow photos of the Summit.  Of course nothing brings out the Park visitors like snow, so there were tons of folks up there on bikes and in cars.

JB and I talked about ice skating in Iowa.  Neither one of us really enjoyed it but there was nothing else to do most of the winter, and that's where your friends would be too.

Sure enough, the Juniper barriers were down, pylons on the road, and A-frame DO NOT ENTER signs.  A few riders went up anyway, risking tsk-tsking.  I talked to one guy who was coming down and he said a Ranger told him to go ahead but be careful.  That was surprising.  I've seen this same scenario where the Rangers barked at us not to even think about jumping the barriers, and they watched us like we were terrorists or something. There wasn't any ice up there until almost Summit, but there's hardly any places for cars to park or turn around between Juniper and Summit, and no other place to close the road, so Juniper it is.

Anyway, JB was bonking and I didn't object to calling it a day at Juniper.

Threw my chain coming down though and wrapped it around my crank and had to stop to untangle things.














Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2020 WNR 02

Big storm is coming in tonight, but it was nice for the ride.  Everything is looking green and lush too.

Charlie said he went to the bike store for a new shifter cable and almost bought a new bike.

Justin's been doing extra training and he finished pretty close to the rest of us today.  He and Charlie went down SGR and around.

One guy came around us pretty fast near Coyote Flats and I picked up my pace to stay with him until just past Chainbuster, but he had 40 seconds on me by the time he got to Junction.

Wildlife Encounter:  three deer - they were just up the embankment so weren't worried about me watching them from pretty close.











Saturday, January 11, 2020

2020 SMR 02

Cold and foggy. We quit at Juniper.

JB's faster on his Della Santa, but he gets tired faster too.  Today though his hands were just cold and he was worried about the descent.

Wildlife Encounter:  a Sharp-Shinned Hawk   (or similar looking bird)










Wednesday, January 08, 2020

2020 WNR 01

Charlie's back from the Rose Bowl, JB got his bike back from Ed Litton, and Justin still doesn't have a job, so we had a full crew for the first Wednesday Night Ride of the year, at 2:30 standard time.  Forecast was for rain at 5 o'clock but I didn't believe it.  It was warmer than I was expecting and I got a little sweaty.

Charlie wore his knee warmers, and I joked that they were tights that just weren't long enough.

JB's bike looks like new, he had it assembled well-enough to ride but still missing a few bolts here and there. He enjoyed the feeling of being fast and we finished ahead of the other two.

Justin wore SHORTS! He rode from home and then went down South for a long loop for some extra training.

Wildlife Encounter: big pack of deers.
Deers is an accepted plural, but it is rarely used.  Except by ME!

I was rushed to get to the start on time and forgot to pump up my tires, so they were a little soft (latex tubes), which was OK because TUBULARS.  It was a little different kind of experience.

Diablo Shoutout to Lance Oldstrong, who enjoyed having his butt kicked on The Mountain 
by his fledgling son.







Close-up of the Della Santa repair and new paint job.

This guy had some great stories about bike riding in New York in the '80s

Me and Charlie got stuck behind some contractor trucks on the way down.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

2020 SMR 01

Threat of rain... only got a little drizzle.  Fog was really thick though up until almost Juniper when we popped above the cloud layer and got that million dollar view.

JB said he was getting ready to give Ed Litton an ultimatum about getting his bike done, when Ed called and said "your bike's done".  JB has to re-build it with all the components he took off, so he might have it done by Wednesday, but next Saturday for sure.  We discussed the pro's and con's of re-using brake cables... I suggested new ones, he wants to risk re-using old ones. 

Wildlife Encounter:  two deers at Junction - they were in the camping area near the bathroom, let me get a close look.









Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2020 NYD

The tradition continues.  *REALLY* nice weather to start out, almost didn't need my jacket.  Got a little windy and foggy at Summit though.

JB and I both commented about how un-crowded The Mountain was - turns out 8AM is too early for most folks.  By 10 there were hundreds of riders.

Met a nice guy at Junction named Greg.  He said he's seen me up there a lot and he recognized my bike.  Then we talked about bikes.

Roadkill Report:  squirrel.  Would have been a good photo to include - nice posing and color.  I even took the camera off-mount for a close-up but I can't remember where it was.

Most of the drivers were being courteous and safe, but one clue-less gilipollas at Blue Oak.





Saturday, December 28, 2019

2019 SMR 43

Well that's it for year 2019, except maybe a commute or two.  Forty-three Saturday Morning Rides - I checked and last year I had 48, but I didn't have any centuries in there so that accounts for a few of the missed ones.  And I only had 16 Wednesday Night Rides last year compared to 36 this year... and a lot of those were double Junctions.  So I'm calling 2019 a great success and a springboard for an even greater 2020.  My New Year's wishes for the same to all of my readers.

JB's in San Diego to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes kick butt in the Holiday Bowl last night.  So when I left home this morning I had visions of doing something epic and different, like going down SGR and then up to Summit.  By the time I got to Junction though, the vision had faded.

Just before I got to Junction, two runners passed me.  They looked like super-elite cross-country types, and they had a vehicle leader that stopped to photograph them at several places. I checked my Strava FlyBys and they have photos with medals and trophies and stuff - so good on them for passing me... and I didn't make it easy for them; I noticed them back there with about a mile an a half to go so I picked it up a little, but by Chainbuster I knew it was futile to resist.  They took a break at Junction but continued running up to Summit.  Quite impressive.

I enjoyed my cycling-related X-mas gifts on today's ride too.  New tights, a warm beanie, and Chamois Butt'r;  I'd been kind of conserving the last of my previous tube but now I'm going to splash out and enjoy some luxurious lubrication.

At Summit I talked to a guy from San Diego who was here visiting his wife's family with his 7-week old son.

Colonel Al says there's another Eagle Scout that wants to do a Bike Repair Station at Juniper.

One guy passed me on the descent; near the ZigZag - I think he was behind me for a while and I didn't notice, but as soon as he came around he slowed down.  I stayed behind for a while but then passed him right back after Moss Landing.