Diablo Junction - 22 miles
I was thinking that after the Hurl Ride last week, the season was pretty much over and Wednesday night rides (the few that remain) would be much less competitive. Two factors changed that though - Rick was taking time off from work so he came tonight (and he's still training for the Diablo Challenge), and Eric wasn't here last week so he was having his own little Hurl Ride. Nicole, Cindy, Adam, and JB were also there. Rick just replaced most of the components in his drivetrain; chainrings, cassette, derailleurs and brifters because he was having shifting problems; looks nice and seems to work much better now.
It was a beautiful night, warm and still. Adam decided he could "help" Rick by riding him into half-wheel hell, but it didn't seem like we were going fast enough for a super great time so I figured Rick just wanted to do a normal ride. But before long it started to heat up and I was working much harder than I wanted to. By the top of the Bump Adam and Rick were about 20 seconds ahead of me and I decided to let them stay away, but I didn't exactly turn it off either.
Seemed to have a pretty good time by the 3mtg point and I figured a 38 minute ride was in the works. We all started to pass people in this period, some I knew and some I hadn't seen before. There was one guy with a loose Hawaiian shirt who looked strong but squirrelly; he fought and fought to keep up with Adam and Rick but finally pooped out. Then I saw Eric coming down - he had started up about 4:30 and I convinced him to turn around and come back up with us. He was rested from having finished his ride quite a while ago so for a while he was pushing me hard! But then with 1mtg I put my head down and rode away from him, then I passed Hawaiian shirt guy and another guy, and crossed the line in 37m47s.
Rick PB'ed with a 36m54s. Eric also PB'ed (from the 4:30 ride) with a 40m05s. JB was somewhere around 42m. Turns out Eric and the Hawaiian shirt guy had ridden together before and sort of knew each other. Hawaiian shirt guy bought his bike during the Tour de France and has been riding up Diablo almost every day since then - he just hasn't gotten around to buying a jersey or bike shorts yet. He'll be a strong rider when he develops a little more suplesse.
Sun is very low on the horizon on the way down.
Wildlife Encounter: Two tarantulas on the prowl.