Saturday, September 28, 2019

2019 SMR 31

My photo album of Diablo Personalities:

If you're not in there, and want to be... or if you're in there but you want a better photo... (especially if you want a selfie with me!) then come do a Saturday Morning Ride and meet me at the Junction or Summit, and I'll take care of the rest.

JB's out of town, so again I wanted to do something a little different.  Today it will be to take it easy up to Juniper, and then try for a Juniper - Summit Strava PR.

I've been watching my rear tire to see if I need to change it before Foxy's next month, and I realized a good idea would be to make *sure* I wear it out and *have* to change it.  Probably a couple more weeks of hard riding..

Coldest morning of the season so far - perfect for my new long-sleeved jersey that was on sale for *cheap* at Sports Basement.  I took it pretty easy to begin with, thinking I wouldn't stop at Junction but when I got there I had to pee so I stopped just long enough and when I was coming up the steps I heard some guys speaking Russian, so I said Zdravstvuyte!, (howdy).  They chuckled so I figured they knew I was a Yankee who just knew a few Russian words, but then one of them started talking back to me in Russian and then I knew that I had at least fooled them a little bit.  Turns out one guy was a local and the other was visiting and they were stopping at Junction so I bid them dosvedanya.

Above Junction it got pretty windy and I was preparing for my PR attempt so still riding slowly but working harder than I was expecting.  Hadn't seen that many riders by now either - more cars than usual but not bad.  Started to get a mite warmer by Juniper but the wind was not letting up.  I stopped to eat my ClifBar and estimate how much iced tea I should drink for the perfect hydration level.  A minivan coming down from Summit pulled into the parking lot and a guy got out to talk to me.  His name is Raymond and he had just moved his family to Walnut Creek from Korea and he asked me if my bicycle were electric - I told him no I am the motor and slapped my thighs.  Then two cute kids in baseball uniforms got out and then the mom and they asked me about the Golden Gate Bridge and other things that new folks are interested in and then they asked me to take their photo with the dad's phone which had a Korean operating system loaded on it.  I really like being the kind of guy that people find approachable to ask questions and ask for photos.  I should've done a selfie with them too but at least the Klein-Kam was pointed in the same direction.  I welcomed them to the area and told them to come back to Diablo when the weather is better and they'd be able to see the GGB from here.

Welcome Raymond and Family.

OK, showtime - I got up to speed before that sharp turn where the segment begins and suddenly I had a tailwind so I put my head down and put my chain in the big ring and cranked.  The tailwind turned to a headwind after Devil's Elbow so I tried to just be efficient and aero but my split time looked pretty good.  I wanted to keep just enough gas in the tank to do The Wall without stopping for a break at the bottom like I usually do.
¡Exito! - 

At Summit I met John from Indiana who was here with his wife for a wedding.  He had rented bikes from Encina (gave them a good recommendation). They did Hamilton yesterday and Diablo today.

John came all the way from Indiana to do a selfie with me.

Oh, that's probably why more cars than usual - tarantula photographers!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

2019 WNR 28

Hot today, but I felt GREAT.  On my first ride up I tried for a PB to Junction.  I was on a 39-minute pace until the last couple miles where I faded bad.  Didn't even make a top 3.

This is what failure looks like.

Tarantula Tally:  One crawler near Diablo Ranch

Back to my vehicle where I had a ClifBar and a couple of water bottles on ice for the second time up.  No one else came so it was another solo run.  I took it quite a bit easier but then I got a hamstring cramp at Diablo Ranch.  I stopped for a few minutes and then willed myself to continue despite the pain - then I started to get another cramp in my other leg, but I denied it to myself and kept on going.

Wildlife Encounter:  Deer, turkeys, wolves.

Are these the ranchers' dogs?  Are they really letting dogs loose on the road?  Fortunately they're not aggressive, but don't seem to have any traffic safety sense either.

Roadkill Report:  Bambi

The sun is setting on the 2019 Wednesday Night Riding Season.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Bonus Post - Signed Up For Foxy's !

DiabloScott and Rick are doing Foxy's again this year - it was Rick's idea but it didn't take much arm twisting.  20191019; sunrise will be 07:19 - weather is sometimes dicey for this event.

We both registered this week before the price goes up.

Here's Rick in the 2008 version we did together.  He's wearing his Climb to Kaeser jersey he had just earned.

Rick took this photo of me with a big bite of muffin in my mouth at the lunch stop (also the 2008 version).  I still wear that jersey, and I still have that helmet available for a loaner.  Still riding my Klein. I should probably get some new stuff.  I think the prescription for my sunglasses has changed since then though.

In 2008, Rick was riding his yellow Trek 5200(?) - later nicknamed "Colonel Mustard".  He's had about 3 new bikes since then.

Of course, Foxy's 2019 will be the 5-year anniversary of Foxy's 2014, in which your humble blogger crashed and broke 7 ribs and was off the bike for six weeks.  Rick was with me on that ride too and watched me eat pavement.  I'm not at all nervous about doing this ride again, but there is an element of confronting my demons that will be good to get out of the way.

Mostly though it'll be a real nice opportunity to catch up with Rick since we don't see each other so much anymore.  We used to do lots of centuries together (STP, Mojave by Moonlight, Death Valley, Canyon, Wine Country, Napa, Primavera, Tierra Bella); a lot of those were before I was blogging. There will be some reminiscing for sure.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

2019 SMR 30

Cold morning turned warm pretty fast for some beautiful riding on a beautiful mountain.
Creek beds and such are all dried up though. Tarantulas are out. Gusty winds were observed.  Autumn equinox is Monday - summer is surrendering.

JB will be absent for the Wednesday Night Ride and also next Saturday.  He called about his frame repair and Ed Litton told him the repair is done and now he needs a couple weeks for painting.  That sounded like a long time until he described the kind of 20-step painting detail scheme that guys who commission custom bikes insist on... multiple primers, multiple color coats, multiple clear coats, wet sanding, decals... it should be beautiful.

At Junction I was happy to see Linda K who isn't a Saturday regular but was getting in some extra elevation because she's not satisfied until she has four times the vertical as everybody else.  I also met her friend James and we hit it off with lots of small talk topics.
Cal Jersey Autoblog
I think this Cal Jersey has made the blog before... might be some kind of professional photo-bomber.

Me and Sal
Sal had this cool Garmin rear blinkie thing that also acted like a rear-view mirror on his computer head somehow.

Me and James
I gotta get better at checking the sun position before I do these rolling selfies.

The almost famous Robert.

Nancy said I was her Diablo Inspiration.. that's about the best compliment I could get.

Ranger Jordan gave me the "thumbs up" on my completely safe almost complete stop at Juniper.

Wildlife Encounter:  two snakes... might've been rattlers... might've been dead.  Also a deer that surprised us in the ditch.

Home in time to take the family to San Francisco for a late-summer day on the beach.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

2019 WNR 27

Today's objective:  PRs in BOTH Split 2 and Split 5.  This will give me first place for all 6 Splits in the BC Diablo Climbers club.

Success, of course.  Split 2 on Junction 1, and Split 5 on Junction 2.

Now I just need to get the Gate to Junction PR faster than Colin's and I'll have the whole deck.

Tarantella Tally:  one crawler below The Bump... my first one of the season!

Wildlife Encounter:  Lots of deer - I stopped to watch some younger ones frollicking at Coyote Flats - they were clearly just enjoying life and playing with each other.  Also lots of turkeys.

So just me on Junction 1, and then on Junction 2 Donna and Shawn joined me.  Shawn and I pulled ahead of Donna pretty quickly, and I told Shawn of my goal to PR on Split 5 and then I took off.

There were two loose dogs near the Lower Ranch - probably belonged to the ranchers.

Split 2 is a 1-mile segment that begins at the Park Boundary sign.

Wildlife Encounter:  WOLF!
Split 5 is a 1-mile segment that begins at this culvert marker.

Hey - there's ED!  

Photo Credit: Shawn

When your tires on your fair-weather bike are worn out just as you are thinking about transitioning to your foul-weather bike, you know the season has gone well and things will just keep falling into place.