Saturday, September 29, 2007


Cold this morning; tights and arm warmers. JB, Rick, me.

Rick and I took off together and got a big gap on JB at the Bump, but then he caught up and then he and Rick rode away from me.

Dudley Driveby: 8:48 at the Ranger House.

Rick's plan was to ride easy to Juniper and then go full gas from there to the Summit for a Challenge time split. JB and I went down and around.

The fence uphill from the Hole has been totally replaced with a tall concrete wall. The downhill side is still wood but is falling apart. I'm sure there is a segment of the community down there that doesn't like the access and doesn't like the bikes going through but it's a pretty popular path and the alternate (Diablo Road) is just too narrow and busy; I hope they don't close it off.

Alameda Diablo is a private road through an exclusive country club neighborhood, and they have these speed humps to keep the traffic speed down - they're kind of fun on a bike.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gate-Junction-Gate IN THE RAIN

No Place for Nancys

Couldn't believe it was raining this morning. Had to hunt a bit for the rain slicker and leg warmers. The Belgian Beast was ready to go though; I put the winter wheels on a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday, Rick said he was going to do a quick one to Juniper and then go to a wedding in Santa Cruz... this was before we knew about the rain though. No Rick. No JB. Just me.

I chased a group of three for a while but didn't catch them until the Junction. It rained pretty steady up until the Upper Ranch.

Dudley Driveby: 8:48 near Son of Chainbuster; I knew he was part Flemish!

Wildlife Encounter: Two deer near the Upper Ranch, one of them stopped and posed for a photo. Both bucks with nice antlers... I didn't think males hung around together.
There were a few guys waiting at the Junction, we all pretended this was fun, then I went down for a grande regular. Another buck ran across the road in front of me near Moss Landing.
They're doing some road maintenance on North Gate week after next... these dates are Monday through Friday and the road will be closed to all traffic (yes, this means YOU) on Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ronde 1.999

Commentary in vlaamse!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Today old friend Karl came down from Seattle and borrowed my loaner bike for a ride up the Mountain. He got to my house at 7:15, we got the saddle adjusted and then rode to the Gate where we met JB. Karl's been doing some racing and soon took off on his own.

Dudley Driveby: 8:42 at Chainbuster.

JB and I rode together to the Junction and Karl had been there for quite a while when we arrived.

Wildlife Encounter: One tarantula

JB had baseball tickets so Karl and I went to the Summit together. A couple fast guys passed us though and then Karl took off with them. It was much colder and windier on Summit Road, if I'd had my winter gloves I would have worn them.

Not nearly as many riders as last week. Saw blog reader Chris and his friend John at the Junction on the way down and we discussed the possibility of Floyd Landis doing the Challenge... Floyd - bring your arm warmers.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gate-Junction-Tire Poppers-Juntion-Gate

Just started rolling this morning and had to stop short when I passed Mark and Amy's house; a huge chunk of the giant oak tree in their front yard had fallen down. It was an amazing bit of luck that it didn't hit their house, car, or power lines. The fallen limb spanned from the trunk all the way across the street.

After the ride, Mark told me the tree guy said this thing was 300-400 years old. It's gonna have to come down now for sure.
OK, met up with JB and Rick at the Gate. It was pleasantly cool and the riding was great. Rick did a Challenge warm-up and I didn't see him again and JB dumped me too, but it was still nice.
Roadkill Observation: A squishy frog. I don't think I've ever seen a live frog on the Mountain, maybe they're born already squished in the middle of the road.
Dudley Driveby: 0824 hrs at the Lower Ranch.
At the Junction Rick wanted to Summit, JB wanted to do the Hole, so we decided on the Tire Poppers. As soon as we started down, we ran into a thick cloud of cold fog. It bothered JB more than me so I got to the turnaround earlier and gave myself a head start. One rider started chasing me but I managed to stay away. Rick caught me and I gave him a lead out but then went lactic.

Then I had a good sprint up the Dips.
I volunteered to be a ... volunteer, for the Diablo Challenge. Don't know what I'll be doing yet but I'm looking forward to it. Look for me!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Me, JB, Jeff. Fires in the area made the air thick with smoke. It wasn't enough to affect breathing but it made my eyes sting a little bit. We took it slowly. It was warm and there wasn't any wind. We hoped it would get better at the higher elevations - it didn't, but it didn't get any worse either.

Wildlife Encounter: three tarantulas (well four if you count the squished one).

Not many other riders up there tonight and the bugs were really bad so we went down quick. Got this cool shot at the Dips Ranch.

My water bottle roster: Three big ones, a Polar that I really like, a Team Pegasus that was a gift from Adam, and the Levi/Gerolsteiner/Specialized one that was schwag from the last San Francisco Grand Prix.

And six little ones. The Coke bottle is le bidon officiel de Tour de France and it leaks a little. Two Chain Reaction bottles that I got when my Klein was being built up - they're good but I wish they had screw lids. Jelly belly is from the Prologue of Tour of California, as were the Gatorade and Amgen bottles. The Amgen bottle is really a cheap POS, it'll be the next one rotated out of the line-up.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A couple charts I created comparing Mount Diablo to Palomar Mountain near San Diego.

Most folks park their cars in Pauma Valley - the climb is 12.5 miles from there.

But apparently the practice is to start your stopwatch at the turn off to South Grade Road, so I made this chart too. Looking at this image, I can see why.

I like making these charts - send me the elevation profile of your favorite climbs and I'll make more. See my photo page HERE.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


How do you know when your gloves need to be washed? This topic has been debated since gloves were invented. They pretty much always stink so that's not a good indicator. Today I decided that salt stains between all the fingers means they've got one more ride in them. These babies are going in the washer this afternoon.

Roadkill Observation: A cat (sad, but fortunately not gory) and a frog (slightly gory).

Blog Reader TBV asked if he could ride with us today, I agreed after making sure he wouldn't be half-wheeling me into oxygen debt. He runs the outstanding Trust But Verify website chronicling every detail of the Floyd Landis doping case and appeal. And he showed up in full Floyd kit:

He's also the guy who suggested to Floyd that he ride the Diablo Challenge next month... no confirmation but if he does come TBV thinks he'll cut seven minutes off the record.

Wildlife Encounter: three turkeys near the Dumpster Gate

JB and Rick went on ahead and I rode with TBV until the Junction. It was nice and shady and the bugs hadn't come out yet. Then Rick and I went to the Summit, JB went down, and TBV said he hadn't decided which way to go.

More heat on Summit Road, it wasn't smoggy though and the views of the East Bay were really clear. As always in September, there were a lot of riders obviously training for the Challenge. There was also a surprisingly large number of attractive female riders and they're always a welcome addition.

Coming back down, we saw TBV coming up near the summit - good on him. Then we stopped at Biff Point and Rick described his crash from a couple months ago. It really is easy to take that corner too fast - he didn't start braking until he was almost in the gravel, then he tried to hold it together but the front tire dug in and he endo'ed and the bike flipped. He still has a little hematoma on his hip but is otherwise fine - he got a new helmet and shorts out of the deal so that makes it a little easier too.

That Jamba went down extra good today.