Wednesday, February 27, 2019

2019 WNR 02

The weather report said it would stop raining by 2pm.  I believed them.  It didn't.
My bike though is now 100% set for l'Eroica - I put on my toe clip pedals from my commute bike and set the downtube shifters to friction mode.  I'll need to use different shoes though - my Adidas Sambas are just too thin and my feet were hurting.

Really quiet on The Mountain.  When I got to Junction a ranger there asked me how the ride was and I said it was great and I like weather like this (light rain, not too cold).  She said they don't like to say "quiet day" because that jinxes things and then they have some catastrophe.

I just don't think these tires are going to make it until l'Eroica.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

2019 SMR 05

Still really cold but the sun was out.

I never noticed before, but there's some kind of camera mounted on the kiosk.  The attendant (wasn't a full ranger) said he didn't know anything about it, and that there was no TV inside his building that he could watch whatever the camera shows on.

There was another mudslide at the sink-crack sometime after my Wednesday ride.  It had already been mostly cleaned up, huge piles of mud were piled up on the side of the road, a huge chunk of hill was missing, and a backhoe or something was parked nearby.  Lots more cracks in the road too.

At Junction, a couple drove in from the south and the wife announced that it was her husband's birthday and he wanted to come up Mount Diablo.  She also offered us birthday cupcakes, but we declined.  Also, Ranger Jordan told us Summit Road was clear to the Lower Lot, but The Wall was closed because ICE.

JB was feeling cold at Junction and wanted to go down South Gate so I went with him but told him I would be turning around and coming back up.  That was fun, everyone should come up The Easy Side once in a while.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 WNR 01

Wednesday and not working - TIME FOR A RIDE!

Forecast is for rain at some point today, so I was riding between the horns.

Not cold enough for a jacket so I wore my favorite Castelli winter jersey with a wicking T-shirt underneath; brought my medium weight gloves, and mounted my MP3 speaker.  Eddy was nice and clean and lubed up after my Saturday maintenance.  Everything I wrote in this paragraph will turn against me before Junction.

So I was riding great; fast and smooth and strong.  One guy passed me near Son of Chainbuster, but it was pretty quiet up there.  Then after Chainbuster it started to hail - tiny little stones about the size of half a grain of rice.  I picked up my pace but got pretty wet by the time I got to Junction.  That's when I pulled the dog poop bag out of my bike wallet and put my phone and wallet inside that water-proof plastic protector.

Headed down pretty quick but I got rained on most all the way home. I made sure to show my toothy grin the whole time so people in their cars would know I was enjoying it.  By the time I got home, my favorite jersey was soaked through to my wicking T-shirt, my shoes were full of water, my MP3 speaker was sputtering, and my gloves had lost all insulating value.  Also - my bike needs a good cleaning again now.  Being a tough old dude is not for sissies.

Diablo Shoutout to expat Adam - who judging from his shorts, was expecting warmer weather.

I got this.
Just baby hail.  M√©rite pas des points HardMan.

LOOK!  You can see the hail falling.

"Why yes, I am enjoying riding my bike in this cold wet weather, thank you."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 SMR 04

Last night I was only about 50% confident there would be a ride this morning.  But at 6:30 when I walked my dog the sky looked not so bad.  The forecast though said there would be rain by 10 o'clock so I figured it would be a Junction ride.  At The Gate, the ranger told us the road was closed at Juniper because ICE.  Ranger also said the airplane that crashed on The Mountain last Friday night had all been cleaned up so there was nothing to see.

So it was a nice ride up to Junction, and then we didn't stop like usual.  JB said "Juniper or until it starts to rain."  Above Junction it got steadily colder and foggier and windier and we got rained on a little in The Blue Oak Speedway; but with only a mile to go we pressed on.  They had spread some kind of anti-skid gravel stuff on the road in The Speedway which made a crunchy white-noise kind of sound under my tires that was very pleasant.  Got rained on a lot more on the way down, but it was only about a Rain Factor 2.

Lots of water was running in all the creeks and culverts and little waterfalls, and even a little snow remained in some of the ditches on Summit Road.

A couple weeks ago I noticed one of my bottle cages was broken - it still held OK but you can't trust a plastic cage with a crack so I ordered some new ones - exactly the same as the old ones!  That's quite an endorsement.  I decided it was a good time to wash The Beast and oil his chain while I was at it.

Product Review:  Profile Design Stryke Kage    looks good, easy to install, lasts long time.  These get a 10 on the DiabloScott bottle cage recommendation scale.  The packaging even lists the torque requirements for the mounting bolts:  30-inch-pounds... pretty hard to get a torque wrench in there though, so I just guessed.