Saturday, October 25, 2003

Diablo Junction + South Gate Road – 33 miles

Odd ride today – it was chilly as I left the house at 7:40 but quite warm by the time I got to the Gate. There was a strong hot breeze blowing and I knew it would soon pose a fire danger for the open spaces; Southern California is already experiencing such problems.

At the Gate Peter and Martin were waiting. Their friend Gary showed up a little later and JB soon after that. Gary apologized ahead of time for not being able to keep up with us but we assured him that the season was over and the rides would be mostly social from now until Spring.

At the bump that strong hot wind was like a big hand pushing us up the 10% grade while easily spinning in the saddle. Around a few more switchbacks and it was like that same hand was trying to jerk the handlebars from our grip. There were some places I honestly thought I was going to get my ass blown into the ditch. Things were pretty broken up as we passed the Upper Ranch with me in the middle, JB and Peter ahead and Martin and Gary down below somewhere. I continue to have problems with my chain skipping on the 19 tooth... that cassette has got to go! I crossed the line to the Junction at 48m57s which reflects both the wind level and reduced effort of this time of year.

I’d be surprised if Peter and Gary ever made it to the Junction – we didn’t see them at any rate. Peter rode on to the Summit with two bananas in his pocket and JB and I went down South Gate Road to do “The Hole in the Fence” route to Danville before returning home. It was already over 80°F.