Saturday, July 11, 2020

2020 SMR 21

OH BOY, a heat wave!  JB didn't even bring arm warmers.

That car that went off the road between Muir and Elbow was still there - the other photos I saw didn't really capture how far it had rolled down the Mountain - it was way down there. I didn't see any place that had indications of where it left the road (no broken bushes or tire tracks or anything.  They'll probably need a helicopter to get it out of there.

At Summit, I noticed a dust cloud down below and thought at first it might be a fire, but it wasn't.
When I got down to that park vehicle gravel lot below Juniper, there was a MedEvac helicopter there and I stopped to watch because it looked like it was getting ready to take off.  That explains the dust cloud I saw from Summit.  I'd never seen a helicopter there before and it was very close to the power lines so I was surprised, but the pilot did a great job.  No idea what the injury was, but they don't send helicopters for your basic broken bones. Then a little ways farther down I saw the incident scene - one fire truck and two Park vehicles - no crashed bikes, no other cars that might've been involved, there was a guy sitting down on a big rock or something but he didn't look to be in distress. So who knows what happened.

By the time I got home it was really hot.

Look how far down the Mountain that car rolled.

Chopper takeoff - very close to the power lines, must be a confident pilot.

And here's the incident scene just below there.  Park social media guy said it was a heat injury to a hiker.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

2020 WNR 19

Again with the morning Wednesday Night Ride.  This works out pretty well; sunny but not too warm, not too windy, not too crowded.  I felt good, but not strong, I think I'm 1% better every day, so optimal fitness is a couple weeks away yet.

Wildlife Encounter:  turkeys and a hawk.

In case you didn't hear, there was a car that rolled off the road and down the side of The Mountain on Summit Road between Muir and Elbow.  Driver died but they think she was trying to park on the shoulder and the ground gave way underneath.

Charlie says that his wife likes that he rides Diablo with a buddy just in case... wives worry too much, but riding with a buddy has lots of other benefits as well.  Then Charlie apologized because he was wearing the bike shorts that make it look like he pee'ed himself; he says they're comfortable but they wick the sweat in an awkward direction.  I didn't notice.

There was a fire down there, looked like maybe Castle Rock. You could see and smell the smoke.

Charlie photos below; he posts these to Strava and then I copy them so they don't show up very good here, but both his phone and his GoPro produce nice hi-res shots.

Charlie's GoPro really accentuates the sinewy-ness of my legs.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

2020 SMR 20

I evaluated myself yesterday and was sure I was ready for my FIRST SUMMIT IN 7 WEEKS!
I felt good but took the pain pills anyway.
Also, it's 4th of July, so I wore my patriotic socks... got exactly one comment (positive).
Got to The Gate a little early so I had time for some vanity shots.
Not too many cars, but more than usual. I think the picnic areas are closed so that kept people away. Lots of hikers and bike riders enjoying The Park.
Lots of lizards too - seems to be a good year for them, maybe that's why there's fewer bugs too.
My chain is making too much noise - might be time for a new cassette.

The gate to Upper Lot is closed and you have to go around - I didn't see any signs that said doing so was OK, it was just understood.

Same gate, still closed on the way back down.

This washout needs to be elevated to "hurry up and fix" status.  There's a big elevation difference between the two lanes.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

2020 WNR 18

Charlie said Wednesday Night Rides are better in the mornings... so I took him up on it.  Since my back injury mornings have been kind of the rough part of the day, but I got up early and took a pill and I was ready.

I always admire those photos of pro athletes stretching and showing how flexible they are - here is my attempt at recreating such an image... apparently I'm somewhere between flexible pro athlete and inflexible geezer couch potato.

Charlie dictated the pace on NGR - it was perfect and I was feeling good, but not strong; my fitness has a ways to recover yet.

Then at Junction we discussed our new challenge "Ten Minutes of Summit Road". We would aim to see how far up the road we can go in 10 minutes; so a time challenge instead of a distance challenge.  I figured if I'm in good condition I ought to be able to make it past the Blue Oak/Oak Knoll picnic areas. I started off fast and held that pace for almost ONE MINUTE! then I faded.  Made it just a little ways past Toyon.

Below photos credits go to Charlie and his GoPro.  Somehow makes me look like I know what I'm doing!

OK, check out the perfect bunny hop over the Botts' dots!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

2020 SMR 19

My broken back pain is getting better about as quickly as I could expect; but I promised myself I wouldn't bite off too much too soon so I pre-self-limited to a Juniper today no matter how good I might feel.

This morning started off pretty cool, but I knew it wouldn't last, so I went with arm warmers that I could roll down as needed.

At Junction a guy was coming down from Summit and he blew a tire right at the intersection; it was loud and obvious.  I said that was a good place for such a thing to happen and he said yeah, because it was a borrowed bike and he didn't have a pump but there was one at the boy scout bike box.

Charlie has been experimenting with ways to get in a few more miles to his weekly routine, and Wednesday he did "Junction plus 10 minutes".  I thought that was a neat challenge - see how far you can go up Summit Road in 10 minutes, and then do better next week; so it's a distance challenge instead of a time challenge.  I call it "Ten Minutes of Summit Road".  I told JB I might go for it if I felt good, but then I thought it would be a good idea to get a baseline value and just rode my normal Summit pace; I tried to do a lap counter thing on my Garmin but it didn't work so I checked Strava when I got home and my result was about 0.95 miles - about at the Toyon/Round Top driveway.  I should be able to get 1.7 miles or so if I push it and I'm in good condition... that'd put me about at the equipment storage area where that tight turn is (Slow Down Rick!)

A little farther up, a rider passed us that looked like she was doing a pace I could match so I rode behind her up to Juniper - that was a nice effort to end the climbing and not over-do it.

This guy said in passing "Wow, sweet KLEIN!  They don't make 'em like that anymore."  That's a good thing to say if your objective is the eternal fame of having your photo in MY BLOG!

This guy was SMOOTH.

Oddball Sighting: this guy was testing the limits of how high bars can go.  

Oh sweet MOOTS!  I like bikes that are subdued so that only cognoscenti like me know how cool they are.

Toyon and Round Top picnic areas use the same driveway.

Hey look - it's high-rise handlebar guy still pounding away on Summit Road... hazzah!

Camo Shorts... don't see many of those.

Always a friendly wave from Nancy.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

2020 SMR 18

Four weeks and two days since my seizure and vertebrae fracture.  On Wednesday I did a trial ride to make sure I could handle the Klein and the cleated shoes - rode up to the Dumpster Gate at the end of Segment 1.  It went fine so I was looking forward to a Saturday Morning Ride.  I texted JB so he would know and maybe take it easy on me.  I figured I could do Junction and I wouldn't attempt any higher than that; even though I feel pretty good on the bike, I've been a little more sore than I expected afterwards.

OK, here's a good story - we've had a few run-ins with the Ranger at The Gate... he tells us not to stop at the place where we always stop and he seems to be overly dictatorial about his rules that don't really have any meaning.  JB calls him the "Gate Nazi" but he's really more like a Hall Monitor.  So today JB was stopped at an approved stopping place where he took off his jacket before the ride, and he was kind of obscured by this tree in the photo.  Well the Hall Monitor came out of his shack shouting (at me) "Tell me he is NOT going to the bathroom behind that tree!!!"  I assured him he was not and Hall Monitor returned to his sentry box in anticipation of finding an actual rule breaker to yell at.

Although I was ultra careful riding my first Diablo since the injury, I felt pretty good and was doing an OK pace... didn't feel like I was slowing JB down too much. Started off kind of cool and I was in a long sleeve jersey but I was a little too warm by Junction... no biggie, it's almost July after all.

Wildlife Encounter:  turkeys

This Park visitor was asking me about the best picnic areas.

JB continued on to Summit and I made sure he wouldn't worry about me going down alone.  It was a nice descent and I took it easy because my back was getting a little stiff.

Then on Walnut Avenue, near the fire station I picked up a drywall screw and ruined my rear tire.  I managed to patch it well enough that I didn't have to walk home.  #TheLastFlatIGot

Checking through my supplies in the garage, I found a whole bunch of new and used tires that I had stashed away for just such an occasion so I was able to do a more permanent repair and re-stock my saddle pack without a trip to the bike store.