Diablo Junction and Bump de Bump 36 miles
Yes, a rare Sunday morning ride. JB is still nursing his wounds (the bruised rib is the worst part), Rick has left for his Bike-opelli MTB adventure in Colorado, and the wife decided I needed to help with her yard sale on Saturday so that leaves today for a ride. Nicole rode up yesterday as part of a wedding processional (bride and groom rode up separately from opposite sides and rode down on a tandem). So it was just me and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny morning. I rode along in autopilot, just appreciating the mountain's splendor and not pushing myself too hard but planned all along on doing Bump de Bump.
Wildlife Encounter: Coming around one switchback I happened on a group of three young deer who, upon seeing me darted adroitly straight up the steep incline to my left; it was such a smooth maneuver as to have been choreographed. Also, although I didn't see it, there was definitely a skunk encounter of some sort in the vicinity of Son of Chainbuster.
I passed about a half dozen riders on the way to the Junction and then I kept on going down South Gate Road without stopping. I did pause briefly at the South Gate Kiosk to fill up my bottle at the water fountain because it was getting really warm. I rode past several dozen riders coming up as I descended. The view from South Gate Road is quite a bit different from the North - there aren't the cow pastures and ranches, there is more greenery and several camping/picnic areas, but the expensive housing developments are a lot closer to the park so that's a big detractor. At the Boundary Gate I turned around and started the ride back up. I passed a few of the riders I saw on the way down, and some of the riders that were coming up before were now descending so that was kind of interesting. Then I rode right threw the Junction again to descend down the North and there were dozens more riders coming up there too. A good day on the mountain, but then I got a flat about 2 miles from home - small shard of glass went all the way through the rubber and tire casing. I hope the cut doesn't get any bigger, I just put these tires on! Also, that nagging knee pain started to reappear during the flat part after the last descent... disturbing that.
Product Review: My wife got me this Polar insulated water bottle for my birthday - the big one in the middle of the picture. I'd been curious about these but not enough to actually buy one. I like it, the tall one holds the same amount of liquid as a regular (small) water bottle, the valve is nicely designed for easy cleaning, and it does do an excellent job of insulating. I usually put lots of ice in my bottles in a vain attempt to keep the Cytomax cold on hot days. With this bottle I had ice remaining when I refilled at the water fountain - well over an hour after starting. There's a little dimple on two sides and you have to make sure your cage grabs the bottle at that point for the best hold. And it's a little heavier than a regular bottle - just enough to make you think there's more another two gulps of water in there when there isn't. Retail price is $10, any color you want so long as it's white (translucent so you can see the shiny foil insulating layer).