Saturday, January 31, 2009

Gate - Junction - Blackhawk

Cold this morning but the days have been warming up nicely so I didn't overdo it on the clothing.
Got to the Gate a little early so went up a bit to get a photo of the sunrise:

7:58am January 31, 2009

Rick's racing today and JB wasn't there on time so I pootled up looking for things to photograph.

There were a couple riders going up before I started but I didn't see anyone else until I got above Chainbuster when I saw JB down below.

Some nice machines at the Junction bike rack.

It was really warm at the Junction and there were a lot of people there.

Then we went down to Blackhawk and took the long way back to Walnut Creek.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gate - Junction - Juniper - Summit

The sky was uniformly gray but it wasn't raining so I was riding. Packed my rain slicker just in case.

Me at the Gate at 8, no JB, along came Dudley on his way up!

I gave him a two minute lead and then started up too. Rode the first mile or so pretty easy but he was putting some time into me! It would have taken a really hard effort to catch him.

After a bit I see JB below. Up near the Ranches I enter the fog and visibility drops to about 20 feet. Dudley pulled over and I think he turned around. I stayed ahead of JB all the way to Junction. We discussed Clif Bar recalls and change we can believe in. Then we went up Summit Road.

More fog, thicker and wetter, and mega tree drippage... I spun out my rear tire a couple times while out of the saddle on the steeper bits.

JB turned around at Juniper, I continued on... vowing to find the sun.

Sun never showed up. I even lost traction again on the Wall so I stopped for a photo there.

Of course, photos never quite capture fog... so I made a short video that kinda does.

And then it was a long, wet ride down and I was glad I thought about the slicker.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gate - Junction - Juniper - Gate

Really cold this morning. By the time I got to the Gate my toes and the ends of my fingers were already painfully frozen.

On the way out there were at least a dozen women's shoes spread out over about a mile of Banacroft Road. I almost took a photo of one and thought about making a joke about how someone "lost a pump".

Got to the Gate a few minutes before Rick and JB - went ahead for some recon shots.

Got passed by a few guys on the way up - two of them were wearing shorts! We saw quite a few people descending already, and at the Junction the bike rack was full.
I ate a Clif bar and told Rick I wanted to do Juniper. JB turned back down.

It was positively toasty up on Summit Road. I was unzipped and gloveless and still very warm. No wind at all... it was some good riding.

On the way back down we happened upon a guy on a 20-year old Cannondale touring bike, fully loaded with camping gear. I struck up a conversation with him and he talked a little like one of those semi-crazy homeless guys. Both his wheels were wobbly and his brakes barely worked; he blamed centerpull brakes and 20-year old technology. I gave him a wide berth.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Previously, on Diablo Scott's Bike Blog...

"My shifting sucks! It skips and ghost shifts and won't stay in gear at all."

"I changed my cassette and chain and my shifting still sucks!"

"I'm sick of fiddling with my barrel adjusters... this sucks!"

"I put on all new cables and my shifting sucks! I can't use my 24t at all!"

I put on ANOTHER new cassette and chain and my shifting sucks even worse."

"Hmmmm. Maybe it's my shifters; I might as well go 10-speed, I'll need new shifter/brake levers, cassette, and chain, and bar wrap."

Last night finally got around to doing the work, hoping to be done in time for this morning's ride... worked till 11 o'clock, got up early this morning to finish but didn't get 'er done until 9:30. Mostly went OK but involved some head scratching and tool searching. When you change brifters you have to do all the cables too of course and it just took longer than I thought. Also, my Flight Deck computer mount is for a 9-speed and the hood inserts don't fit into 10-speed levers so now the fancy computer is mostly an odometer.

Anyway, for a shakedown cruise I rode from home to about a mile up North Gate Road and everything was perfect... I couldn't elicit a chain skip no matter what I did so I'm reasonably confident that it was the shifters that were the problem.

On the way down I stopped to take this photo and got a...

Dudley Driveby - I decided to follow him and see where he went. He had a station wagon parked at North Gate High.

Buggered up this cable job on the front derailleur... works for now but it won't last long.

The hoods feel quite a bit different from the 9-speed variety, I'll get used to it. The shifting action is a little lighter too.

Boy that extra gear in there (the 16 I think) is AWESOME!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Gate Junction Tire Poppers Junction Gate

Really cold this morning... weather station said 27°F at the Summit. Not too foggy though and the streets were kind of sloppy wet. I took the foul weather bike.

This froat definitely had his winter coat on.

My Merckx has been making an unusual creaking sound from the crank (a crink). I figured my BB bearings were going out (ISIS... a known weakness). At the Junction Rick did a little troubleshooting and decided it wasn't the bottom bracket so I checked the binder bolts and found four that needed tightening and one that was completely loose. Fixing that silenced things up nicely.
JB wasn't in the mood for freezing to death so we went down SGR with the intention of doing Tire Poppers or maybe just the Kiosk if it was too cold and then coming back up. At first it was really windy and cold but after a couple miles the sun poked through and felt pretty good. At the Tire Poppers though, JB decided to go around so it was just me and Rick going back up.

Wildlife Encounter: A bunch of turkeys near the bottom of South Gate Road.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I was ready today for super wet fog and pretty cold but it really wasn't that bad. Got an early start and hardly saw any other riders until a few at Junction.

The fog got thicker and thicker as I climbed until I finally rose above it near the Upper Ranch and wow it was truly glorious.

On Summit Road a few roadies passed me and near Muir I saw the first rider descending. I also looked down and saw a lot of trail runners on the paths and fire roads. It got a little windy in some sections but it was pretty good riding the rest of the way to the top.

There were a few hikers and runners and cyclists hanging around at the Summit and there were scores of people coming up as I descended back down.

Money in the shoes for good luck all year.

This carnage was on NGR below the Gate.

I never get over how cool it is to climb out of fog like this.

And suddenly visibility is great and the sky is bluetiful.

Looking down Mitchell Canyon (I think).

This guy had a party hat on but I wasn't quite quick enough to get a good shot.

This guy has been added to the Wall of Ignominy

My favorite shot of the day.