Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 SMR 41

JB called in sick... OK, no hurry then, I had an extra cup of coffee.

Got half way down my street and realized I had my regular glasses on - turned around to get my sun glasses and extra warm gloves.

Got half way down Walnut Ave and punctured - piece of glass I probably picked up on the Dam Road Tuesday. While I was fixing it I thought "Well, that'll probably be my last flat of 2013".

Got a half mile past the North Gate and flatted AGAIN! Jeez, maybe I didn't get all the glass out? Didn't find any more glass and couldn't find the puncture... I think I left the valve unscrewed though so maybe the air just leaked out as the core wiggled around.  I always have two tubes and three CO2 carts in my saddlebag so I was prepared, but now I had no more reserve... I think I'll get a glueless kit to go in there too.

By mile 3 the wind was just ferocious. Bits of dirt and gravel were pummeling me around some of the corners. At least it had warmed up a mite.

Above Junction it got almost bad enough to make me think about turning around at Juniper... I finished my Clif Bar there and it was difficult just to stand still. But I didn't come this far just to quit.

Mercifully, the Summit Wall was kind of calm - I don't know if because it's shielded or the wind was taking a break. The ride back down was a real white-knuckler, but I've done it enough times to know where all the tricky bits are... and no more flats!

New Christmas gloves!

Walnut Avenue Puncture

I like this shot because you can see the "sharp turn"
sign up above for folks coming down.

I love it when a capture a rider in front of a great background.

Passed-me #5 or 6

#6 or 7

7 or 8

Don't try this on a horse.

These guys asked me to take their photo on an
iPhone - I don't know if they noticed my handlebar
cam was getting the same shot.

Winding AND windy

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve - The Bears and Pig Farm

Neither Kevin nor Edgardo had ever done this iconic East Bay ride - so today was it.

We were supposed to be about eight, but only the three of us showed up.  Kevin forgot his helmet and we decided he could do the ride without it.

We met at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park.

Maybe they call it Inspiration Point because
you might get inspired by that Mountain way over there.

Selfie on top of the Pig

Roadkill Report:  Raccoon on the Dam Road.

The Dam Road mostly has a nice wide shoulder, but it was full of broken glass and garbage and road debris; a shame.

The ride up Wildcat is really nice.  It looks harder than it is - so it feels like you're having a great climbing day.  It's a lot like Pinehurst but with a nicer surface and more traffic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 SMR 40

Solstice Summit!

Walnut Avenue is a little like Stonehenge and the solstice sun comes up right over the road (and right in your eyes).

Frigid at 7:30 but very pleasant by 8:30 - even took my gloves off.

The solstice of course, is not a day - but an instant in time; simultaneous over the entire earth... and it happened at 09:13am PST while JB and I were BS'ing at the Junction.

Didn't see many people on the way up but lots of them were climbing when I was on the way down.

I put my Contour mount on the handlebars - what do you think?  It's a little less room for my hands on the top, but you don't get the cables and brake lever in the video.

Some people call this "The Four Poles"...
nice for reference but not a very catchy name.

Diablo Regular "Tuck Jersey"
He must know that bib straps over your jersey is a fashion faux pas,
but he does it anyway out of a strong sense of individuality.

Not a Spare the Air Day

OOH, this is a good shot. 
This one's not bad either.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2013 SMR 39

Another cold day... the first half hour I was wishing I brought my toe booties, but after that it was OK.

The sun was right in our eyes for a big portion of the ride today - JB noted that next Saturday is the December Solstice so things'll start getting better after that.

Very quiet on The Mountain today too.  I don't know if it's the cold, the proximity to Christmas, or just laziness but there are a lot of riders not riding.

Saturday Morning Regulars:  Dudley and Bibs-Over-Jersey guy.

Dudley Drive-by at Juniper

Lower Summit Lot picnic area makeover is looking nice.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

2013 SMR 38

I was ready for the worst today - Thursday was insanely cold, Friday was a little better, but today wasn't really too bad, and it stopped raining sometime last night so I didn't need my raincoat.

Put new brakes on the Merckx last week too, so he was ready to ride.

No wildlife encounters, no roadkill to report, not even a Dudley drive-by... all quiet on the Mountain.

Descending was a bit of an ordeal what with the wind, cold, and slippery surface.

1°F Above Freezing at Junction

It's a good day for a video:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 SMR 37

Tights and windbreaker, light gloves.  Really quiet day on The Mountain - didn't see another rider going up or down until Junction and only one car.

Wildlife Encounter:  deer at the vineyard

Wildlife Encounter:  coyote above the Zigzag

Wildlife Encounter:  turkeys at the Upper Ranch

Work is progressing on fire cleanup and repair.  Lots of burned trees near power lines have been cleared away, lots of burned rubble has been cleared away, and there's a new picnic table at Grapevine.  Also the Lower Summit work has re-commenced with concrete and paving nearly done.

Lots and lots of people coming up while I was descending - big groups of people... maybe everybody just decided to sleep in today.

Dudley Driveby... about the same place as last week.

Pain face going up the wall.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2013 SMR 36

Nice weather today after a very windy week.  I was expecting to see a lot of fallen tree branches but the road was clean.

JB still hasn't fixed his bottom bracket - it's become a running joke.

JB started up to the Summit with me but then his knee started hurting so he turned around at Toyon.

Warmer and windy up past Blue Oak.
 I unzipped my windbreaker and it flapped around in the wind,
giving my shadow the appearance of a superhero with a cape.

Bianchi Boy passed me twice but stopped at picnic areas
after each time, and I don't think he did The Summit.

Camera check - sat.

Dudley Drive-by above Juniper.

Clear, clean, blue sky: tastes like November in NorCal.

Triple Crown guy and his friend Pannier Guy.

Wildlife Encounter:  Coyote at Diablo Ranch on the descent.

Wildlife Encounter:  Jackrabbit below the Gate on the descent.

Deed of Chivalry:  Saw a little loose dog starting to cross busy Walnut Avenue so I warned the traffic behind me and then stopped to rescue him.  He was a friendly little fellow and came right up to me.  One of the drivers also stopped and we tried to call the number on his tag but it had been disconnected   ;-(    Driver offered to accept responsibility for finding the owner so I continued on home.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

2013 SMR 35

Tire was flat last night so I fixed it then instead of this morning.

Eight at the Gate.

Sun is looking us right in the eye as we go up NGR.

What's JB smiling about?

Friendly Bianchi girl chats us up.
She said she came from Palo Alto to ride
Diablo with her dad who hadn't yet arrived at Junction...
she DROPPED her DAD!!

I was hoping for a cool shot of a rider descending
with this burned up terrain in the background...
but it didn't happen.

I thought of the coolest caption while I was riding up The Wall -
but then the blood supply to my memory banks was interrupted.

Excursion to the newly-finished observation deck... looks nice.

I've never done this hike... maybe someday.

Looking toward Central Valley

This shapely rider carved the corners like an artist, but
she didn't have much for top-end speed

Two dudes, abiding.