Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Diablo Junction, down South Gate Road, Danville Blvd, Iron Horse and Canal Trails

Pre-ride preparation: skip lunch, Pepsi at 3:30, Powerbar and coffee at 4:30, Clif Shot and bottle of water at 5:15 in the car.

OK, windy and chilly today but not too bad. I drove to the start as usual, met Nicole a little ways up the road where she parks, and then JB and Adam showed up. Adam wanted to wait for Mark again so he could challenge himself but the rest of us started up at an easy pace. Around the dumpster gate trail head JB and I increased our speed and then a couple of the Diablo Cyclist regulars came by just before the bump. One of the guys started to lose contact with his buddy so I hopped on the faster guy's wheel and got paced up to the top of the bump and past the upper wash out. He was able to maintain his speed but I wasn't and I drifted off the back. There was a steady stiff wind the whole way up; not any powerful gusts but just a strong breeze whose vector seemed to oppose my own at every bend of the road. JB soon caught me and we both tried to catch the fast guy again. I couldn't match JB's speed for long either and by the time we got to the switchbacks above the ranches he had opened up a gap. Approaching Chainbuster I noticed that the guy who fell behind at the bump was catching up to me so I played rabbit and tried to stay ahead but he did catch on and we rode together for a while, drawing encouragement from each other. He had a black Trek OCLV bike that was really noisy - I don't know if it was the frame or his wheels but it sounded like a rusty hinge with every pedal stroke. Adam came around both of us at this point shouting "No Mark today!" and *poof* he was gone. At the ranger house just below the Junction the guy with me got some bad leg cramps and got off his bike completely - I made sure he was OK and then hammered in to the finish for a 43'22", the other guy walked the rest of the way in.

Hanging around the Junction there were about a dozen riders and they started to put on their arm warmers and vests. Adam and I decided to go down South Gate but we were way behind the DC riders who had already left. It was foggy and cold on the descent but nothing to complain about. We hammered through Diablo Road, Green Valley Road, and Stone Valley Road to Danville Blvd and split up at Rudgear. As I got on the trail I noticed the other DC riders were on the South Broadway Extension so I sped down the trail to try and meet them at the end. Well they caught the light and I didn't so I gave up. I did catch up with them on the Canal Trail just before Countrywood though and one woman (I think she said her name was Jeanie) had parked at the church so I rode with her down Bancroft and Walnut. About a half mile before the traffic circle I ran over something in the road and got a pinch flat so I pulled over. Jeanie made sure I was all set with repair stuff and then bid me farewell. As I was fixing my tire on the sidewalk I saw Grant and Mark and another guy riding down the other side of the street, apparently having just finished coming down North Gate Road… they waved and smiled.

OK, so this was the first time I've had a chance to use my CO2 inflator - I was careful to remember the procedure, I blew air into the empty tube to give it some shape, installed it carefully, inserted the cartridge into my inflator, set everything at the proper angle and pressed the lever. PFFFFHHHT it was done! Less than a second, I think, and the tire was fully inflated! I can't believe I futzed around for all these years with different frame pumps and mini pumps. Lessons Learned: CO2 inflators are the coolest. I remembered to re-stock my seat bag when I got home. Pre-ride food consumption needs to be bumped up just a bit for these longer rides - legs got a bit rubbery during harder efforts on the flats.