Saturday, September 14, 2019

2019 SMR 29

This will probably be the last weekend that's really warm.  Word is to expect RAIN on Monday. I'm thinking through the process of switching to my winter bike, and I'm looking forward to it.

Wildlife Encounter:  one deer at the approach; and the biggest flock of turkeys I've ever seen, at the Lower Ranch.

DiabloShoutouts to:  Linda K (twice!), Samer, Kasters, and Nancy.

JB had a couple mechanical issues with his folding bike - got them figured out but he's really missing his road bike.

Lots of activity on The Mountain today - maybe folks training for The Diablo Challenge... only FOUR weeks away.

Taking a photo of your bike in front of this sign is an indication you're an out of towner - WELCOME!

Out of towner passed us like a boss a few minutes later.

There were Spare The Air alerts earlier this week, but the air was good today.

Linda K FlyBy#1

This guy also passed me like a boss ... on The Wall.

Linda K FlyBy#2

Cal Jersey Autoblog

Nancy always has a smile and wave for me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

2019 WNR 26

Didn't have time to do a double today.  I drove to The Church and saw Shawn and Kathryn getting off the trail on to Bancroft and gave them a friendly honk.  Kathryn has been trying out different saddles, so far none is right but she's getting closer.  I rode with her for a while and chatted as everyone else rode ahead.  She encouraged me to drop her so I said I would do a Segment PR attempt at Split 3 - The Bump.  This was totally unplanned but I figured "what the hell?"  I think I remembered that I was pretty close to Kevin's 1st place in the BC Climbers group the last time I tried, so I stood a decent chance of doing it - weather was good, got a new chain on, wearing my favorite Tom Boonen jersey.

So I released my inner Kraken and burned through the segment, passing Charlie and Shawn and JB.  Seemed like a good effort, and JB and Shawn passed me back during my recovery.

Didn't find out for sure until I uploaded Strava but YES!  Almost a minute better than Colin too - he's going to get annoyed with me.

Shawn knew some of the other folks at Junction and we all swapped stories about equipment and weather and bugs and other riders we know.

Everybody saw tarantulas except me.

Charlie and I agreed maybe we can reschedule the Wednesday rides for early afternoon once Daylight Wasting Time begins - probably be just me and him and that'd be fine.  He was already thinking about fenders on his bike.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

2019 SMR 28

After a hot couple weeks, I was surprised to find TORNADO weather this morning!  I opted not to bring a jacket or arm warmers though, because it's still summer after all.

JB announced that he was only in for a Junction ride today.  Also, Ed Litton told him probably two more weeks for his frame repair.  The decals and the replacement tube are in though, so it's just a matter of finishing other stuff first.

Kind of windy for the first few miles, then it got foggy.  Above Junction it got cold and the fog was so thick that visibility was a problem.  There was a real sense of camaraderie with everyone I saw - we all smiled and acknowledged that we're in the same club of riders that don't let a little cold fog keep us away.

Where are we... Kansas?

Visibility = just enough.

Going slow enough to selfize a photo for my fans.

Sun never really came out, but the fog cleared up some.

How can you not love this view?

I'm pretty sure I would've recognized this rider if I could see.

This guy passed me before The Dips, and then slowed down... newb move.

I'm guessing these guys didn't stay in formation for the whole Mountain.

Fog condensation on my arm hairs... one of life's simple pleasures.


Wednesday, September 04, 2019

2019 WNR 25

Tonight's objective:  First place in the BC Climbers for Split 5.  

This is an interesting section, not too easy, not too hard, but the terrain changes make it difficult to find just the right rhythm.  Plus you're a little more tired in here after The Bump.  How much effort do I need?

Kevin's first place is from 3 years ago and I need to beat my previous best by 31 seconds to move into that position.

Results:  close but no cigar.  I think it was just a little too windy and I didn't quite come into it in my best condition... I'll try again, but not for a couple weeks - there are other segments to conquer.

First trip up was pretty hot.  There were guys stopped in the shady spots looking for relief.

Hey, is that a PG&E truck up there?  There's no power lines... whuh?

Oh, it was a Davey Tree truck - probably doing fire prevention.

I think this crack is getting worse - I used to go inside, but recently I've been taking it to the outside.

This Tieni Duro guy said he flatted coming down around this corner - he left some skin on the road.

Shawn rolled in to Junction a few minutes after we did, he must've just missed us at The Church.

I'm going to have to put my camera in low-light mode for the last bit of these rides.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

2019 SMR 27

Yesterday I took The Klein to Big Dave's and had them put a new chain on for me.  Here's my reasoning:
1.  Did it myself last time, buggered it up and it broke on Wednesday.
2.  Did it myself last time, took 90 minutes and I got all greasy.
3.  I needed my bike for TODAY!
4.  For $20 labor, the mechanic had my drivetrain in perfect nick in 10 minutes, and he verified my cassette was still good.

It's that time of year when riding down Walnut Avenue at 7:45 am puts the sunrise right in your eyes.

I put that chain to the test today too - lots of big gear, low cadence, power stroking; it felt strong and smooth.  

Cal jersey day today.   I got a lot of "Go Bears" shoutouts on The Mountain this morning.

Me and JB tried to get some conversation going - we tried Hurricane Dorian, Medicare Part B... nothing really seemed to stick, so we rode in silence most of the way.  I can't even think of good photo captions.

Cal Jersey Autoblog

It's that time of year where people put up their Alma mater flags in my neighborhood.

Cal Jersey Autoblog

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

2019 WNR 24

Recently I've taken on the challenge of having the best times of my Wednesday group for each of the NGR Segments.

Today's objective:  Segment 4... BING!

Good weather, not too many bugs.  Broke my chain just before Junction on the second lap though.  It started skipping gears a couple miles earlier and I thought I had that stiff link problem returning, so I was kind of soft pedaling - when the chain snapped I got my foot out of the pedal and stopped without falling over or racking myself.  Walked to Junction and then Charlie and Colin helped me fix it good enough to get back to The Church.  I think I'm going to have Big Dave install the chain this time.

This rider saw me in the middle of my PR attempt - she probably assumed I'm always that fast.

This is my "pretending not to pose" pose.

Round Two:  Joined by JB, Colin, Charlie, Shawn, Kathryn, and Donna.

Shawn had to quit at the Upper Washout (the wuss-out?).  So I got an early selflie... filming into the sun like a newb.

Charlie takes the inside line around Chainbuster... chain maintains.

Yup, my chain looks busted.

Peer review confirms my conclusion.

Yeah... the end is near.