Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 SMR 23

Well while half the country is baking in heat, and significant portions of it are actually on fire... it was nice and cool this morning on The Mountain.

Came upon neighbor Morgan on the way out.  She had been training for the Death Ride but crashed about a month ago and is just back to riding so she won't be ready.

No colleagues today, I put the rock on the post and started up for an easy one.

Hardly anyone else on NGR - maybe still watching the Prologue... I DVR'ed it.
Passed 'em - Passed me ratio:  1:1.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012 WNR 10

Beautiful evening.  Got a late start; rode solo.

Rummaging around my desk at work, I found a strawberry-banana GU with a "Best By" date of February 2009.  Tasted fine and it wasn't puffed up with bacterial byproduct gases or anything... so I didn't worry.

After like 9 years, I finally figured out how to use the Average and Max speed functions on my Flight Deck, and the Virtual Cadence thing too; it's like a subroutine of functions within the main routine of functions and not always accessible.  I'd always been able to do it with the manual open at my desk, but I'd always forget once I got back on the bike.  Anyway, it's kind of interesting to watch the AVS drop as I climb and getting familiar with what AVS corresponds to what ETs.  As one of my blog readers tells me... I should probably get with the 21st century and buy an iPhone with GPS or a Garmin computer or something so I can log my suffer scores on Strava for the whole world to see.

Roadkill Report:  Squirrel - not QUITE photo worthy, but let's just say... he went quickly.

OK, WTF is up with those blue doodads in all my photos?  They're not always in the same part of the screen, so I don't think it's a lens problem or a sensor problem... is it just condensation?  There was plenty of humidity in my jersey pocket tonight, that's for sure.

Passed-em: Passed-me ratio:  6 to ZERO.  One guy was chasing me from the Gate, but I had an insurmountable gap by Upper Washout.

No surprise that I faded a bit on the last mile, but I also got a real bad stomach ache - couldn't even take a deep breath - all I could think about was that expired GU I ate on the way over... no way it was bad, but what else could it be?  I passed a guy in a John Muir Medical Center jersey - that added to the drama a bit.

Then I passed one more guy near the Ranger House.  I was really hurting by then but I kept pushing, in a hurry to get it over with.  Later at the Junction, I talked to him and told him about my stomach ache and he pulled out a little medicine bottle and some dose cups and said... "I've got something for you if you want it."  I declined without having any idea what it was, then he explained... "It's single malt scotch".  First time I've ever seen that.  He took a swig and I almost asked him for a wee dram to take home for later.  

More blue aberrations.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

LIVESTRONG Davis Volunteer

Diablo Daughter and I staffed PowerStop #2 at a fire station next to an airport somewhere west of town.

It's an important event for the health club team but I wasn't confident I could collect the rather hefty minimum sponsorship amount, so I figured it was a good time to do some payback.  Club coaches gave me some promotional car magnets and a banner to display.

The team had 45 riders and collected over $30k in donations so they did a great job.  The whole event was also very successful - over $900 thousand - almost a million dollars for cancer research from one charty bike ride... and they do dozens of these kind of events all over the world.

The on-line sponsorship pages had personal stories of people who were riding and how cancer had affected their lives... some incredibly touching stories.

So we got to the PowerStop at 7:15 and helped set up the tables, bike racks, food trays, etc.  There were four people making PBJ sandwiches non-stop for hours.

The rest stop was mile 10 for the 20-mile ride, and mile 24 for the 65 and 100 mile options.  The first rider rolled in to great fanfare at about 8:15.  Then gradually larger groups, then huge packs of riders. 

The volunteer organizer had plenty of help at the food tables so he asked us to help direct traffic at the entrance to the parking lot - people would ride in and stop, blocking the way for others to get in so we had to cheerfully tell them to get out of the way. 

After a while, I noticed the volunteer bike mechanic was overwhelmed, so I helped him change some flat tires and lube squeaky drivetrain parts.  He told me he didn't get any recompense for all the tubes and stuff that he gave away, but he frequently got thank you cards with checks in the mail afterwards.  One time he had a pizza delivered to his shop with a note of gratitude.  One rider told me he fixed his own flat tire on the road, but wanted me to check that he'd replaced the wheel properly - well he got it in straight and got the brakes reconnected just fine, but I think he had help from King Kong to get his skewer so tight.

By 9:30 the place was completely packed and by 10:00 it was almost empty.  The last rider in had her own CHP escort vehicle!  Then we packed everything up and by 10:30 it was all over.

We went to the finish line and watched the riders come in.  Cancer survivors got a yellow rose when they finished.  There was a big announcer stand and finish line structure to make people feel special.  Very well run event, maybe I'll risk it next year.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

2012 SMR 22

Started about a half hour later than usual since it was just me.  Pretty cool temps this morning.

 Followed these two guys out to the Mountain - they weren't going as fast as I wanted to, but I wasn't gonna pass a guy with a Triple Crown Gold jersey.

Staked out a place for a Diablo Spy Cam

Hey, it's Triple Crown Gold guy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 WNR 09

First day of summer!

Wildlife Encounter:  gobs of squirrels, mostly young ones the size of rats.
Roadkill Report:  squirrels (you knew that was coming)

Nobody else from the office came today so I rode my own ride.  Felt pretty good despite the heat.  At one point I thought my Cytomax had gone sour, but then I remembered I had just bought a new can and switched from Orange to Lemon-Lime flavor; weird how your expectation of what you're tasting affects what you actually taste.  It was really a good flavor once I stopped thinking it was supposed to be orange.

Kinda faded a little bit at the last mile, so that means I wasn't sandbagging.

At the Junction, blogreader Dan was there in the MDSP jersey he got for Father's Day.

Also at the Junction was one of the guys who was in the rattlesnake observation team on Saturday and we told our story to the other folks at Junction.  Turns out one of them was some kind of naturalist hired by the Park to look for endangered snakes - the Alameda Whipsnake especially, so he was interested in where we saw the rattler.

AKA "Striped Racer"

Sunday is the Livestrong Davis ride - if you're doing it, look for me at PowerStop #2 (mile 24).  I'll mix you up a special recipe of power water or something.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012 SMR 21

Warm today, even early this morning.  Met JB at the Gate.

Wildlife Encounter:  Tarantula  (in June?!?!)

Heat and wind really sapped my energy - I was hoping to do the Summit today but not feeling like this.

At the Junction chatted with some acquaintances and convinced myself I didn't feel THAT bad... so up it was.

They're doing some kind of landscaping project at Juniper.

Wind got a lot stiffer on Summit Road... but the heat was about the same.

A friend asked me to buy a couple of the new Mount Diablo State Park jerseys for her at the museum store... but they didn't have the sizes she wanted.  The guy let me put some on reserve for their next order.  They were mostly out of everything except mediums.  So here's my advice for anyone who wants to buy a jersey... call first and see if they have your size and then wait for them to come in before you go up expecting one.

Wildlife Encounter:  Rattlesnake at Muir Picnic Area.

On the way down there was a snake stretched across the road.  Took me a while to stop but I wanted a photo so I got turned around but then some MTB guys were coming down and one of them ran right over the snake despite my shout out.  After that the snake coiled up.  He attracted a little crowd and we cautioned people about him but we couldn't coax the guy off the road.  I piled up some rocks and sticks around him so people would take a wide line even if they didn't know he was a snake, and then I finished descending.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2012 WNR 08

Me, Charlie, Rhys, and Derrick tonight.

Started out hot, got hotter.

Wildlife Encounter:  deer at the NG Kiosk.

Adam started out with us and I figured Derrick would try to stay with him a while so I sat back but then Derrick wasn't trying very hard so I bridged up to him.

Wildlife Encounter:  Jackrabbit at Moss Landing.

Derrick made a bunch of excuses so I shelled him.  Rode the rest of the way up alone.  Did I say it was hot?  Not like killer hot, but sap all your energy hot.  Had a hard time keeping the pedals moving on the last mile.

Lots of people at Junction including Jay and Ward... topic was Lance... they weren't shedding any tears.  Jay has a bike boom box that's pretty cool too.