Saturday, January 31, 2004

Diablo Junction, Blackhawk, La Gonda, Danville Blvd. 38 miles.

It was cold today but not wet or foggy. JB and I were thinking Rick and Nicole were going to show up at 8:30 but there was a communication breakdown and they showed up much later thinking we were going to do the Junction twice. I brought my new mobile phone with camera attachment and took this photo of JB about 1/4 mile below the Gate at the place where Rick and Nicole usually park their Explorer.

It was one of the first photos I tried to take so I hope the crappy quality is a sign of my incompetence and that the phone can take better photos than THAT! Otherwise it's useless.

On the way up JB said the cold was giving him a headache. I said that I was riding my foul weather bike because it was an excuse to go slow. He discussed his plans to ride to a Super Bowl party in Rohnert Park on Sunday - I laughed and wished him luck.

At the Junction we met a couple of other guys and chatted for a while. JB said he was open to add-ons and I suggested Blackhawk so we went for it. Surprising number of noobs on South Gate coming up in shorts - hard to feel sorry for them. On Blackhawk Road some poser caught up to us at a light and sucked wheel for a couple miles before we dumped his lame ass on Camino Tassajara. JB took a couple pulls on Danville Blvd but our mph dropped a couple every time he came to the front so I just rode tempo and let him hang on until we got to Rudgear.

When I got home I signed up to be on my company's corporate team for the Tour de Cure Diabetes charity ride. I'll have my profile up soon so you can all donate a buck or two for the cause.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Diablo Junction - 23 miles

Just me this morning. It was some of the thickest fog I'd ever seen. Visibility was down about 30 feet for most of the climb. At one point a car passed me going very slowly in the same direction I was going (up) and I watched the red tail lights disappear in front of me like some kind of Las Vegas magic show. The road was sloppy with crud and the fog was condensing on my helmet and rolling off over my sunglasses. It wasn't cold though so it turned out to be a very pleasurable ride. The fog got noticeably thinner around the Upper Ranch but visibility only got to about 100 feet.

Didn't see any other riders going up, saw one chunky guy in a blue "ITALIA" jersey who came up South Gate, visited the latrine and went back down, and then I saw a couple guys coming up as I was going back down North Gate. Descending was really spooky because I had to brake the entire way since I could barely see the side of the road let alone what was coming up.

What's this now, like 20 sloppy rides in a row?

Peter sent me an e-mail asking if I wanted to do Tierra Bella again this year - nice to have someone else do the planning once in a while!

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Diablo Summit - 38 miles

Very cold today but it's been dry for a couple days. Decided to take my foul weather bike anyway, it gives me an excuse for riding a bit slower.

Nicole talked everyone into riding at 8:30 again instead of 8:00. I got to the Gate at 8 anyway and rode a couple miles up the road for some additional warm-up. JB did the same thing but he was ahead of me and I didn't see him until we both had returned to the Gate. We passed a few oddballs on strange bikes - probably "resolutioners". JB and Rick rode away from me after the Bump and they beat me to the Junction. It was still pretty cold there though so I didn't stop and we all headed up. I didn't think I felt good enough for a summit and I hadn't eaten any breakfast so I figured I'd turn around at Juniper. There was a thick lens of fog from the ranches all the way up to Juniper, but while I was taking in the view from the Juniper parking area I could see that the fog was moving up. I was pretty cold but decided to keep going up and I got to the lower lot at the Summit JB and Rick were coming down so I didn't bother to climb the Wall.

I'm ready for spring.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Diablo Juniper – 28 miles

First ride in quite a while due to the rotten weather. Nicole talked us all into starting at 8:30 today instead of the usual "8 at the Gate". Nothing went right for me on the way out and I wound up being 12 minutes late myself. On North Gate Road near the nursery I saw, for the third ride in a row, the other guy with the 7-Eleven Eddy Merckx. He acknowledged me but didn’t slow down to say anything. There's a section of road here that I call “Little Flanders” where the surface is all chewed up because they’re putting in sewer and other utilities for a new housing development. It’s always a challenge finding a good line through this section and if it’s wet (like today) you can get bogged down in the mud.

By the time I got to the gate no one was there so I rode knowing I probably wouldn’t catch Rick or JB but I’d probably catch Nicole in the last two or three miles. The fog was really thick but not cold so it was quite pleasant although a bit sloppy.

At the Bump I saw Peter coming down very slowly on the wet road – Peter was never accused of being a fearless descender but he was really being cautious today. He must have had somewhere to go because he just said “hi” and kept going. A little higher I saw Martin and Gary too.

I caught Nicole near the Upper Ranch and the fog was STILL so thick that visibility was near zero. She told me that Rick was riding his new single-speed bike that he created with his old Univega. He’s been wanting a foul weather bike since the rainy season started and now he’s got a pretty unusual one! He just used one of the screw-on cogs from his old Campy cassette so you can still see most of the freehub body. Then he used spacers on his crank so he didn’t need to buy single ring stack bolts. He’s got it geared as 39x16 and I can’t believe he made it up the Bump in that gear.

Nicole turned around at the Junction, Rick turned around at Toyon, I turned around at Juniper, and JB did the Summit. The fog cleared up just above the Junction but it also got windier up there. Rick tooled around for a while where he was at so I caught him on the way down. Then he flatted below the Gate, but somehow we all wound up at Mia Café for coffee afterwards.