Saturday, September 6: Diablo Summit 32miles
I met Will and Rick at the Gate - JB rode up shortly next to a guy with a super sweet bike and Ksyrium SSC wheels (very popular around here, despite their price) who kept going by himself. So we all started off at a pretty easy pace - it was cool but not uncomfortable, and there was a very light breeze. A couple miles up the road Peter caught up to us (we never wait for Peter - he's on his own schedule) and then we suddenly all started going faster. We passed the guy who had been riding with JB - he broke a spoke and couldn't finish the ride (at least we never saw him again, maybe he managed to ride home anyway). JB dropped off first but Rick and I rode with Peter. I hammered up the 3-mile bump in first place and then slowed down until Rick and Peter caught me. Peter then took the lead and accelerated slowly until he was up to 11 mph and I couldn't hold on anymore. JB caught me up around the ranches and my Junction time was 43 minutes which is OK given the slow start.
There were about a dozen guys in a group that showed up while we were waiting for Will - the fastest guy said he did a 34 and the slowest did 42 (his best time in 10 years he said). They all went down Southgate but I noticed one of the guys had a "Douglas" titanium bike from Colorado Cyclist - it looked a lot nicer than I had imagined - but that stigma of being a mail-order pseudo-brand is hard to overlook.
JB and Will didn't come but Peter and Rick and I went to the Summit. It was an uneventful ride except that it had started to warm up and there were nice tailwinds in many of the sections. My Summit time was 83 minutes so I was pretty satisfied with that. We talked to a guy on a triathlon bike and we all (except him) agreed that it would suck to try and ride this mountain on that kind of low-profile bike. Rick and Peter were planning on a second assault so I rode down toward home by myself - the tailwinds were much more noticeable on the way down... because they weren't tailwinds anymore - they were headwinds and crosswinds and the bike handling got a little tricky in some sections, but I've been doing this long enough to know how to ride in these conditions and it was no problem.