Saturday, November 21, 2020

2020 SMR 37

 Hooboy it started off cold... with frost on the ground and ice on the roof. My fingers were feeling it.

The sun took charge by about 8:30 so it was much nicer, but not warm.

Hardly saw any riders on the way up, hardly any cars either... it was a quiet day on The Mountain.

Then on the way down, I saw a huge group of club riders at Junction.

Wildlife Encounters: lots of turkeys and one very young deer on The Approach, one coyote at the NG Ranger House.

"WHO'S a good boy?"

Saturday, November 14, 2020

2020 SMR 36

Forecast was for rain, it rained overnight, but the sky was dry at 7:30.

Wildlife Encounter: mama deer and one baby at one of the houses along The Approach... they looked pretty tame.

Cold though, and thick fog until we got almost to Juniper - then we popped up above the cloud layer and the sun warmed our old bones, and we were treated to that marvelous view from above.

JB was feeling frisky, pushed the pace uncomfortably high the whole day. He first thought there wouldn't be much traffic, but there was - and most of them parked at Juniper I think.

On the way down, I stopped at Juniper to zip up and met Cathy - turns out we have a lot of the same Strava friends.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

2020 WNR 32

 1030am Start time was perfect.

Free admission to Veterans at all State Parks today, so there were more cars than usual.

At Junction Charlie said he could be talked out of an add-on segment. I convinced him to do Juniper with me; he did a new personal best   Д Mt. Diablo Summit Road: Junction to Juniper

This guy's objective of making my blog finally came true!

Charlie almost merged back in too early after this guy with a trailer
passed us safely in the pull-out section below Juniper.

Charlie really wanted to pass these three riders before Juniper to pad his
"passed-em : passed-me" ratio.
I was hoping for a little more sun...
I didn't suffer but would have worn tights if I'd had a better weather report.

Also - note patriotic socks on Veteran's Day

Saturday, November 07, 2020

2020 SMR 35

 First ride of the season in my full winter gear.  Didn't need my warmest gloves or booties, but it was a cold start.

Big group passed us in The Prologue.

Including this guy below, who was on a comically too small bike.

Colonel Al and I discussed safety improvements and then he rode with us up to Livermore Overlook.

Sun came out after a while and I took my gloves off and unzipped my jacket. JB turned around at Juniper because his fingers were froze.

Shawn was so bundled up I didn't recognize him. Had to go back to the file when I saw his Strava and sure enough!

This driver got the DiabloScott bloody stoopid scream.

I stopped on the way down at Junction to use the outhouse, and then I met Ted who had an Eddy Merckx similar to mine and we reminisced about how they were dream bikes when we bought them and how they still have that magic.

Isaac said I had been gone WAY too long when I got home.

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

2020 WNR 31

Charlie called the start time today - 11:00. That was late enough for JB to show up. The three of us talked about the Electoral College, home improvements, and Daylight Wasting Time.

Then a guy passed us on a mountain bike and he had a big backpack on, so I followed him but kept my distance. I could see he knew I was there, and I could see him starting to struggle to maintain his speed, and then I saw him give up and look back at me with ignominious capitulation... allowing me to re-pass with panache. Then it was my turn to struggle to maintain my speed, but I was better at it and passed a bunch more people on my way to Junction. 

At Junction there was a guy with an electric-assist tricycle recumbent that was pretty cool. I passed him on the downhill but it looked like he could hold a pretty good line around the corners.

The weather was great, I felt great, other people were great, Junction conversation was great. Then it was over and we all rode home. Won't be much longer before it's full tights and jacket weather.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

2020 SMR 34

Happy birthday to Local Legend Punkin Jay.

Last Summit of DST - next week we get an extra hour of sunlight to warm things up before 8 at The Gate. 

Wildlife Encounter: RATTLESNAKE near Muir.

I kept thinking I heard deer hoof sounds around me, but maybe it was woodpeckers.

Spare the Air Day, poor visibility but easy breathing.

This big group passed us in The Prologue - we didn't see them again, must have gone down SGR.

It was sunrise all morning.

This guy apologized for taking so long to pass us .. but his backpack was heavy LOL.

This guy's Strava said he crashed on the way down, he looked smoooth when I saw him.

The Summit Visitor Center is now open, but the Wall Barrier is still closed. 
JB cyclo-navigated the bypass perfectly.

Probably the most photographed site on The Mountain.

This dude passed me at Butler Bend like he didn't know the road.

Then he slowed me down the rest of the way out. 
I stayed behind him so he'd know that I knew he'd over-estimated himself.