Wednesday evening, Diablo Junction, 16 miles.
Drove in to work this morning with my bike and Rick's birthday mountain bike on the roof. Nicole will be giving Rick his present when she gets home from the ride - it's been hidden in my garage for about three weeks (since Performance had the "no sales tax" sale).
We transferred the mountain bike into Nicole's Explorer at the start of the ride and then Tom and Edgardo showed up to ride also! Hadn't seen either of them for quite a while and even longer since I'd seen them on their bikes. We headed out and noticed that the Diablo Riders were still grouping up in the church parking lot so JB and I decided to get a little head start. As we passed the gate JB asked me to give him a lead out like I did for Rick on Saturday. It was very humid but not too hot so it seemed like a good time would be possible. There was a pretty stiff breeze though and my lead out didn't last as long as I would have liked before I started to fade and started to draft JB. Another mile up the road and JB just rode me off his wheel.
I dropped back into a sustainable pace and shortly Mark came around and passed me quickly and easily. At the top of the bump I looked back and saw someone I thought was Tom! I thought "No way am I going to let him catch me when he hasn't ridden more than a dozen times the last 5 years!" so I dug a little deeper and found a slightly anaerobic pace that I thought I could maintain for a few miles. I did put some extra space between us but by the lower ranch I realized he was going to catch me, then I realized it wasn't even HIM! That was a big relief. I passed up a few more people before I got to the Junction and managed to avoid letting anyone else catch me but the Diablo Cyclists started arriving very shortly after that so it was pretty good timing.
At the Junction, Paul (the guy whose legs cramped up a few weeks ago as I was passing him) talked about Saturday's Climb to Kaiser - he said it was harder than the Death Ride, pretty much a "suffer fest". Mark had done a road race last weekend and placed 5th in his age group and several others had done either the race or the Kaiser ride so there were a lot of stories. The racoon showed up again also and seemed disappointed that no one had any snacks.
After the ride the five of us went to Round Table for beer and pizza bread.