Diablo Junction, Saturday morning, 28 miles
Today is the day of our company picnic. Rick and Nicole were planning on going but JB wasn't, so we were all going to do a quickie ride to the Junction. I got to the start a little early and rode up about 2 miles before I turned around to meet everyone at the gate. No one had shown up by 8:10 so I thought about getting started but I decided to ride down to the place where Rick parks his Explorer and there were the three of them.
There was a pretty good headwind as we started up and nobody lead off with a starting sprint. Rick did set a pretty mean tempo but not enough to break any records. I would normally have opened up a gap and tried to maintain it until the top of the bump but today I decided to just ride Rick's wheel. JB drifted off and caught back on a few times - there was very little conversation. Up the bump Rick joked that he was defecting to the Republic of Anaerobia which was the theme of a jersey we saw on the Marin Century. I held on up to the ranches but then started to fatigue and slow down. Rick kept going and JB started pushing the pace as I lost sight of them around the switchbacks up ahead. As similar as Rick and I are in our century pacing we're very different when it comes to riding The Mountain; he likes to start out at a pretty easy pace, pick it up to quite fast in the middle and hold on during the last few painful miles. JB likes to start out at a medium pace, continue at a medium pace over the bump and through the ranches, and then totally hammer the last few miles. For my best attempts I start out very fast, go totally anaerobic over the bump, do some intervals with recovery through the ranch section, and then try to keep a steady high aerobic pace for the last two miles (not always successful). Those disparities in relative strengths are what make riding with each other interesting.
I hit Junction at 43m14s and didn't hang around long before I headed back down. I dinged my bell at Nicole as I passed - she still had about a mile of climbing to go by then. Lots of riders this morning - everything from fatties on Costco bikes to shavers on TiMegabucks and at least two Postie posers.