Thursday, December 23, 2004

Diablo Junction plus South Gate Road to Danville – 33 miles

Thursday and Friday are work holidays so a good opportunity for bike riding. Everyone except JB and me had Christmas activities planned though, so it was just us two this morning. It was cold and windy but not foggy. A couple guys rolled up at the same time as JB and while we were getting set they started ahead of us. We got going just a little bit later and we kept them in sight for four miles. Finally at 2 miles to go I jumped and passed them both quickly, but the INSTANT I came around them a killer headwind came up so I had to really grit my teeth and grind to keep going. Things got a little easier after Chainbuster and I did keep my lead the rest of the way to the Junction but it wasn’t fun. JB made the move too and came in ahead of the other two guys by a little bit.

At the Junction JB decided he’d had enough. I called the Mt. Diablo info line and the recording said the winds at the Summit were 13 to 39 mph! So I decided South Gate would make a better ride and we split up.
It was one of those dicey white-knuckled descents down to Danville, with strong gusts of wind that were trying to blow me into the ditch but I played it safe and made it down in one piece. Then it was a long time trial back to Walnut Creek on Danville Blvd.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Diablo to Muir Picnic Area – 28 miles

My first real ride in three weeks! Nicole talked everyone into an 8:30 start time this morning, but I got there at 8 anyway and rode to the top of the Bump nice and easy just to be riding. It was *really* foggy and the road was wet with condensation. On the way back down I came across Peter and invited him to start over with us, and he did. When we both got to the Gate, Rick and Nicole were just starting out so we timed it perfectly even though JB wasn’t there yet.

Peter was the friskiest and he started to push us a little bit so we rode away from Nicole but the three of us stayed together the rest of the way. The fog broke at Chainbuster and it was suddenly very warm. The thermometer at the Junction said 68°F. JB showed up shortly after that and we all stripped off our winter duds and went on up Summit Road. I completely ran out of energy past Juniper though – not exhausted, just out of gas and I pulled off at Muir Picnic Area. I even felt a little bit shaky. First time I’ve abandoned a ride in a LONG time. Turns out I'm coming down with a booty-kicking head cold... that must have been why I felt so weak.

On the way home I came around the roundabout at Walnut and Oak Grove just as a kid on a motorized scooter came from the other side. I took the lead and then made sure he wasn’t going to catch me, but I still was feeling kind of weak. At every stop light I had to slow down for the signal change and the kid got closer. I had no trouble staying in front but I couldn’t lose him altogether. Finally I had a long red light at Ygnacio and he pulled up next to me and expressed surprise that I could ride faster than his scooter. I think he thought that was a compliment but he was just so clueless it didn’t mean anything.