Diablo Junction - 23 miles
Today had to be a quick one because I had a family event in the early afternoon. As I went past the Church, I saw a couple guys nearly ready to get going but I didn't recognize them. JB wasn't at the Gate yet so I waited until 8:01 and put a rock on the post. Just then the two Church guys rode up and I contemplated starting behind them but figured it would be a good challenge to go first and not let them catch me. I also decided to do a "Sub 21" ride again today; meaning I wouldn't use any cassette cogs bigger than my 21 so it would be a big gear workout.
It was windy through the Dips and up past the Dumpster Gate - a headwind the whole way. I half expected JB to catch me and I kept looking back but I didn’t see him and I didn't see the Church guys. The wind got even stronger in the winding section below the Bump. Then I saw my first rabbit so I concentrated on chasing him while not forgetting about climbing the Bump in a 21. Caught the guy just below the Upper Washout and saw he had a white Klein so I said "hi" and he said "nice bike" and that was the whole convo.
Now up near the Ranches I look back and see three guys chasing me. Then I figured out it was a group of two and a solo rider who just happened to be together when I saw them. Then I started to wonder if the two were the Church guys. They came past me pretty quick and it looked like them but couldn't be sure - they were both tall guys with sinewy legs. Then the single guy passed me too and he had a triathlete kind of bike with a triple and he was twiddling about 110rpm in a really small gear - quite a contrast with my big gear mashing. Coming around one hairpin (into the wind) I looked up at the grass and saw that I was going to have a tailwind after the switchback - but as soon as I came around the corner the grass changed directions!
Up above Chainbuster was more headwind but no JB so at least I didn't let him catch me. Junction time 45m51s so that was a slow one. JB showed up after and then went up to the Summit in search of sun.
On the way back home the oddest thing happened. There was a garage sale on Walnut which is usually a pretty nice street to ride on but now there were a lot of parked cars. I was on guard for dumbass drivers and sure enough a minivan pulled out of its parallel parking spot right in front of me. It wasn't close enough to make me skid but they clearly weren't looking and didn't signal or anything. So I pulled up next to the passenger's window and pointed at my eye saying "Watch what you're doing". Inside was a very elderly couple (mid 80s at least) and a little rat-dog. The woman was driving and the man was in the passenger seat. They couldn't hear me but I made it clear that we had just had a close call due to her inattentiveness. Then they got ahead of me but we met up again at the stoplight on Walnut and Ygnacio - I was going straight and they were in the front of the left turn lane and there were now lots of cars waiting for the green. I looked over hoping to see some sign of remorse or contrition but instead I saw the old lady driver giving me the finger! I stared for a moment in disbelief, wondering if I was really seeing this and then the old guy flipped a crooked middle finger at me too! Now this was funny but maddening at the same time and all the other people in their cars were watching so I give the guy my Italian fist-in-the-elbow gesture a couple times and then the light changed and it was all over.