First things first - awesome ride by Meneer Van Summeren. Proost.OK, this is the third year for the Diablo Century but the first year I've done it. Here's the map and profile. I expected this to be a medium difficulty ride. Most of the tough climbing is at the beginning. I planned for a 6:30am start and a 3:00pm finish. Couple hiccups with my plan: 1. I drop my wheels into the truing stand for a quick once-over and discover THIS -
Wow, what to do??? I evaluate my options: I don't really like any of those options, but I kind of knew I was going to need some new ones pretty soon anyway - it's only 9:30am Saturday morning and Encina opens at 10... a new set of Race Lites would really be a fine choice even though I've been eyeing some Williams Wheels that would probably be about the same price. Then a little lite bulb went on over my head... Rick just bought some carbon racing wheels... maybe he'll lend me the Race Lites that came on his new bike last year. What say you Rick?
Awesome! I go pick them up, then put on my tires and install them on my bike. They look great!
OK, now to finish the rest of my preparations.
Survival pack: One pound of pills, powders, and gels.
Sunday morning and I park the vehicle and ride over to check in at 6:15. Unfortunately there's about a 20 minute wait to pick up your package. Then I ride back to the truck to drop off some junk and I think I'm only 5 minutes behind schedule when I hear - "Hey, is that Diablo Scott?" It was Nancy from my health club team (eats mileage markers like popcorn) and she gives me a sob story about how she rode Tierra Bella yesterday, something happened with her bike, and she borrowed a friend's bike for today but needs to change the pedals. I figure I can't pass up an opportunity to rescue a damsel and how long can changing pedals take? She has a pedal wrench and I go to work. She says her son tried to get them off but couldn't. I explain about left pedal threads and pop it right off. Then I make about five unsuccessful attempts at the right one before I realize the flats are rounded off. So she has one SPD pedal to match her shoes, and one Speedplay pedal and decides to do the ride with one bike shoe and one tennis shoe. I wish her good riding and notice that I am now 30 minutes behind schedule. Hopefully the rest of my plan will come together.Off I go and everything is running smoothly. First rest stop for a head call and bottle fillup and back on the road. I go by the PhotoCrazy guy and then the major climb of the day starts. I feel pretty good but then I notice my rear tire is slowly going flat. I'd put in a patched tube - it probably sucked. I stop to change it... 20 or 30 people ride by offering assistance but I decline... UNTIL I realize that my inflator isn't working. Turns out I have a version that doesn't accept threaded CO2 carts... and all I had were threaded carts. Next guy to roll by stops to offer me his pump... which I really appreciate and accept, but it was kind of a flimsy little half size pump and - IT BROKE THE HEAD OFF MY VALVE! Seemed to be holding pressure though, so I soldier on to the top of the hill and rest stop #2; where Matt of Sharp Bicycle is running the repair booth and fixes me right up. Tells me he sold his first Klein in 1985 - Klein dropouts didn't phase him a bit. I'm going to stop in there next time I'm in Lafayette and buy something just to say thanks... hey, maybe a new tube and a threaded CO2 inflator! Bonus - after he was done, I found this sweet Klein Q-Pro XX to park next to. The owner and I exchanged admiring compliments. Rest of the ride went without any problems... except of course PAIN... and I managed to finish shortly after 3:00 so I made some good time. OH - while I was enjoying the tasty noodles and salad apres-ride meal - somehow my rear tire went flat AGAIN! I guess I was lucky it didn't happen on the road but that was weird. OK - click on my ride video for a multi-media vicarious experience.
Nice job JCC