Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fijn Vlaamse Veer

Everything was still wet when I left the house, but the rain looked over. My knee was kind of hurting too but it didn't last long. Met JB at the Gate and neither one of us felt like suffering so we rode easily and talked.

The rain cloud was still hanging over the Mountain and visibility was low. I remember thinking how odd it was to climb and climb and not see anything ahead.

They haven't made any progress on the Middle Washout since Wednesday. We hoped they had plans to fix the downhill lane also because it's obviously damaged. Then we hoped that maybe they'd close North Gate Road to all motor vehicles and only bikes and hikers could use it.

There's another section just below Wounded Knee that looks like it's about ready to give out as well. The earth had slid away from the road and the pavement is going to be next.

We stopped at Junction for a little while and then went down to the Kiosk. It was a lot wetter over there - the cloud was heavier, the trees were dripping, and it eventually started to rain. We were pretty wet by the time we got back to the Junction but I was happy to see so many other riders up there as well. We just kept going back down to the Gate while we were still warm. Lots of riders coming up too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2008 WNR 03

Drove to Church, rode to Gate, put up rock, took a photo:

A dark and forboding cloud was passing over the Mountain.

There were a bunch of cars parked just inside the Gate. No ranger at the Kiosk so I wondered if they paid their parking (self serve envelopes).

Seems the cow population is increasing rapidly.

The parked cars appeared to belong to a group of women walking up the road in what appeared to be a training walk for a fundraising event judging from the number of pink hats.

Should have brought my arm warmers. Should have brought some warmer gloves too.

The middle washout repair is going quickly. No retaining wall, just some extra foundation and new pavement it looks like.

I still hadn't seen JB and Adam but I felt pretty good and went pretty hard the last three miles. They showed up at the Junction a little while later and we didn't hang around very long.

JB and I went back down - it was pretty cold... should have brought some arm warmers and full gloves.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Almost Warm

I even thought about going out in shorts but opted for tights and a LS jersey.

Finally got around to resetting the clock on my Flight Deck and accidentally screwed up the gear selection.

Got to the Gate at 8 and no one was there so I got a head start on JB. A group of about 10 had started just in front of me and I held them in view for quite a while, but then stopped chasing.

Stopped at the Bump for a couple shots.

They've got some road repair equipment at the Middle Washout already - they're taking this seriously. There's a piece of the pavement that's been saw cut but they'll have to do a lot more than just repave... maybe even including a new retaining wall.

I saw JB behind me and got serious. With a couple miles to go I thought I could stay ahead, and I did.

It was getting windy, so we decided to do SGR, then Blackhawk and around.

Wildlife Encounter: a big turkey on a sound wall next to Blackhawk Road - there was a whole flock in the field farther back.

No Dudley two weeks in a row??

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2008 WNR 02

Just me and JB tonight. When I left for work this morning I thought it would be raining by afternoon. Luckily, it sort of cleared up but the heavy clouds and wind were still around.

Just before the Bump, a woman passed us. I did an interval on the steep bit and caught her but then I was spent. JB came around me and then passed her too.
The Middle Washout is getting worse - part of the downhill lane looks like it's sinking now.
We all got to Junction within about five minutes of each other.
It was a cold descent.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gate - Junction - Hole

Rick's in Florida for a vacation. JB and I got a late start (my fault). Both of us had flats last night, but that didn't affect today's ride.

It was supposed to be drizzling but it didn't happen during the ride.

Two faster guys passed us as we toodled up. Didn't see Dudley.

The Washout below the Washout is even a little worse than Wednesday.

At the Junction some guys came down from Summit Road and said everything was frosted over up there and 29°F. JB and I decided to go down the south side.
On the descent we could see a big black cloud just hanging over the Mountain at higher elevations.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First Wednesday Night Ride (WNR) of the Year

Daylight Wasting Time ended Sunday, so the WNR is on! There were some logistical problems though and I got to the start before everybody else and took off solo.

It was a little cool and I had on my tights but no jacket. Two guys passed me but they turned around at the top of the Bump. Didn't see anybody else going up but quite a few riders coming down.

Just as I suspected from Saturday's ride, the "Washout Before the Washout" is now down to one lane. It's really not too bad yet but it's worse than a few days ago so it'll probably keep sliding for a while.

Finally just after Chainbuster I see Adam and JB coming up behind me. I droped the hamer and managed to keep my gap until I got to Junction. There we talked to other riders who were all enjoying Daylight Saving Time. The news is reporting studies that show DST doesn't save energy... I don't care, I like it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Celebrity on Diablo

Local newscaster and meteorologist Roberta Gonzales is into cycling and recently blogged about her trip up Diablo with her trainers. She went up the easy side to the Kiosk... but it was her "first Diablo ride of the season" so it sounds like she's been up before.

The Diablo entry is currently the second post... there doesn't seem to be any way of linking to specific dates or anything.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Gate - Summit - Gate

Me, JB, and Rick today. Warmest ride of the year so far but only Rick wore shorts. I had on a wind breaker that wasn't cycling-specific and flapped around in the breeze too much.

Poppies everywhere today.

Lots of these little purple wildflowers too.
We noticed that part of the road just below the Upper Washout was starting to slide downhill from all the rain. Looked like about half of the upbound lane was cracked for twenty or thirty meters. JB called it "The Washout Before the Washout". Might be single lane through there soon... or maybe next year.
Dudley Driveby: Near the upper entrance to the Upper Ranch.
Roadkill Observation: A big fat frog, I forget where.
Hardly anybody at Junction, we decided to go up. It immediately got cooler and windier. Rick coaxed me into trying the "standing all the way through the Blue Oak section again but this time I had it in my lowest gear and just plugged so I made it to Anti-Gravity Corner.
We stopped at Juniper for a while and JB decided to quit. Rick and I kept on going.

A pause at Juniper to contemplate the next 8 or 900 feet of vertical. I noticed a sign at the campground that said the elevation was 2900 feet, but a hundred yards up the road was the 3000 foot elevation marker... one of them is wrong.

Poor folks over there have a lot more fog to deal with on a regular basis.

Looking toward Pleasanton.
It's really greener than it looks in this shot.

A little windy but the sky was beautiful.

Only a couple cars and a couple bikes at the Summit.

Rick got a flat on the way down... that's him just past the bend changing his tire... I was leading and it was a good thing I heard him shout out.

Coming down on Summit Road.

This guy came by while Rick was fixing his flat.

There were tons of people coming up North Gate Road about 10:30 while we were going down - most of them had on Team in Training jerseys... they might be doing the Death Ride or the Ride Around Tahoe... don't know.

I gave Rick a lead out to the Dips but it was so windy he didn't come around very fast. So we decided to have another sprint on the way back to his car but he pulled a cleat and banged up his shin... that's gonna hurt tonight!