Saturday, August 31, 2019

2019 SMR 27

Yesterday I took The Klein to Big Dave's and had them put a new chain on for me.  Here's my reasoning:
1.  Did it myself last time, buggered it up and it broke on Wednesday.
2.  Did it myself last time, took 90 minutes and I got all greasy.
3.  I needed my bike for TODAY!
4.  For $20 labor, the mechanic had my drivetrain in perfect nick in 10 minutes, and he verified my cassette was still good.

It's that time of year when riding down Walnut Avenue at 7:45 am puts the sunrise right in your eyes.

I put that chain to the test today too - lots of big gear, low cadence, power stroking; it felt strong and smooth.  

Cal jersey day today.   I got a lot of "Go Bears" shoutouts on The Mountain this morning.

Me and JB tried to get some conversation going - we tried Hurricane Dorian, Medicare Part B... nothing really seemed to stick, so we rode in silence most of the way.  I can't even think of good photo captions.

Cal Jersey Autoblog

It's that time of year where people put up their Alma mater flags in my neighborhood.

Cal Jersey Autoblog

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

2019 WNR 24

Recently I've taken on the challenge of having the best times of my Wednesday group for each of the NGR Segments.

Today's objective:  Segment 4... BING!

Good weather, not too many bugs.  Broke my chain just before Junction on the second lap though.  It started skipping gears a couple miles earlier and I thought I had that stiff link problem returning, so I was kind of soft pedaling - when the chain snapped I got my foot out of the pedal and stopped without falling over or racking myself.  Walked to Junction and then Charlie and Colin helped me fix it good enough to get back to The Church.  I think I'm going to have Big Dave install the chain this time.

This rider saw me in the middle of my PR attempt - she probably assumed I'm always that fast.

This is my "pretending not to pose" pose.

Round Two:  Joined by JB, Colin, Charlie, Shawn, Kathryn, and Donna.

Shawn had to quit at the Upper Washout (the wuss-out?).  So I got an early selflie... filming into the sun like a newb.

Charlie takes the inside line around Chainbuster... chain maintains.

Yup, my chain looks busted.

Peer review confirms my conclusion.

Yeah... the end is near.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

2019 SMR 26

I felt great today.  Got up a little earlier than usual.  It was supposed to be hot, but it didn't really get warm until around Juniper.

At The Gate, Parry rode up to me and I didn't recognize him at first from our previous ride together, but told him he was welcome to ride with me and JB, and he thought that would be a good idea.  So on the way up we talked about ClifBars, mountain lions, and tubeless tires.

This guy made a joke about how JB was working than me and Parry because he was on his commute bike.

There was an organized trail run going on today, and lots of hikers, and lots of riders who looked like this was their first time - WELCOME all.

Sad story - as our ride is ending, approaching The Gate on the way out of The Park, we were about to pass this guy, and he looked over at Parry and then drifted off the road into the ditch and crashed.  He was hurt pretty badly.  Parry went up to tell the Kiosk Ranger and he got the paramedics called .  We were trying to help him but he was confused and in a lot of pain.  Fortunately someone who knew him rode up and he was a bigger help and agreed to stay with him until the ambulance came.  We found out the injured guy's name was Steve.  Fast and complete healing to you Steve.

An instant before Steve's crash.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

2019 WNR 23

Shawn and Kathryn said they weren't coming, but old friend Robert said he could.  Robert used to work in the office with all of us but was actually a client.  I remember walking by his cube once and seeing his vintage Italian steel bike and then invited him on the ride and he was a regular for a while.  So with me, JB, Charlie, and Robert - there wasn't a current BC employee in the BC Climbers group.

I got an early start and I had selected a PR on Split 3 (The Bump) as my goal.  I have been looking at all my split segments for whichever ones I'm furthest down on the leaderboard for, and I knew The Bump was going to be a hard one, but I knocked 35 seconds of my previous PR, so that's a win.  Of course I didn't KNOW I beat my best until a couple hours later when I uploaded the Strava file. Never really recovered from that effort though and my legs were rubber for the rest of the day.

Wildlife Encounter:  one deer, just little short perky antlers.
Roadkill Report:  lots of birds for some reason, and higher than average number of squirrels.

This is the official end of The Bump Segment... I pushed all the way through.

I *earned* this feeling of oxygen debt and lactic acid burn.

This guy came up the Easy Side, and looked like I felt after my successful PR attempt.

If Robert were paying me for coaching advice, I'd tell him his saddle is too high.  I'll just tell you instead.

This guy with the "robin egg blue" Trek is a regular on Wednesday nights too.  He passed us with souplesse.

Hips are rockin', saddle's too high.

I never noticed this before, but there's a culvert where the Sink Crack is (now partially repaired).
JB's Della Santa has been in the shop for three weeks now.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

2019 SMR 25

I knew it'd be a solo ride today because JB is out of town.  I had visions of doing an epic, memorable ride.  But I was feeling just a bit out of sorts, got a late start, forgot my helmet and didn't realize it until I was a mile and a half out and had to turn around.  I figured it wasn't an epic calendar day after all.  But I knew sometimes those epic desires and feelings develop while you're riding and I gave it a chance.

My plan was to go up NGR, down SGR, and then Summit from the South Side.  I never felt great, but good enough to carry out the plan. By Juniper, my legs were getting pretty rubbery, and my split times were nothing to brag about, but I'm checking off the "epic" box.

Started the day off right by passing two old guys.

I just like this guy's jersey pattern.

Tucking your jersey inside shorts isn't QUITE as odd as under bib straps.

The opposite of tucking your jersey inside your bibs, is to not wear a jersey and roll your bib straps down. 
This guy was doing repeats up The Wall.

This guy puked up those cookies he had for breakfast... all over his pretty bike.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

2019 WNR 22

We've been having a heat wave!  I have been in enough safety seminars and training sessions and heard enough stories to take heat injury very seriously, and I've been riding enough years to know how to manage my efforts in the heat... but not everybody gets it.

This happened last week, on August 3rd.  If you're looking for a helicopter ride, best to book a ticket with a tourist company instead of an emergency rescue.

Today I packed two frozen water bottles for the first trip up, and a 2.5-liter Camelbak full of ice for the second trip.  I didn't make it to The Church in time to do a full Junction for the first trip, so I turned around after Segment 3.  I wasn't sure if anyone else was coming but I didn't want someone to show up at 5:30 and be disappointed that I wasn't there to ride with them.  Yeah, it was hot, and I didn't see many other riders, but a few.  Back at The Church and no one else came so I donned Camelbak and departed.  

I determined to take a hit off the Camelbak about every 3 minutes - that way the fluid in the tube didn't get too hot and I would be sure to drink enough.  The Strawberry Lemonade MIO mix was a good choice.

Even when you're careful about not overdoing it, the heat kind of saps your strength so your muscles get more tired than you're used to.  Pumpkin Jay reported that it got cooler on Summit Road, but I was good and spent at Junction.  Saw JB coming up on his foldable as I started down, he must've been just a few minutes late to The Church.

Not sure how many WNRs are left this season, but I'm going to relish them.

This guy gave me the "you're crazy like me" salute.

Shady spot to turn around.

Yeah... no one else is coming.

I'm calling this 42C.