Diablo Juniper - 21 miles
Today was the first day I drove my car to work since before May. I had my bike on the roof and drove out to the Church right after work. I saw all the DCers leaving just as I got there. I rolled up to the Gate and waited until 5:30 before I started up. JB and Adam and Jeff would have to chase me.
Warm day but not too hot. I decided for fun I'd do the whole ride without shifting lower than my 21t. It was actually pretty easy after a while - I stood up more but kept my cadence in check. Didn't have any trouble going up the Bump, where I passed two DC stragglers. I was breathing hard but controlled.
Wildlife Encounter: A coyote on the shoulder right next to me. I talked to him and he trotted right past me in the other direction with lots of eye contact. They really are a lot smaller close up than they appear to be at a distance… or maybe this one was still a pup. Anyway it was a neat experience.
Up past the Upper Washout I passed a guy with a jersey that had the Spanish Flag on it, and I shouted out "¡Qué viva España! and he smiled at me and said "Viva España" but he didn't say it with as much enthusiasm.
Still in my 21 I plugged along but it was fun. Junction time was 43 minutes so it didn't slow me down too much.
Another big crowd up there. I talked to Jay K about the Sierra Century where a cyclist died from a stupid maneuver in front of a logging truck. Jay found some orange tires for his bike so that pretty much completes the package except maybe his spokes.
The rest of my little group showed up after a while. Jeff and JB went back down North, Adam went home via South, and I went up to Juniper - IN MY 21.
The Blue Oak stretch was quite a grunt in the big gear but the rest of it was fine. It was a little windier toward the top and there were a lot of riders descending from the Summit. The shadows up here get long and dark and can obscure the pot holes so you have to watch out for that. A guy on a touring motorcycle passed me at one point and I thought how nice it was that he had a Honda or something with a quiet engine and good mufflers and not one of those obnoxious Harley noisemakers.
Just a few minutes at the Diablo Valley Overlook (that's what the sign at the Juniper Parking Lot says) to enjoy the view and then it was back down. I'm not a screaming descender but I timed myself and it was about 21 minutes from Juniper back to the Gate.