Thursday, May 29, 2003

Mt. Diablo Junction - 34 miles

Usually for these Wednesday night rides I drive to work with my bike on the roof and then drive to the mountain to start the ride. It allows me to put all my stuff in the car and get home early. Today though I decided to ride my Klein to work and ride to the mountain to start the ride just to see what it would be like. There are four of us at work (me, JB, Adam, and Nicole) who do this ride and three of us had our bikes in an empty office so that was kind of cool.

Adam and I started early because he had to finish early and JB was going to be late. It was HOT... about 98°F. Usually I don't ride if it's higher than 95° because it's just not enjoyable, but today I was committed (no pun intended). Anyway I thought I could do about a 45 minute time but shortly into the ride I realized that I was going to have to kick it down a notch; the heat was really sapping my energy and making me feel rotten. Wildlife Encounter: I saw a small rabbit run across the road in front of me and I saw a turkey vulture eating something gross in the ditch just a few feet away. I could feel my core temperature increasing and I was being very careful not to get heat exhaustion. Anyway, finally made it to the Junction in 47 minutes and change. Adam turned around almost immediately and I hung around and drank three more bottles of water. There was a big Diablo Cyclist crowd tonight and also the gang from Rivendell Bicycle Works including local legend Grant Peterson. Grant was wearing hiker shorts and a button-down shirt (unbuttoned), he was soaking with sweat and his bike had quill pedals with no toe clips - he really is like the image he presents in his newsletter and catalogue. JB showed up a few minutes later and we all discussed the heat. One guy had a Mikkelson frame with those things that allow you to "break" your bike and pack it into a small box; I can't remember what they're called now but I've never seen them in person before and they seemed really interesting and functional.

Everyone left the Junction after they got cooled off and JB and I went down North Gate. We found Nicole still struggling about a half mile down and the heat seemed to be affecting her pretty badly; she said she was getting nauseous and light-headed and had stopped in the shade a while back. We came with her back to the Junction, drank some more water and then went back down. There was some talk about going out for a beer but it didn't materialize. I rode back to the office and grabbed my backpack and then rode home.