Saturday, February 19, 2005

Diablo Junction, 26 miles

Today looked like it was going to be a race against the rain. Dark clouds and weather reports both indicated the wet stuff would be here soon so I figured it would be a quick one with no lollygagging.

JB rolled up right after I did, and then we took off right at 8 o’clock. Turns out Rick was a couple minutes behind us but he hadn’t called so we didn’t wait – he waited for us until 8:10.

I thought it would be interesting to see who and how many riders would show up today. First we came across a couple near the Double Dips and one of them was having wheel problems but they didn’t need our help. Then we saw a couple of singles coming down after an early start. JB was on his touring bike with fenders and panniers and he wasn’t quite recovered from last night’s party at the Pyramid Alehouse so I was enjoying being the stronger rider today, playing around with my big gears at low cadence.

The first drops of rain came near the Upper Washout, and it quickly became a sort of heavy drizzle for the rest of the way up. I think I saw about a dozen other riders all together, most of them looked like they were ready for the weather, and also a couple of joggers. Anyway, we didn’t stick around long and just after we headed back down we came across Rick near the Ranger House so we turned around and rode in again with him. Then Grant Peterson showed up, did one lap around the parking lot to put on his arm warmers and started down with us, but he turned off onto the dirt trail at Chainbuster.

Farther down the road we came across a cow that had gotten loose. Rick didn't flinch but JB was cautious going around her, and I was very cautious. Later JB said "she didn't look like the kind of cow that would dart in front of you." And even farther down the road, just before the double dips, we saw another cow west of the road running (yes running!) a long distance along a path, we were quite surprised to see how far she kept up that speed. The rain has reduced the integrity of quite a few of the cow fences on North Gate Road - I suspect we'll see more loose cows in the coming months.

More rain on the way home but it was still very enjoyable day on the bike.

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