Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 WNR 07

Warm afternoon. JB and I started up together. Then this guy passed us, then he slowed down and we passed him, then he tried to catch us again, it was fun.

I'm having some soccer withdrawls but the Tour starts in a couple days so I think I'll survive.

I can donate blood again in three weeks... good, another excuse for being slow!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Beautiful weather today; warm at the bottom with a cool breeze. Just warm at higher up.

Roadkill Report: bullfrog and lizard.

Major road work is done and the Upper Washout is repaired. There are still signs and equipment all over though so they must still be doing some additional repairs.

Some kind of supported event going on today. Probably twice as many people on the Mountain as usual.
When we got to Juniper, JB and I decided to do the Hole. Roadwork there is done also and no problem using the shortcut. Seems like kind of a cheap resurfacing though.
Update on the Treat Overpass: all the big pieces are in place, all the cables and most of the hand rail. Can't tell if they have the conrete poured in all the trays. Still need to form the approaches on both sides. Looks like on schedule for early August.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010 WNR 06

Forgot my camera tonight... that never happens!
Here's one from the archive.

JB forgot something and couldn't come.
Rode solo, warm and a little windy.
I normally don't count squirrels in my Wildlife Encounter bullet points, but today I saw a squirrel dragging what appeared to be another dead squirrel across the road. It was on my descent so I only got a quick glance.
Wildlife Encounter: A coyote just above the dips, near where you can see Little Pine Creek. He was trotting along down the middle of the road, in front of me as I was on my way down. I slowed down and just followed him for a couple minutes before he pulled off to let me pass. He looked really happy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hours from Summer Solstice

... and I had to dig through my bag of winter riding clothes to find tights and arm warmers!

Cold and windy this a.m. Foggy too above 2,000 ft. Honestly not a very enjoyable ride, but better than not riding.

Just after we got to Junction, about a dozen guys from the Berkeley racing club arrived... one of them had this cool vintage machine. Never heard of this maker before. That is one tight fold on those sew ups. The clipless pedals are rather anachronistic though, and so are the bottle cages.

Coffee and sunshine at Ygnacio Plaza after.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 WNR 05

Warmest ride of the year so far, but still pretty nice.

There's a crew working on the washout, they have construction night lights and everything, and the guy told me they were working until dark. They stop all traffic for ten minutes or so whenever they need to have backhoe involvement.

Got lucky on the way up, but had to wait a while on the way down.

I also heard they're working on the private road on the other side of the "Hole in the Fence"... so if you go up or down South Gate you might not be able to use it... can't believe they'd completely close the road though. Somebody write a comment and give me the whole story.

For the last few months, my floor pump has been giving me problems. It's a Joe Blow Sprint and it hasn't been gripping the valve very tight... blows right off when I'm pumping, especially on valves with no threads. I kept tightening down on the cap that holds the grommets in but it didn't help... grommets themselves seem fine too. So I have to hold the head and valve together with one hand and pump with the other... awkward and not very effective.

Grey side for prestas, black side for Schraeders, then twist the yellow thing away from the valve to grab it tight. It's kind of big to go in the wheels of a kid's bike or a Bike Friday but you can make it work.

Then today I noticed this slot in the back side of the head... looks like some kind of plug. And it appeared to be loose, so I screwed it in better and VOILA! No more valve gripping problems. Pain in the butt eliminated.

Found this 1930 photo of The Mountain on today.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 Diablo Hill Climb Time Trial

There was a fire on the Mountain last night... windy and dry, it was hard to fight. This is what it looked like from my office:

Turned out it was actually on Shell Ridge, so it got close to some residential areas but didn't affect the Park.

Today is the Diablo Hill Climb Time Trial - first rider started at 8 o'clock so I started at 7 with a plan of a quickie Junc Run and then a photo shoot.

Results are posted HERE

Wildlife Encounter: lots of jackrabbits down by Arroyo... I suspect the jackrabbit population and coyote population are inversely related.

Before they had set up the finish line.

Then I scoped out a good place to take pictures... I wanted an interesting background that looked steep. Picked this spot just past the hardest part of the Bump - bonus... a curb to sit on!

I decided the perfect framing would be with the rider's head right about at horizon level, looking up the road sort of toward me. Not everyone cooperated though.

Everyone's favorite legend, Ned Overend... missed first place by 1.5 seconds to local climbing phenom Nathan English who set the new course record of 23m20s. I looked for his photo but I think I trashed it as too blurry.

Chris Phipps, one time champion of the Diablo Challenge. I always like to honor those who bring glory to The Mountain.

I should've picked those weed, they got in the way of a lot of shots and I think my camera was trying to focus on them.

Blog reader Curtis in his first ever licensed race... he found the experience humbling.

Rick's category didn't start until 10:30 and I couldn't stick around that long so I don't have his photo but he did the Mountain proud with a good time.

I got photos of almost everybody who started before 9:30. Rather than post them all, I made a 5 minute low-rez video slideshow... they're all in order so if you see one you want, note the time and I'll be happy to send you the full version (~3MB each). Make a nice comment on the blog and then send me an e-mail request, or you can put your e-mail in the comment but I need your addy to send files.

2010 Diablo Hill Climb Time Trial from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

2010 WNR 04

Got a late start.

Rode solo.

Passed a few guys and then I saw a Group of 3 that I thought were setting a good pace and I stayed 30 seconds behind them for quite a while. Then one guy threw his chain and they all stopped so I had to come around them. Suddenly the preditor was the prey. Picked it up a click and stayed away from them though.

Kind of windy and I was unmotivated. JB found me on his way down and turned around to warm up again with me, then turned back down again.

Team Wells Fargo was at the Junction including Rick whose heart rate still hasn't come down from his race win Saturday... he filled me in on some more details. Thinks he can break 30 on the hill climb next weekend.

Latest on the Treat Overpass: most of the deck plates are in, the rest will be installed Sat and Sun... could be rideable by the end of the month!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Gate - Juniper - Hole

Special guest today: Rick! He's racing the Dash for Cash tomorrow so an easy Diablo ride is good prep. He says this race has a lot of primes so it's pretty crazy and his plan is to stay in the back and save energy and then go for a solo break before anyone expects it.

He took his broken Look Keo pedals back to Performance and they said they had never seen such a thing and opened up a box of new ones and gave them to him... that's a mite better result than I was predicting.

Death Ride practice is in full force, the Mountain was crammed with cyclists. Also tiny little bugs.

Wildlife Encounter: jackrabbit.

Saw Peter at Junction, coming down from the Summit; he must be starting at 7am.

Then off to Juniper,

then down to the hole.

Blog reader Ward was at the future overpass when they brought in the arches, and sent along these photos:

Here's what it looked like this morning...

That's a lotta bolts!

From the south approach, you can sort of visualize what riding it will be like. From this angle, the arches sort of look like a giant taco shell.

It's quite a bit higher than I was picturing in my head. Those are just the suspension arches though, the riding surface will be quite a bit lower.

They're supposed to have the roadway pieces installed tonight with another closure on Treat, after that they'll be able to finish without any traffic interruptions... maybe another month or so and it'll be ready.

OH- and then Rick calls me about one o'clock and says his race is TODAY, not tomorrow after all so he's going to take a nap and ride it anyway in a couple hours.

And then he calls again about 4:30 and says he WON! Stayed in the back and saved energy and then went for a solo break before anybody expected it. Reminiscent of Paolo Bettini in his glory days.

El Podio, and The Ultimate Prize

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

2010 WNR 03

Wow, here it is JUNE and only my third Wednesday Night Ride of the year.

Saw some Team Club Sport riders gathering at the Church so I went hard from the start hoping to stay in front of them... only one guy passed me close to the Junction but the others weren't too far behind so it was a pretty good head start.

Faded toward the end though from the early effort - average and max heart rates were both 10bpm more than usual but my time wasn't any better than Saturday's.

Crowded at the Junction, no ranger hassles, and got home early.

NOTE: Registration for the Diablo Challenge in October is now open - sign up soon if you want the sub-60 wave. I should be volunteering again this year, come say "hi".