Diablo Bump de Bump – 38 miles.
Rick’s doing the Challenge tomorrow so he’s resting today. Nicole called at 7:30 to say she’d meet me at 9 at the Tire Poppers on South Gate (our plan B). JB wasn’t at the Gate by 8 so I put a rock on the post and left. I met up with a couple guys that were about my speed on the way there, but by the time I got going they had about three minutes on me so I didn’t think I’d see them again.
When I first rode out my door this morning I thought I was going to be too cold and there were some dark, ominous clouds to the west, but now here on the mountain it was sunny and a little windy – still cool but I was comfortable in shorts and short sleeves. The tarantulas are starting to thin out already – I only saw two on the way up. Kept looking back for JB but there was no sign of him. I was enjoying the relaxed, meditative ride when I came around Son of Chainbuster and saw the two guys I’d met earlier – they were probably a minute ahead so I picked it up and had a little chase. Almost caught them but they beat me to the Junction. I didn’t stop there, just rolled on through and down to the South.
Immediately the conditions changed; South Gate Road was foggy and damp. Trees were dripping on me and there were large sections of wet pavement. It was like I climbed a mountain in California and was descending one in Oregon – or like I climbed up in September and rode down in December. It wasn’t uncomfortable though; I was enjoying the ride but couldn’t believe the difference.
Hooked up with Nicole near the bottom and started back up with her. She said she got drizzled on at her house in Dublin. Riding with Nicole is always a relaxed experience. I cracked a few jokes and did a lot more scenery admiring than I usually do. Suddenly we came upon JB who also turned around and started up again. When we got up around Rock City where the road was wet Nicole got dripped on by a tree. Summer’s definitely over.
We gabbed for a while at the Junction and then we all split up. JB went up Summit Road, Nicole down South Gate, and I went down North Gate.
Adrenaline Inducing Event: Right at the bottom of the Double Dips, just where you take maximum speed into the sprinter hill, a squirrel made a dash across the road from my left. I was in the middle of the right lane and got a good grip on my bars expecting to pop the little dumbass but (I am NOT making this up) – he stuck out all four feet and SKIDDED about two meters, slowing down just enough to miss my front wheel by the width of an eyelash. I found myself laughing as I pounded up the little climb in my big gear thinking how close I came to increasing the road kill inventory.