Diablo Junction - 16 miles
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Second Wednesday night ride of the year and we had a much bigger turnout than last week. New guy Mark, who is the husband of a work colleague showed up; he is an obviously skilled cyclist who’s been off the bike for a while (this was his first ride in 2 years!) so he lacks some fitness. Jeff, who is mostly recovered from a back injury and riding his new orange and black CF Orbea. Robin, who was just plain busy last week, on her new blue Cannondale (both Robin and Jeff made the jump from triple to double chainrings this year). Adam, who rode home from the office, rode up South Gate, and down North Gate to meet us at 5:30. Me, JB, and Brian, the fast triathlete that started riding with us last week.
Mark didn’t know any of us – his wife just told him about our corporate Tour de Cure team and that these Wednesday night rides were like training sessions so when he saw me getting into my car with my bike on the roof he came over and introduced himself. He followed me to Doncaster and we unloaded. Robin drove up a little later so the three of us started together. JB and Adam had a little bit of a head start and we rode by Nicole who was a little behind. Jeff and Brian weren’t there yet; one of these days we’ll have a mass start event.
From the Gate, Robin set a fast pace and I held back to stay with Mark. (I’m going to have to call him Mark P, or invent a nickname for him so he doesn’t get confused with Mark A). After a bit though he found his form and we caught up with her and passed her – she said she was missing her granny gear but was determined to become a power rider. Good on her!
We could see JB and Adam a couple hundred meters ahead, and at the bottom of the Bump I left Mark P to bridge up to them. JB said he wasn’t feeling too well so at that point Adam and I went on ahead together and JB drifted back. We kept up a pretty good pace after that and passed a few more people. At the Junction, Adam sprinted to the line and beat me by about 3 dozen bike lengths – whew, that was exciting! My Junction time was 40m22s so that was exceptional given what I thought was a pretty easy pace.
We all eventually re-grouped in the parking lot and socialized a bit before the cold ride back down. There were a couple of ladies in their car though that had just come down from the Summit and their brakes were smoking! They asked Adam and me if we knew anything about cars and we explained how to use 2nd gear and how to keep their brakes cool for the rest of the way down. They were grateful because they had no idea what they were doing wrong or even if something was maybe wrong with their automobile!
Wildlife Encounter: A familiar-looking raccoon hoping for a piece of PowerBar.
There was also a ranger there that asked if any of us knew about a bike to bike collision that happened sometime Saturday – apparently there was talk about it but no incident report and the ranger wanted it to be official for record-keeping purposes. If any of my readers knows anything about this please pass it along!