Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gate-Junction-Tire Poppers-Gate

Woke up to wet thick fog; low visibility and dripping trees. I grabbed Eddy and pumped him up.

Came upon JB and Rick on NGR; JB was fixing a flat. He has a new technique of putting a stem nut on the inside of his rim and another on the outside so that the tube/valve joing will ostensibly experience no wiggling forces from the pump. I remain skeptical as always about such things.

Rick said he was sure the fog would break because Pleasanton was clear and the fog was local to Walnut Creek. He was right, when we came up around Penny Lane everything suddenly changed - clear, bright, and really warm. I took off my gloves and unzipped my jacket.

It was also crazy windy in some sections - I was out of the saddle just trying to keep forward motion.

We only saw a couple riders on North Gate but there were a bunch of people at the Junction. This guy pulled the classic "slow motion topple stuck in toeclips" maneuver, and took down the guy next to him as well. I decided to immortalize his embarassment with a blog photo.

Then down to the Tire Poppers. SGR was a completely different world than NGR. It was clear and bright and warm and not windy, and there were dozens of riders. I did a quick turnaround and got a head start on JB and Rick and managed to stay ahead until about the Kiosk.

Ride back down NGR was a slow because the wind was still quite strong. Still fun but you have to know what to expect.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gate-Junction-Tire Poppers-Gate

Cold - coldest ride of the season so far.

Late start, Rick's car wasn't there, rock on the post, JB ahead.

On the shifting soap opera, after last week's almost perfect performance this week was diappointing. Pulled over near Moss Landing and fiddled and futzed and it didn't do too much good. The second-biggest 24t is the worst but it can happen in any gear. 27t is the safest but that's supposed to be my give-up gear!

Wildlife Encounter: big flock of Turkeys at the Cold Shoulder.

So JB was at the Junction. We shot a little breeze and then he went to a Hawkeye football party. I decided to do the Tire Poppers and back up.

Sometimes cold air is the clearest.

So cruising back down NGR I'm really enjoying myself and thinking I'll do a little Dips sprint even without Rick's lead out and I honk out a good one when this dude dinks his little bell at me to pull over and he came around me so fast I barely had time to get my camera out when I recognized him.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Wasn't sure about the weather this morning; went with tights over shorts and short sleeves over a T-shirt. JB and Rick were at the Gate and we took off.

We chased the two riders in front of us most of the way up.

There was a wind storm last night and lots of branches were down.

Including this big one near the Bottom of the Bump.

At the Junction Rick asked what was next. What I was hoping for was anything but the Summit but if I said that out loud it'd be the Summit for sure so I didn't say anything and it was Summit anyway. I took off my tights and rolled them up and stuck them in my jersey pocket. It was really getting warm.

We took it pretty easy on Summit Road.

Dudley Driveby: in the Blue Oak Speedway. First sighting in several rides.

I took a preparation lap around the Lower Parking Lot before I started up the Wall; I usually need that extra bit of courage from my suitcase.

Rick and I found these cool helmet decorations.

And here's a shot of JB just to be inclusive.

It was surprisingly clear at the Summit. We could see snow on the Sierras, the GG Bridge, and even the Farallon Islands.

It doesn't look that great in the photos of course.

In case you need some help finding them.

And here's a shot with a little digital enhancement.

Warm enough for a cold smoothie.

X-mas decorations out already in the Countrywood parking lot.

On Thursday the Save Mount Diablo staff threw a thank you party for us Diablo Challenge volunteers. Great bunch of folks.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Coldest day of the season so far. No one at the Gate so I left solo. Didn't see anyone else climbing but about three guys coming down, none of whom were Dudley.

Near Chainbuster I saw JB down below.

Wildlife Encounter: Coyote near the Ranger House - a big fluffy one.

At Junction, Moss and his FIL appeared too.

JB and I decided to do SGR and then I decided I didn't have the motivation to do Blackhawk so we went through the Hole.

It was a bad season for fires but Diablo was mostly spared.

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