Saturday, April 30, 2011

Feels Like February

Looking at the Mountain from my office yesterday, it appeared as though someone poured yellow all over the park.

This morning was cool and windy. The last of the Devil Mountain Double riders was off the Mountain by about 8:20.

Saturday Morning Regulars: ThatGuy, Dudley.

All this yellow and green and orange and purple will be brown in another month or two.

Still feeling a few hematocrits low so I got to the Junction and bailed.

Side story - got a flat on my rear sew up on the way home from work last night. I knew the tire was getting old, no surprise and I had my spare... deal with it. I have an old orange tire that I use as the spare so I never forget that I need to put on a good one with new glue.

Tire on the right lasted two years... no complaints. Tire on the left is stretched and ready to go.

Gluing tubies is one of those old-timer crafts that I enjoy.

Nice. Don't forget a little glue on the spare for next time.

Hey wait a minute! No way?!?!?! Another pulled spoke????

Yup, my rear wheel is toast.

This is a Mavic GL330 - bought the wheelset used off eBay about 8 years ago; they haven't made these rims in probably 20 years and they had a reputation for cracking around the eyelets just like this so this wasn't really a surprise either - just that it happened within a couple weeks of my Klein's wheel. Anyway, I put the winter bombproof wheels back on the Merckx - I'll get around to rebuilding this wheel on a new sew up rim later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 WNR 02

Nice weather tonight. I felt pretty good on Saturday's ride so I was expecting to have a good ride today too. JB and I got to the Dumpster Gate though, and when my lungs put out the word for more power... it wasn't there. That's when I remembered I donated a double ration of red blood cells to the BCOP after the ride on Saturday. Wiki says humans have about 10 pints of blood so I figure my aerobic capacity was reduced to about 80%. OK, beat THAT excuse!

Then the pedalling peloton of pulchritude passed me just to rub it in.

Finished at the Junction still starved of O2

Roadkill Report: Two lizards, not photo-worthy.

Bugs were pretty bad on the way down... yum.

New wheels are on order!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Devil Mountain Double Day

The DMD was coming down Diablo as JB and I went up. My highest admiration goes to everyone who does that most awesome ride.

Wildlife Encounter: lots and lots of turkeys

Still a bit colder than I would expect for late April. Arm warmers and tights.

Roadkill Report: I'd like to pretend this might be a badger, but it's probably a plain old coon. Extraordinarily odoriferous though.

There were dozens of riders at the Junction, and a big group of Korean hikers also that appeared to be part of a tour package or something. JB didn't feel well and went down - I went up to Juniper.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2011 Diablo Century

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.

2011 Diablo Century from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Nice job JCC

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Turkeys, Poppies, Creeks Flowing, and Sunshine.

After watching the RONDE VAN VLAANDEREN last week, I was inspired to create this chart:

Man, if they could replicate the Wall with cobbles in Flanders, de Ronde would be an even more awesome race.

I'm late, there's no rock, so I start up alone.

Wildlife Encounter: Turkey before the Gate

Really looking like spring on the Mountain.

Another Wildlife Encounter: More turkeys near the Dumpster Gate

Roadkill Report: Mouse on the Bump

Saw JB descending at the Ranger House - he said he was sick and was in a hurry to get home.

Did a good Klean up on the Klein and he's ready for next week's DIABLO CENTURY. I think I'll drop the wheels in the truing stand for a final check though.

Lots of riders coming up while I was going back down, I'm not sure why 8am isn't more popular for a start time.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Best weather in many months. Still kind of cloudy and not exactly warm but the Mountain was teeming with riders enjoying the beautiful day.

My computer went kind of wonky at the Lower Ranch; I replaced the battery in the transmitter and that seemed to fix it. JB caught up to me there and we got to Junction together.
Wildlife Encounter: Coyote above Ranger House on NGR. Looks like the same guy I saw a couple weeks ago.

Then I went up toward the Summit... need some extra saddle time for the Diablo Century on the seventeenth.

Found this tree that had recently fallen across the road and got chopped up... you can see the pieces on the other side of the road.

Visibility wasn't great, but the view is still awesome.

Diablo Spy Cam!

Bonus - A Klein!