Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Diablo Junction - 20 miles

Another butt-windy day on the mountain this afternoon. Strong gusts that seemed to change direction with every bend in the road and whittle away at one's motivation to push the pace. Also the pizza I ate at lunch was probably not the ideal pre-ride fuel (it was free though… leftovers from some corporate meeting).

Just as JB and I were approaching the starting line at the North Gate kiosk, Mark rode by with a couple other riders. I said to JB "When he gets to the line, watch… he'll hit the start button on his wristwatch and then he'll launch." It happened just like that too. Shortly after launch the other two guys got dropped like empty fuel tanks on the space shuttle.

So we rode at a brisk pace and stayed together until we got to the bottom of the bump. We saw Grant coming up behind us and JB said I would be a wuss if I let Grant pass me but I reminded him that Grant had those high-tech sandals and flat pedals so he clearly had the advantage. I had never noticed before how low Grant's bike was geared but he spun up the bump at a pretty high rpm and I could see that he had double chainrings but they weren't 39/53 - something much smaller like maybe 34/48 because his biggest cog didn't look any bigger than a 25. JB increased his speed enough to stay ahead but I reduced my speed enough to stay behind. I rode the rest of the ride solo but passed quite a few riders before I got to the Junction. After the bump I tried to maintain a high steady aerobic pace and didn't do any intervals or even get out of the saddle very often. I finished in 42m45s which was a pretty reasonable time for me given the windy conditions.

There was a virtual retro love-fest at the Junction; at least six steel bikes (four were Rivendells), and at least four wool jerseys. One guy named Sean (or Shaun or whatever) on a Rivendell Romulus lives in Taiwan and is some kind of QC manager for bike companies doing business there. I also noticed that Mark's Rivendell had little add-on brake levers so he could brake while riding the tops of his handlebars - I'm not sure how he got two sets of brake levers to work one set of brakes but that's the way it was set up. Must be some kind of cyclocross thing.

JB and I went back down to collect Nicole who got a late start and we found her down by the ranches. We all rode back up to the Junction together but everyone else had already left by the time we got there.