Diablo Summit - 33 miles
Rick called while I was on my way to the Gate. He said he was going to be late and that his brother Chris was with him. So JB and I did a warm up ride to the bottom of the Bump and then turned around. Rick, Chris, and Nicole were already started but we went all the way to the Gate before turning around. Then I sprinted to catch up with the three and JB mysteriously disappeared. I rode with them for a while and then this guy with a Saeco jersey passed me just before the Bump. Later JB caught up to us and he said he thought the Saeco guy wanted to race him. Then took off together and we passed the Saeco guy near the Lower Ranch - he looked to be about 60 and in good shape.
Then I accelerated and gapped JB. Near Chainbuster I figured I had about 20 seconds on him. I thought "If I can keep this gap up for another half mile I'll have the win in the bag". Then I looked back one more time and he was right there! I got on his wheel and figured he couldn't keep up that speed for long, but he kept it up long enough for me to poop out... so I did.
Big re-grouping at the Junction and Chris decided he'd like to try to go up to Juniper even though he didn't have much energy. JB decided to go down South Gate and return on the flats. Rick and I decided to do the Summit. He was feeling good because he had ridden slowly to the Junction, but I had burned some matches trying to stay ahead of JB so I was a little tired and Rick dropped me near the Muir Picnic Area and stayed ahead the rest of the way.
On the way back down we saw three interesting things: a bagpipe player on one of the pull outs, an uber-naturalist riding up on an old beater bike with corduroy pants and a towel on his head, and a guy with an overheating pickup who was putting washer fluid in his radiator.
Rick had a transparent section in the back of his shorts, I cracked up (ha!) watching the view in the little window! He led me out for a sprint up the Double Dips but I went too early and it was windier than I thought so I faded before the top.
We went to the coffee shop and were surprised to find JB there too. He got to the South Gate kiosk and changed his mind about going back on the flats so he went back to Junction and down North Gate.
Product Review: Hutchison Fusion Comp Tires
I've got about 100 miles on these now and I really like them. I got the black and silver ones because they match my saddle. They corner well and roll smoothly and they look well made. In my opinion they're at least as good as the Michelin Pro Race tires that I've been using and significantly cheaper. I give them my highest rating: 10.
Next century: Tour d'Organics