Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 SMR 10

Last ride of winter!  I felt great and really enjoyed this ride, which is not that surprising, but as of late last night I was reasonably sure it would be too rainy to ride at all this morning.  Checked the phone at 6am and it said "GO RIDE THE MOUNTAIN!"

At The Gate there were no riding buddies.  I waited a while but started up for a solo ride.  Ranger at The Kiosk told me it had snowed at The Summit yesterday... I didn't think any of it would still be there though (spoiler - YEAH IT WAS!)

So without JB to slow me down, I went about 1 minute faster than usual to Junction, and then had to stop to recover.  A few minutes later JB and Colin rode in and had some story about why they were late... and Colin had to turn around... but we talked a little about bike wheels and bridge collapses.

So then it was up to The Summit.  The green grass and blue sky gave way to thick fog and low visibility... it was beautiful.  About a half mile before the Lower Lot we started seeing some snow in the ditch and ice on the trees.  On The Wall I thought it was hailing, but it was just tree ice dripping on me. 

An awfully nice ride for last day of winter.  Fingers got a little cold on the way down... but I'm not complaining.

There be snow up there! 

This guy and I crossed swords several times today.  And by "crossed swords" I mean... he passed me.

Oh HEEEEERE they are. 

Remember this for the way down, Scott.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

2018 SMR 09

First of all - LEGENDARY ride by Scott Cooper earlier this week.  Last year I wrote about how he did 50 laps up the Summit Wall to celebrate his 50th birthday; this year he turned 51 of course and he did 53 laps... because he was afraid he may have lost count.

Special Guest Rider:  Colin.  Work buddy - I told him that there was a lot less traffic at 8am than when he normally rides so he gave it a chance.  Then of course we got passed by a line of about 20 cars in the first mile.

Lots of ash or something on the road below Juniper.

AHA - this para-military operation explains the line of 20 cars we saw earlier.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

2018 SMR 08

Checking the weather report yesterday and I was only about 25% confident that today's ride would happen.  Forecast for THUNDERSTORMS at 8 am.  I like riding in the rain so long as it's safe and not miserable... but I ain't risking a lightning strike for a Saturday Morning Ride.  But on the dog walk this morning it actually looked pretty nice - lots of clear sky with just a  little patch of menacing dark cloud over that way.  I packed my rain jacket because that was just common sense

I stopped to put my rain jacket on half way to The Gate.... still not too bad but a good drizzle. 

Rock slide below The Bump - there was already a ranger there but he needed to call in the bobcat to move some of the bigger ones.

Very few riders on The Mountain this morning - a few of the regulars of course.  By the time we started up Summit Road there were a lot of cars coming up - probably to play in the snow.

At Juniper, we got stopped - the rest of the road up was closed for icy conditions... although they let a news van up with a ranger escort because getting Mount Diablo State Park in the news is worth risking lives and property.

Note rolled up rain jacket in bottle cage... old school.

This would be the end of the blue skies. 

Blizzard conditions, very hazardous. 
A buddy from work crashed here last week.  How embarrassing to crash right after the flashing "SLOW DOWN" sign.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

2018 SMR 07

Got to The Gate a little early and I whistled the Star Spangled Banner as the park ranger raised the flag.  Ranger was impressed with my performing skills.

First Poppies of the Season: Below the Lower Ranch, didn't get a photo.  That was the only patch I saw.  There were a bunch of them, still closed up though.

At Junction, there was a group in the picnic area beating drums and chanting Native American-sounding songs.  Couldn't tell if it was realistic, but they were taking themselves seriously.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Three Days of de Jury Duty

Well, if you gotta serve... might as well ride your bike there.  
After checking out the suggested routes on Google Maps, I opted for Pleasant Hill Road and Alhambra Ave.  Most of the way there's a good bike lane, and the cars are used to seeing bikes on the road.

Downtown Martinez is as trippy as ever.

There are ZERO bike racks at the courthouse.

But there are BikeLink lockers at the AMTRAK station.  

Courthouse security won't let you take in any tools, and I'm guessing they wouldn't like CO2 carts.  Much safer leaving all that stuff with your bike in one of these lockers than locked to a parking meter or something.  They even took away the little camera in my backpack... how stupid is that when everyone's got a camera on their phone?

The train station is 4 blocks from the courthouse... nice walk to cool down.  Then I changed clothes in the bathroom of the jury room... and began waiting... every day.

And the view on the way home was diabolical.