Saturday, January 21, 2006

Up North Gate, Down South Gate and Back Though Town - 31 miles

All the weather reports said it was going to be a fine day and I was glad I finally got a new Flight Deck because I wanted to ride the Klein. Woke up at 6am and didn’t even think about looking out the window, I just trusted the reports. Then I happened to hear a traffic report on the radio that said the weather was creating problem so I peeked through the curtains and saw thick fog and drizzle. Well, now I was glad that I put a Race Blade fender on the Belgian Beast. I added a layer under my jersey and put on two layers of socks and rolled out into the elements. It wasn’t actually too cold so I figured I’d be pretty comfortable even if I did get a little damp.

More shifting problems on the old 8-speed Ultegra stuff – I did a lube/flush after my last rain ride but it didn’t seem to work very well. Almost makes me want to put downtube shifters back on … hmmmm. As I got near the end of Bancroft, I saw JB go through the traffic circle from Oak Grove – I like when we both get there at the same time… no waiting around and wondering if the other guy is going to show. We wiped the rocks off the post because we knew no one else was coming.

All the washed out areas on North Gate had been repaired and there were no single lane zones but there were still some cones in areas where the shoulder had washed away right up to the pavement. It was so foggy though, and the visibility so low, that we didn’t have the usual sensation of knowing exactly where we are on the route and we came upon the Bump rather suddenly. I was grinding my lowest gear and thinking I’m in miserable condition but comforted myself thinking it was just all the extra clothes I was wearing and the intense power work spin class I did last night.

Wildlife Encounter: A coyote crossed the road in front of us, then followed us up the hill for a ways – they’re cuter in the winter when they’re so fluffy, in the summer they’re kind of scraggly looking.

We kept hoping we’d pop out of the fog layer and the sun DID get a little brighter but visibility at the Junction was still pretty low. We saw a few people ride in from both directions and I said hi to them and then we rolled down South Gate.

South Gate Road was slippery from the rain and mud on the surface so we took it pretty easy. It was also colder on this side and I had to stop and put on my glove liners. The road condition though was very good until we got down to the Hole in the Fence where it had been under water and there was mud and gook everywhere. JB led the way back to Concord through all the side roads that I should know by now but never bothered to learn.

Still trying to figure out where to watch Stage 2 of the Tour of California from. Either Happy Valley or closer to the finish in San Jose.

Anybody else go back to downtube shifters after using brifters for so long?


Anonymous said...

Brifter? I hate that word!

Scott said...

Well - thanks for writing!


Rick M. said...

I am also looking forward to Stage 2 of TOC. My plan is to watch from near the top of Mama Bear since you can see a very long section of climb from there. After they pass I plan on driving south to watch the MAJOR climb up Sierra Road near San Jose.

Rick M.