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.