Saturday, December 08, 2007

Solo to Juniper

Just me today, riding the Eddy Merckx.

About half way to the Gate, I was wishing I had chosen warmer socks. After a week of fog and rain, today was clear and dry but very cold. I knew Rick wasn't coming, JB called while I was en route and said he wouldn't be coming either. I decided today would be a good day to take a bunch of photos; especially of places where I don't normally stop. I kept my eye open for an unusual cast of a shadow or an interesting pattern in the trees; let me know how I did.

I took some extra time with these shots today, so please enjoy. There bigger than usual too if you click on them.

I stopped at the steepest part of the Bump for a photo and a guy with a Pegasus jersey climbed past me... he didn't see my camera, probably thought I was a newb that couldn't make it without a breather.
Most of the Bump was still in the shade.
At the Lower Ranch I saw two guys who looked like they were in a bit over their heads... both looked knackered and under-prepared but in good spirits.
Didn't see anybody else going up or down until Chainbuster where Dudley was stopped, on his way down trying to get some warmth back in his legs I think. I said "hello" but then a little ways up I pulled out my camera for a photo. I don't think I've ever really made fun of Dudley (other than assigning him an unusual nickname) and I truly do admire his determination and consistency. He doesn't seem to fit the mold of other cyclists that ride the Mountain on a regular basis though; he usually wears street clothes with a back pack and bike shorts. Today he would have benefitted from some tights.

Here we have the only known photo of "Dudley".

You can see the Ranger House in this shot, right about in the middle at the top.
At the Junction I met a guy with a 7-Eleven jersey who admired my 7-Eleven replica bike. There were also some MTB guys there who rode up NGR and were going to do some trails on the way down to Danville. Then the two guys I saw at Diablo Ranch came in as well; one of them had a cool Scottish accent and the other guy kept complaining that he was going to die. They jokingly asked if there was any coffee up here and I said it was at the Summit but they didn't bite.

So off I went, not knowing how far I'd go before turning around. It did get colder and windier up there though so that would be my excuse.
At Juniper I decided I'd had enough and started down. I stopped at Junction again to put on some lip goop and then some other guys were there who also verbally admired my bike... I said "I paid $800 for this frame 14 years ago - that's real quality."

I think my chain is worn out though, it kept getting hung up on the chainrings when I'd back peddle a half stroke around corners.
Back down near sea level and the sun was high and the air was warm.
Notch up one more excellent day on Mount Diablo.

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