Saturday, January 27, 2007

Junction in the fog and drizzle

It had been drizzling all night and the roads were wet and the skies were still dark. This was a ride for... Eddy, the Belgian Beast. His SPD pedals required my Cannondale MTB shoes so there was extra room for another pair of socks over my toes; an advantage in conditions like these.

I knew Rick wasn't coming so when JB got to the Gate we started up. The drizzle was just enough to be a little annoying, there was nearly no wind, and the visibility was very low because of the fog. Surely we'd be the only riders on the Mountain this morning. Not really that cold though - I even took off my gloves.

In a couple places when I was out of the saddle I got some rear tire slippage so I made a note to remember that for the way down.

At the Bump, next to Burma it looked like a tree had newly fallen - weren't these both standing last week?

The fog broke about 1,500 feet and the sun was out but it wasn't any warmer, and it was still drizzling, and it got kind of windy too; so the only advantage was better visibility.

We got passed by a couple cars but didn't see any other riders this morning, but there was one jogger closer to the bottom. At the Junction we did see a guy on a Colnago come up from the Easy Side and continue on up Summit - hats off to him! We decided it was a good day for a short ride so we bundled up and turned down.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Diablo Juniper - 27 miles

Warmed up to about 40°F this morning by 8am. Rick, JB, and I rode like molasses in January going uphill. Didn't see any other riders until just before Chainbuster when a guy passed us up quickly. At the Junction he wasn't there so we figured he kept on going but later we saw him coming in behind us! He must have pulled off and hidden somewhere when we went by.

Then we went up Summit Road and it was a lot windier up there. The Mountain had a good dusting of snow last week and there were lots of places where they had spread salt on the road.

This is all the snow that's left.

Ooop, there's a little more.

JB and I turned around at Juniper but Rick went all the way up. Then he called to tell me the Upper Parking Lot was closed and the gates were shut at the Wall.

It was nice descending because it wasn't so cold. At the final curve I spun up my highest gear and got into a good tuck and was going fast when I noticed a shadow on my left and I figured it was JB, but it was some guy in a Galaxy Granola jersey. He was not tucked and still pedalling so I just pulled in behind him. I didn't want to make him nervous so I stayed back a couple bike lengths and still had plenty of draft back there. He kept on pedalling and I could tell he was wearing out so I knew I'd have no trouble coming around him at the dips. I've done this a hundred times with Rick but "this time, it's for real".


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Junction plus Hole in the Fence

Coldest ride in several years - low 20's overnight. Uniform of the day: sock liners under socks, bibs under tights, jersey, jacket, neck gator, shoes and full booties, double gloves, headsweats and helmet. Had trouble keeping the tips of my fingers warm but the rest of me was fine.

JB had gotten to the Gate a little early and gone up a ways, he came back down to meet me after I'd been there a couple minutes. After a few more minutes we determined Rick wasn't coming.

On the way up, JB wondered out loud if we were the only riders crazy enough to do this, then two guys came down who had started when it was even earlier and colder. The he wondered out loud if anyone would be nuts enough to wear shorts and two more guys came down - one of them in shorts (more like basketball shorts than cycling shorts though). They were the last riders we saw until we got to Junction.

File photo - can't work my camera with double gloved hands.

I suggested riding down to the tire poppers and back up but JB thought one descent was enough so we agreed on the Hole. After that it was just putting in winter miles all the way home - but they count for double since it was so cold.
My new truck!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Junction and Blackhawk - 37 miles

Timing was good this morning - I saw Rick's car turning onto Walnut from my red light on Ygnacio. We waited at the Gate for a few minutes but no one else showed up so it was just two of us. One guy in a bright rain jacket left about a minute before us so we had a good rabbit to chase.

We're both in the last days of bad colds so there was a lot of hacking going on.

There's that guy - looks like we might catch him. I did a hard effort up the Bump and through the Upper Washout and then eased up until Rick regrouped. That guy is still the same distance away now.

At the switchbacks I started to chase and made up maybe a little time on rain jacket guy but not enough to matter. At the Junction we compared times and we both had the same. He went down, Rick came in, and then a little later JB did too. He announced he didn't bring his motivation and Rick announced we were doing Blackhawk.

I ate my PowerBar and Rick ate a Gu. He noted that the package was 8 months past its pull date and he read the ingredients that sounded like a page from an Organic Chemistry lab assignment - Vanihexane? I joked that it was banned by WADA.

I descended SGR a little early and snapped these shots.

On Blackhawk Road I let JB set the pace but I sprinted up the hills. Out on La Gonda Rick was giving me a good run though... maybe I should Google for some Vanihexane.