Diablo Junction 24 miles
I didn’t wake up until 7:45 this morning. No time to stretch, eat breakfast, top off my tire pressure, or even mix up any Cytomax; I was going to be late no matter what. I pulled on my shorts and jersey, no HRM, fed the dog a pig ear and hit the road.
Saw Rick’s SUV on Doncaster – he doesn’t park there unless Nicole didn’t come. Today is Rick’s birthday (39) and I had prepared a token gift of HammerGel individual servings (every flavor they make). Got to the Gate at 10 after or so, no sign of anyone, but within a mile I had them in sight and within another half mile I had joined up. JB, Rick, and Sam – a summer hire college student working with Rick. Sam was a muscular young guy interested in doing some triathlons but had only been riding for… THREE DAYS. He bought his bike (which looked 4cm too small for him) on Wednesday night. Rick advised him to ride his own pace and then we rode away from Sam. As we rode away Rick informed JB and me that Sam had gone into the City last night to party and didn’t get home until 3am. We didn’t feel to sorry for him and he was obviously in trouble way before the serious climbing started.
We maintained a ridiculously easy pace for quite a while. It was surprisingly cold for the last day of July and none of us felt like a hard ride I guess. The fog was thick and the trees were dripping on the pavement. Around the Upper Ranch JB started to push the pace a bit and Rick fell off. I held JB’s wheel easily and noticed that he was panting like a dog, so even though I still felt like I was half asleep I knew I could take him.
Fourty-eight minutes is a terrible ET, but it was fast enough to be first today. Rick liked his Hammer Gel and we decided to sign up for the Napa Valley Century Everyone had plans today so we split up and went down. Sam never made it to the Junction - we figured he had given up and was probably back home in bed already.