Wednesday, May 29, 2019

2019 WNR 11

OK!  Had a little extra time so I went for a double Junction.  Figured I could start at 4:00 and be back to The Church before the regular Wednesday Night Ride crowd showed up for the 5:30 start.  Made it with plenty of time to spare.  Then Charlie, Shawn, Justin, Joey, and I started up.  It was hotter and windier the first time up, and my legs were significantly softer the second time up.  50 km and 1200 meters of climbing makes for a good day on the bike.  I had the  DiabloBikeCam mounted on the seat-stay in rear-view mode just to be different.

Nothing at all exciting happened on the first trip up.  I forgot my music speaker so it was also kind of quiet.  I wondered who would be coming for the second trip.  Didn't hang around Junction very long.  Rode back down, got to my truck before anyone else was there, drank another water bottle and ate a ClifBar. Then people started showing up.  Shawn had his music speaker, so that was nice, but my music is better'n his.

Shawn also got a new GPS cycling computer and he said it was giving him too much information - like reporting how much slower he was than other people he was Strava friends with at each segment.

We all started out together but Shawn was feeling his oats and broke away in the first segment.  I hung back with Charlie until we got to The Bump and by then Joey and Justin had also found their own pace and were split up.  Then I gradually caught them all so that was really cool.  Didn't catch Joey until Junction though so he beat my time by about 30 seconds.  My elapsed Junction times were almost the same for the first and second times up.  

Diablo Shoutout to Punkin Jay who was coming down from The Summit with his buddy Dave.  They stopped to talk for a while and Jay took my photo.  

Then I was tired and made a relaxed descent.

I don't know who this guy was.

Shawn of The Mountain... he needs to work on his nickname.

Jay and Dave

I don't know who these guys are either... but I passed 'em!

Photo Credit:  Punkin' Jay

This was actually my idea, to pose facing the sun.

Photo Credit:  Shawn

Oh and Shawn is doing RideAtaxia this weekend and he's way behind in fundraising - here's his donation page if you're feeling charitable for this really good cause:  Welcome to Shawn O'Leary's Ride Ataxia Page! : - )

Saturday, May 25, 2019

2019 SMR 15

JB's back from Hawaii, but his Della Santa is still broken.  He had some story about why he couldn't ride his other two road bikes and today he rode his folding bike.  He usually keeps this one in good shape and lets guests use it so it was ready to go.  Kind of slow though, Junction time was embarrassing.  I did that same thing I did on Wednesday... riding in a big gear, out of the saddle, low cadence... it made the slow pace more tolerable.  Then I took off for the last mile before Summit and passed up a bunch of people who had passed us earlier... that felt awesome.  I'm feeling really good on the bike the last few weeks.

I asked JB if he had thought about replacing or repairing his Della Santa and he said "not too much".  I offered some suggestions on possible new bikes and told him "the more you think ahead of time about your budget, the less likely you are to get the bike you really want."  He said he already had the bike he wants and it was custom made for him by one of the most famous frame builders in the country.  So I expect he'll figure out a way to get it repaired and restored as good as new... but it'll take 5 months or so.

Wildlife Encounter:  one mama deer with a baby at Hotel Road, and a loose cow at Diablo Ranch - see photo below.
Roadkill Report:  snake.

Almost crowded on The Mountain this morning... big groups, small groups, individuals.  They were all smiling though and that made me smile too.  Also there were a few guys kind of talking to themselves, but I couldn't hear the conversation.  Didn't see anybody I knew well, but quite a few of the regulars and semi-regulars.  Started a little cold and windy, then we rode through a fog layer and the sun felt good but it never got warm.  There were wet spots under the tree canopies.

JB's folding bike.

Junction is a good place to re-group.

Loose cow round-up.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

2019 WNR 10

JB's still in Hawai'i, but Charlie is back from Hawai'i and he put the call out and we got a good group!  Me, Charlie, Justin, Kathryn, and Shawn.

Justin and Shawn were challenging and pushing each other so we kind of left Charlie and Kathryn behind.  I rode in the front and the pace was a little slower than I would normally have gone but I was enjoying the social element so I had fun riding out of the saddle in big gears and slow cadence.  I didn't do any research but I opined that this was good training for muscular strength and didn't do much for aerobic improvement.  A couple times I did a little acceleration in my big gear and was satisfied to see that it worked.

Then with 1 mile to go I went full-gas and tied my best ever Split 6 Segment  on Strava.  Almost 10,000 people are slower than me!

2510 / 12398

Wildlife Encounter:  Two baby deers on The Approach (ridiculously cute), and one big buck on the hillside above The Bump.

Guy with a Triple Bypass jersey passed us here.

This guy had special shorts with a semi-transparent panel that showed everybody how muscular his buns were.

Big Buck!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


No Wednesday Night Ride this week because RAIN!  Marginal but likely that the Saturday ride will happen.

The Eroica California folks have uploaded a new video of my event, and yours truly is prominently featured at time 0:53.  This video really captures the old timey grizzled bike rider flavor of the event.

Also, happy birthday to my cat, Ace,  he's five.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

2019 SMR 14

Went with normal summer uniform this morning, hoping the sun would burn off the fog.  The weatherman was right again, and it quickly got warm.

I told JB last week that Roland Della Santa had died - the famous custom bike builder that made his bike - and today he told me that he can't ride it anymore because a crack had developed in a dent that resulted from a crash years ago.  So... ironic and sad.  He's not sure if he'll get it repaired and repainted or retire it and get something new.  Whatever he decides, it will be quite a while before he has a fun Diablo bike again.

Anyway, he rode his old Trek commuter bike with heavy wheels and fenders and he wasn't having much fun and he said he was only going to Junction anyway.  I started to think about motivating myself to continue on to The Summit alone.  And then who do we run across but our old friend Juan V from Davis.  Juan had already been to The Summit earlier and was on his way down when he saw us, and he turned around and started up again.  We all had a nice conversation getting caught up and when we got to Junction, Juan and I went up Summit Road, and JB went down.

Then when we got to about Muir, Juan said his objective was to do 5,000 ft of vertical for the day, which he just completed so he stopped and we said farewell, and I continued on to The Summit.  Man the bugs were really bad though - that place where they're always bad... the last half mile or so before the Lower Lot... but they were exceptionally bad today; the swarming was like smoke in the air and I had to be careful not to breath them in... mostly successful with that.

There were a LOT of people enjoying The Mountain even though the wildflowers are mostly gone, must have been the weather, and maybe the AMGEN Tour of California and Giro d'Italia were getting people out on their bikes.

Fog in the morning.

The Trek TANK

Bharat got started early I guess.

Still kind of foggy

HERE's the sun

Juan opted not to do the Davis Double this year.

I thought I would photobomb this guy's selfie, but then I realized he was photographing his buddy coming up.