Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Diablo Junction - 18 miles


Today was the big day. First Wednesday of DST and first Wednesday after work ride. There were quite a few people from our Team BC Tour de Cure group that I hadn't met before and most of us had our new Team BC jerseys on.

I got out to North Gate Road a little early because I was hauling Rick's bike and also my Rockhopper that Dave (from our Denver office) was borrowing for today. When I unloaded I found Rick's front tire was totally flat and wouldn't hold air. I called him and offered to fix it before he got there and he said to go ahead and use the spare tube in his seat bag, so I did. Then I warmed up a little bit in the residential neighborhood around there and played with my derailleur adjustments. I took off my seat bag to reduce the bike weight a little and just had a tube, levers, and CO2 inflator stuffed into my jersey pocket. JB, Rick, and Adam showed up soon and JB borrowed my floor pump to top off his pressure and pulled the valve right off of his tube so he had to change a flat too - this was getting to be portentous! Then Jeff showed up with Dave, then Edgardo and then Raymond so there was quite a crowd hanging around and a few of the slower riders had already started up.

So my goal was 38 minutes - I didn't think I'd really be able to do that but I wanted an ambitious goal to shoot for rather than playing it safe by sandbagging my estimate; 38 minutes would be 50 seconds faster than last year's hurl ride and 30 seconds better than my all time personal best (PB). The plan was for everybody to get to the Junction at 6:30 so that meant my start time was 5:52. I tried a few explosive accelerations out of the Gate to pick the right gear and helped count down some of the other riders.

I started off as fast as I could but quickly realized I'd have to think about managing my effort because my legs started to complain. Rick started 30 seconds before me and I thought I might pass him in the first few miles but that he would pass me back later on; I only got to within about 15 seconds of him before he started increasing his lead. I did hold an excellent pace all the way through the Double Dips and up to Moss Landing though and then started to gauge my level of effort for the rest of the climbing. I figured I could do the last three miles in 7 minutes apiece (at maximum effort) so to meet my goal I'd have to be 17 minutes at 3mtg, 24 minutes at 2mtg, and 31 minutes at 1mtg; breaking it down like that made it clear how hard this was going to be.

Three miles to go (Upper Washout) - I was at 18m45s and I thought I still might make it in under 39 minutes.

Two miles to go (25 MPH sign below Diablo Ranch) - 24m53s - less than a minute off my goal pace at this point!

One mile to go (Big Shady Oak) - 32m37s and I still might break 39 minutes if I can dig deep enough.

Junction - 39m20s, an excellent result but quite a bit slower than I was hoping for. Still the season is just beginning and I have less than a thousand miles in my legs so I'm satisfied for now - and that 38 minute goal will just roll over to my next PB attempt in a month or so.

Adam came in at a hair over 30 minutes so he'll be doing the "eat crow" ride next week in cutoffs and sandals… heh heh heh.

Jeff (46 min), Nicole (48 min), and Rick (37m30s) all PB'ed so everybody was happy for them. It was Raymond's first time up so I guess that's a PB too - 55 minutes I think… he sure looked knackered but seemed glad to have done it, he might become a regular.

Back down at the bottom we found out that Edgardo had broken two spokes on his rear wheel and couldn't finish the climb! They were probably broken before he even started but he didn't notice until his bike handling got a little too squirmy.