Saturday, May 21, 2005

Diablo Summit 33 miles

Rick wasn’t riding today and Nicole called to say she’d be late so it was just JB and me at the Gate at 8. The weather was absolutely perfect; morning coolness to warm up quickly. It was quiet too, hardly any traffic of any kind. I called Nicole and told her we’d meet her at the Junction after we did the Summit.

We climbed at a steady even pace, neither of us especially frisky for some reason. We two have been doing this longer than anyone else in our little clique. We’ve seen ride buddies come and go over the years; people who moved away, changed lifestyles, or just disappeared, but JB and I have been riding together for 14 years. A lot of stuff goes unsaid between guys who’ve been doing the same thing together for that long, and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’ve had three different best bikes in that time and he’s had four. For a couple years we were the only members in the eight-at-the-Gate club. For a couple years I was so much slower than him that I would get a 10 minute head start and he’d always catch me and pass me. Those were the kind of things I thought about while we rode mostly without saying anything to each other.

We did see a few folks descending as we climbed and we wondered how early they must have started to be done with the Mountain by 8am. We also saw Mark A and one of his buddies and he always has a friendly greeting for everybody. After the torrential rains of midweek the flowers and grass were vibrant and the riding was quite pleasant.

I sensed that JB was a little off his game this morning and I was unintentionally half-wheeling him. He admitted he had some stomach gas bloating problems so I let him dictate the pace.

Near the Junction though he kicked it up a gear and I jumped on his wheel thinking if he was going to start something I’d be up to finishing it. Then he said “I’ll give you a lead out and then you can outsprint me.” So that took all the fun out of it and I declined his offer. We crossed the line together at 42m flat.

Now we started to see a lot of other riders. We talked to a few of them and then headed up. It was more relaxed enjoyable pedaling all the way up, but it was getting quite a bit warmer now. Finally I took the lead going up the Summit Wall but JB came around me in the last 50 meters to take the win. Summit time 80 minutes. We found Peter up there and we went down to the Junction together, hooked up with Nicole, and all went to Mia Café for a java/juice/tea/smoothie.

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