Diablo Junction plus Hole in the Fence - 36 miles
Forecast was for a beautiful day so I just brought my windbreaker. Another 8:30 day so I figured JB and I would do some sparring before Rick and Nicole got there. But I didn’t get to the Gate until 8:10 and I had seen Rick’s car so I wasn’t sure what was going on.
About a half mile below the Bump, I came across a descending JB who invited me to turn around and start over. I hesitated but eventually did so. Back at the Gate he said he had seen Rick just a little way higher than me but it looked like he didn’t turn around.
So JB and I started up again and rode a pretty good pace. He had a new fanny pack on for holding his Gore-Tex jacket which he usually takes off at some point in these autumn rides.
Wildlife Encounter: A jackrabbit with ears higher than my hubs bounded out of the ditch near the lower farm and I thought there was no way I could hit that thing and stay upright. Luckily he saw us, changed directions to run parallel to the road, and then decided to jump back into the ditch. JB was oblivious to the whole thing because he was futzing with his cyclocomputer. Anyway, a jackrabbit is much bigger than a ground squirrel, but thankfully much smarter as well.
Below the Bump, I noticed JB was breathing hard and I thought that was kind of strange. A little while later he said “Why are you in such a hurry?”, and I joked “I’m trying to catch Rick.” But it was clear he wasn’t having a good day, and I like when that happens. When we got to the Bump I decided to do a big gear drill in a 21t and that was kind of fun. I slowed down just after the 1,000 foot sign waiting for JB to catch me but he was farther back than I expected. This was kind of fun so every time I went around a blind corner I did a little sprint and every time I knew he could see me I dropped it down into an easy spin. With a mile and a half to go, Rick came down and said “hi” to me but didn’t turn around until he met up with JB. Then Rick bridged back up to me and we discussed the recent Roberto Heras doping story while we pretended we weren’t riding too hard. He also explained that Nicole woke up this morning, stepped outside, and seeing her breath… pronounced it too cold to ride.
After Chainbuster I did another big gear drill and dropped Rick. That felt pretty good too. Junction time: 42m28s… hey, it’s November. But the itch to kick ass is starting to bubble up.
Rick had a kiddie party to go to so JB and I went down SGR without him. There was some kind of search and rescue practice going on near Rock City, and the weather was getting really nice now. I led all the way down at a comfortable pace and then we turned off at the Hole.
The rest of the way we stayed together and chatted and I’m learning my way around those back roads, but I did make sure to do a little interval on every elevation increase… feels good to inflict some pain.