Met Rick at the Church, and then JB came down from a pre-ride warm-up. Rick's training for Grizzly Peak next week (9,000+ feet and 110 miles) so he was on a mission to elevate. It's also the day of the Devil Mountain Double so we saw the signs and the last couple dozen DMD'ers descending - good day for it, beautiful weather, seemed to be a lot of cars though.
Wildlife Encounter: A loose dog at the upper entrance to the Upper Ranch. My first thought was "wolf" but it was probably a husky. He posed no problem.
At the Junction the bugs were pretty bad so we headed straight down South Gate. There were some people unloading their bikes from a car there that were surprised when we turned around; one of them said "Hey, didn't you guys just finish?". JB was happy with himself because he remembered to shift down in advance. Two guys passed us right after we started - one was a really fast guy but the other looked like he was catchable.
Never did see the catchable guy again, but the fast guy flatted before Rock City so it was kind of a victory when we passed him. I went for a little time trial and no one came with me. I didn't expect to stay alone for long but Rick must have been saving himself for the Summit so he gifted me the win.
And then we all went up Summit Road. I didn't have time to go all the way but figured I could do Juniper. We all started up pretty slow and then I attacked the gruppetto at Anti-Gravity Corner and scored another stage win. Rick kept going, JB and I turned around.
On the way down we inspected Wounded Knee and sure enough, it's the exact place where that hard-to-see pavement dip is; I'm sure that caused Brad's crash Wednesday. When you examine it from below you can see the contour much better and I think there's a good line to take on either side.
Oddball Observation: I saw a guy laying on the ground, face down next to his bike. I thought he had crashed but then I realized he was doing some kind of yoga push-ups.
After the ride, I took the wife and daughter up the Mountain in the minivan. I don't remember the last time I drove up but it was a long time ago. I paid my $6 day use fee for autos happily.
Wildlife Encounter: A coyote! I'd been telling my daughter that we would see one if we were lucky so this was a wonderful sighting.
We had a picnic at that shady place next to the trail about a half mile past Junction and then went on a little hike. I had the good camera.
"Our house is over there."
Then we drove the rest of the way up to "the castle".
It was a good day for a birthday.