Saturday, March 31, 2018

2018 SMR 12

Well, quite a different ride from last week.  Warm and dry and very busy with all kinds of people enjoying The Mountain.

Colin and JB both decided to come too, and we all made The Summit.

I decided a good time to switch from my winter bike to my summer bike would be after Paris-Roubaix.  That means two more Saturday Morning Rides on my sweet Belgian steel classic with the new custom tubular wheelset and 27mm sewups before switching over to my sweet American aluminum classic with the custom clincher wheelset and Dura Ace 10-speed group.  My bike was still really dirty from last week's ride... my fingers got black just from pumping up the tires... so note to self:  hand wash and detail before putting him back on the hooks for the season.

Past Junction I started to get that niggling knee thing - the pain that usually goes away after about 10 minutes... it mostly did.  Then past The Elbow I started to feel a hamstring cramp come on but managed to hold it off until I made The Summit.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

BONUS POST: Bike Room at Pleasant Hill BART

Had the opportunity to use the new BikeHub at Pleasant Hill BART this week.
It's a secure parking facility with a little bike shop inside.
You need to already have a BikeLink card, 
And you have to "authorize" your card at the station.  I did this last week one evening - I just entered the lobby, inserted my card, and talked to an attendant somewhere through the intercom thing.  She could read my name from the card, and then I had to hold my driver's license up to the camera so they could link my ID to my BikeLink... and then I was legit.

You're also supposed to have either the BikeLink stickers or temporary tags (available at the station) attached to your bike so they know whose it is.  I got my stickers in the mail on Monday so I didn't look for the "hang tags".

Shop straight ahead, lock room to the left.

The "shop" is open from 7 to 11am, and has this security curtain shut after that.

I chose a spot in the back... and a floor-level rack.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2018 SMR 11

Forecast was for rain later today - I thought "Perfect opportunity for a Saturday Morning Summit."  Didn't bring my raincoat (story foreshadow).  JB was a no-show so I put up the rock again and got to business.

Happy Spring!  It was very pleasant up to Junction.  I took off my gloves and unzipped my jersey and windbreaker.  Hardly saw any other riders though - it was really quiet and peaceful... and dry.

Ate my ClifBar Blueberry Crisp at Junction and half expected to see JB ride in... didn't happen.  I told myself it would be OK to skip The Summit today, but myself didn't believe it.  Above Junction it was in and out of fog - bits of sunshine around one turn and light drizzle around the next...I was loving it and admired my sense of conviction... but zipped up my jersey.  Above The Elbow it started to lightly snow and I pitied the fair-weather pansies who didn't ride today and missed this experience.

At Summit I put on my gloves and started down... but the weather front had moved in and it was now drizzling heavily - had to take off my sunglasses to see and my hands were wet and cold and I was losing feeling in my fingers... braking constantly because the road was wet and visibility was low.

I stopped at Junction to shake some life back into my hands and hoped someone would be there to acknowledge the epicacity of my ride... and there was Jeff.  Jeff had a 1991 Eddy Merckx Team Issue Motorola bike and we did a little bike-bro bonding and took some photos.

Below Junction, the sun came out again and it wasn't warm but it was less life-threatening... there were a few more riders coming up.  I put my glasses back on.  There was a hot cup of Earl Grey that needed to be brewed back home.

Yeah, bright and sunny! 
Less bright, less sunny.

That's the sun at the top of the photo.

Hey!  Another smiling life form!

Nancys quit here.

Dude,cool Merckx.

Jeff, Eddy Merckx and banana jersey. 
Yes, snow.

More snow.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 SMR 10

Last ride of winter!  I felt great and really enjoyed this ride, which is not that surprising, but as of late last night I was reasonably sure it would be too rainy to ride at all this morning.  Checked the phone at 6am and it said "GO RIDE THE MOUNTAIN!"

At The Gate there were no riding buddies.  I waited a while but started up for a solo ride.  Ranger at The Kiosk told me it had snowed at The Summit yesterday... I didn't think any of it would still be there though (spoiler - YEAH IT WAS!)

So without JB to slow me down, I went about 1 minute faster than usual to Junction, and then had to stop to recover.  A few minutes later JB and Colin rode in and had some story about why they were late... and Colin had to turn around... but we talked a little about bike wheels and bridge collapses.

So then it was up to The Summit.  The green grass and blue sky gave way to thick fog and low visibility... it was beautiful.  About a half mile before the Lower Lot we started seeing some snow in the ditch and ice on the trees.  On The Wall I thought it was hailing, but it was just tree ice dripping on me. 

An awfully nice ride for last day of winter.  Fingers got a little cold on the way down... but I'm not complaining.

There be snow up there! 

This guy and I crossed swords several times today.  And by "crossed swords" I mean... he passed me.

Oh HEEEEERE they are. 

Remember this for the way down, Scott.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

2018 SMR 09

First of all - LEGENDARY ride by Scott Cooper earlier this week.  Last year I wrote about how he did 50 laps up the Summit Wall to celebrate his 50th birthday; this year he turned 51 of course and he did 53 laps... because he was afraid he may have lost count.

Special Guest Rider:  Colin.  Work buddy - I told him that there was a lot less traffic at 8am than when he normally rides so he gave it a chance.  Then of course we got passed by a line of about 20 cars in the first mile.

Lots of ash or something on the road below Juniper.

AHA - this para-military operation explains the line of 20 cars we saw earlier.