Diablo Junction - 16 miles
Adam again had declared his intention of breaking the 30-minute barrier today. His plan was to do some extra warming up on the way out and start a little later. JB wasn't riding and Nicole was coming late so I left at the regular time all by myself.
After about a mile I spotted a rabbit to chase - he was wearing a blue and white jersey and since I hadn't seen him until now I figured I must be at least a little faster than him. But now there were a couple guys behind me so I was playing an interesting game of mouse-cat-dogs. The two guys behind me caught up at the bottom of the Bump and one guy with a USPS jersey and a celeste Bianchi sprinted passed me right on the steepest part - but then he slowed down about one bike length in front of me so I passed him right back on the right side while holding a steady speed. Seemed like a total beginner move but maybe he was waiting for his buddy. Anyway I stayed ahead of those two but I lost site of the blue and white guy in front of me.
Coming up to the Upper Ranch a guy in an orange jersey with a funky chin beard caught up to me and right after that I heard Adam coming. He said something as he went by and then the funky chin beard guy said "just like we were standing still". I thought he may have been the other guy with the USPS/Bianchi guy but turned out he was riding solo.
Feeling OK, with none of the residual lactic burn I've been having recently so I stayed in semi-fast time trial mode the rest of the way up. As I got near Chainbuster, USPS/Bianchi guy passed me again! And then he blew up again! He said something like "Holy Jeez!" and I asked him if he was surprised by the difficulty of the climb. He said this was only his second time up the Mountain and that he was from Illinois. I told him it got easier after Chainbuster and then I rode away from him again. He must have really flared out though because he finished at least two minutes behind me.
Blue and white guy must have gone up to the Summit or maybe down South Gate because I didn't see him again. Also didn't see any Diablo Cyclists up there but there were about 20 riders from the John Muir-Mt. Diablo Health Care club. Turns out funky chin beard guy, the USPS Bianchi guy and the other dog were with that club too, but didn't have the jerseys. I've never seen any of these riders before last month and now they're putting a big squad up there every Wednesday! Kind of different to hear people talking about hernias, broken bones, and catheters at the Junction.