Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Diablo Junction, 16 miles

Hacía mucho calor esta tarde. Nicole talked about not coming because it was so hot, and we didn’t see her so she must have decided against it. Adam rode up just as I was leaving my car and we rode together to the Gate. The Diablo Cyclists had a fair size group and a couple guys were just ahead of us near the kennels; one of them was a shaver with a USPro Champion’s jersey on. Adam and I passed them up and then when we got to the Gate we picked it up and did a brisk pace through the double dips and up past the Dumpster Gate. Then Mark and Yellowjacketshorts (he said “hi Scott”… I’ve got to get his name ~dude, e-mail it to me ) and Adam said he was going to try to stay with Mark so I wished him luck and *poof* they were gone. By the bottom of the Bump though, Yellowjacketshorts (he didn’t actually have those on today, I’ll just refer to him as YJS until he e-mails me) had lost their wheels and by the middle of the Bump Adam had lost Mark’s wheel also. So for a while I could see Mark in the lead, Adam a hundred meters back, and YJS between me and Adam. YJS has a knee wrap on and has been holding back some while he heals but he made a great rabbit and I kept him in sight the rest of the way to the Junction.

The heat was intense; the radio said 99°F in Concord. I noticed that my heart rate was about 10bpm higher than it would have been for the same effort on a cooler day so I was definitely being limited by the temperature. Near the Upper Ranch, I noticed two people catching me easily from behind. It was the pair that Adam and I had passed below the Gate and they were chatting about the Furnace Creek 500 or some other recent ultra-marathon event. I determined it would be no loss of pride to allow them to pass me… not that I had any choice in the matter.

The last three miles were grueling. The heat seemed to make the mountain even steeper and I couldn’t keep my cadence up in the bigger gears so I wound up spinning the easy gears but trying to keep my speed up. With three miles to go, I was at 19 minutes and I figured I could beat 40 but not much better than that. Sure enough, my Junction time was 39m33s and I hit 192 on my pulse monitor (highest I’ve seen since I bought the thing).

Robin soon rode in on her 1970 vintage junky road bike. She’s shopping for a new one and a salesman told her she needs a 59cm frame! Now she’s probably 5’10 or 11 and very leggy but 59cm?? I had her straddle my 55cm Klein and she easily had a couple inches clearance there so maybe the salesman was right. She’s hoping to find a good used one and I think she’s getting hooked on cycling after a half dozen of these Wednesday night rides.

On a weird note, Tiffany had stored her bike in her SUV at work and it got so hot in there that both tires exploded! She fixed them and one of them blew out again! Didn’t even get to do the ride and neither did her husband who was going with us for the first time.

Wildlife Encounter: Yet another disinterested coyote on the way down.

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