Saturday, January 29, 2005

Diablo Junction, Blackhawk, Camino Tasajara, Danville Blvd - 34 miles

It’s been raining the last couple days and the roads were still wet but it was clear and not windy. I was on my foul weather bike and met Rick at the Gate, JB showed up a few minutes later and we set off. There was one guy who started up just before us but we never saw him, so I’m sorry for thinking he was a poser. We rode at an off-season pace until we got to the Ranches and then we took turns testing each other out. At Big Shady Oak, Rick tried to go for a flyer but JB soon caught and passed him and was the first to the Junction. Peter was coming down about the time we got there but he didn’t turn around.

We hung around there for quite a while talking to the other riders and looking at pictures in the display case. JB was having some kind of problem with his DuraAce SPD pedals but he got that worked out and just as we were leaving he realized he also had a flat front tire. He must have gone harder than we thought because then he started to take out his rear wheel to fix the flat on the front. I kidded him that it was probably a failed patch because he’s one of those guys with dozens of patches on his tubes, including the spare. He said he doesn’t have any failed patches and he found a thorn in the rubber. So we waited around a while longer and then decided to go down South Gate.

The sun was pretty bright by now and I was wishing I put the dark lenses in my Bolles. Rick said he wanted to do hole-in-the-fence but JB and I embarassed him into doing Blackhawk. We did some good drafting work on Blackhawk Road and then I won the stoplight climb. We stopped several times to change gloves or roll up arm warmers, and then I had to tighten down my brake hood so it wasn’t an aggressive ride home, but I was first up all the little sprinter hills.

Starbucks in Countrywood after the ride – thanks for the gift card Mom and Dad!

Product Review: Smartwool Hiking Socks

These are a little shorter on the ankle than I would have chosen for a winter cycling sock but that wasn't a problem. They're thicker than most bike socks I have and they felt real good inside my Cannondale MTB shoes (that I purposefully chose to be a little on the roomy side). No booties today and it wasn't as cold as last week, but these socks kept my toes happy on the uphill, the downhill, and the rollers. I suppose their true worth should be measured when they get wet but I wasn't about to test that. Anyway - they're comfy and warm and they don't itch and I give them a 9 as a cycling sock - SmartWool does have some other models so check out their website if you think you might like a different style.

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