Wednesday, April 29, 2020

2020 WNR 14

A little windy for the first couple miles, then it was still and beautiful.

Diablo Shoutout to DeadHead Mike and DeadHead Daughter.

Justin got a job!  He'll be riding more, but not with us.

Second ride of the season on the Klein - I found myself reaching for downtube shifters more than once.

I stayed behind Charlie for most of the way, pushing him for a fast time, but then he started to fade with a couple miles to go so I came around and did a moderate effort to Junction.

Look closely - Charlie is ANSWERING HIS PHONE!

WOW, classic old Klein MTB in beautiful nick!

Nobody knew riding bikes up mountains would be such hard work.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Product Review: R&A Cycles Walnut Creek

RandA Cycles was one of those shops in New York that I'd see in the back of my bicycling magazines in the mid 1980's with all kinds of old-world Euro stuff.  They opened a branch in Walnut Creek a few months ago and they've been sending me emails with good content so I decided to check them out.  Their website says that during this pandemic lock-down they're open by appointment only.  I sent an email saying I wanted to try on some road shoes and named a few of their brands they have advertised, and they responded pretty quickly.

During the lock-down, you have to come in the back door so they can check you out.  They let me bring my commuter bike inside though.  The place is sort of like Nordstrom's for bikes - very nicely furnished, great customer attention, only the highest-end product.  They had the shoes I wanted to like in all sizes and Andy spent some quality time with me and my feet and one of those foot-measuring things that shoe stores used to have.  The shoes I wanted were on sale for the low price of "the most expensive cycling shoes I've owned in 36 years" AND they were the cheapest shoes they had, so it was a good thing I liked them.

They also had a few bike fitting areas with computers and such but they were not in use of course during lock-down.  I could certainly spend a lot of time in there just ogling the stuff, and I think they would've let me if it weren't for the virus.

The location isn't bad - not the easiest bicycle access because it's just downhill from the freeway ramp.

I suppose the people who will really like this place are the ones with lots of money who want to be treated like royalty... but I didn't get any sense of snootiness from the staff; they were friendly and helpful and seemed happy to have me in there.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

2020 SMR 14

GREAT weather today - a rare 10 on the DiabloScott Weather Index.

Busy on The Mountain too - 165 people on my FlyBy page  Unfortunately the bugs outnumbered the humans by a factor of several googol. 

Special guest rider Robert.

The winter bike is now on the hooks and my winter riding gear is in the storage drawer.  Also - New Shoes Day!   I gave myself some extra time to get to The Gate so I could make adjustments to my cleats or shifting or whatever but everything was fine. I put the cleats in the totally neutral position and that was just right.  I must have done some maintenance on The Klein just before Foxy's last October because he was dialed in.  Today was some good riding... except did I mention the bugs?

Two knobs - for twice the BLING!

Set adjustment index to ZERO

Good-bye old friends.  The Velcro wasn't sticking to itself anymore.
These were at least 11 years old.
Edit:  I checked my old photos - 2008.

Mike is here for the season!

Robert and I take the same line around Chainbuster.

I only wore this on the way down through the bug cloud, but a lot of people were wearing masks today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

2020 WNR 13

Beautiful warm afternoon.

Me, Charlie, JB, and Justin.  We talked about how the company we all used to work for terminated 10% of their entire workforce last week and how we four were fortunate enough (for various reasons) to not be directly impacted.  This pandemic is still affecting us all though, so what's a guy to do but go for a bike ride?

This is Mark - he's getting to be a Wednesday Night Regular so I introduced myself.

Charlie models his custom viral mask.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

2020 SMR 13

Boy I screwed up the clothing choice today - shorts and arm warmers were fine down low, but above Juniper it was cold with wet fog and dripping trees.  I also packed a little face mask - one of those free things they pass out at doctor offices... didn't need it.  I did see quite a few people with face coverings of one sort or another.

Both barriers closed at The Gate at 8 - no ranger on duty - by 10:30 the exit was open and one guy in the kiosk with nothing to do.

JB and I noted that since the lock-down, there were fewer riders in the early morning when we're going up, but more riders in the late morning when we're coming down - then we hypothesized a bunch of reasons why that would be.  We were kind of strained for conversation.

I built up a new front clincher wheel last night - the brake track was worn out on the old one.  Bought a wider rim and put on a 28mm tire thinking it would match my tubular wheels - but it's bigger; just barely fit under the brakes.  Worked fine and rode nice but a few times I ran over some wet sand that stuck to the tire and the brakes rubbed off the sand with a noisy scraping sound.  I have a 25mm tire I'll swap it out for; that'll be almost as nice.

In good news, there weren't all the bugs at Summit that there were last week. We didn't spend much time up there though.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

2020 WNR 12

WARM!  Boy it felt good, but it was warm enough that I could feel a performance hit from hot blood or something.

Me, Charlie, JB and Justin. Gate was closed, had to go around the bypass. 

The rims on my clincher wheels are getting thin, braking performance is getting unacceptable - so I ordered some new ones this morning.  Should have a nice wheel-building project to keep me busy this weekend.

Hopefully when things get back to normal, the State finds some funds to re-pave the road in here... cracks and holes are getting to be serious.

High-end bike, rider with swim shorts and no helmet.  OK!

This guy had the same helmet as mine.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

2020 SMR 12

I know a lot of you only check my blog to find the current status of the utilities in The Park - so I'll put this bit first.

1. Bathroom at Junction:  OPEN
2. Water fountain at Summit: OPERATIONAL
3. Bathroom at Summit Lower Lot: OPEN
4. Bathroom at Summit Upper Lot: CLOSED

The weather forecast for today was WARM!  It was not warm. It was a little chilly and a lot foggy and it was beautiful riding.  The fog started at about the Washout, then it got thicker and thicker and the visibility at Junction was almost zero. Then about Juniper it cleared up again and we were treated to the kind of vistas that most people can only see in my blog and Hollywood movies.

Only saw two motor vehicles - both official State Park trucks.  There were a lot of bike riders though and the sense of shared joie de vivre was imprinted on all of us.  At Junction there were about 20 bikes... I did an inventory and it seems like disk brake road bikes have over-taken rim brake bikes by quite a margin.  JB and I shook our heads in Luddite disbelief.

Also, the Summit Beacon will be lit every Sunday night for a while, because we're all in this pandemic thing together, and cyclists aren't the only folks who love this Mountain. LINK

WALNUT CREEK, CA—Mount Diablo State Park’s Beacon will be lit after sunset in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Easter Sunday, April 12. Thereafter, until the pandemic crisis is over, the Beacon will be lit every Sunday after sunset and shine brightly until sunrise the next day.
Ted Clement, Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo, stated, “Lighting the Beacon every Sunday is a way to honor our heroes in this global pandemic struggle, to pay our respects to the dead and those suffering, to lift our eyes to higher ground and the light and be reminded of the healing power of nature and our Mount Diablo, and to bring our communities together during this difficult time.”

THICK! fog at Junction

Popping out of the fog at Juniper.

Beautiful blue sky with a carpet of clouds above 3000 ft.

"White leg-warmer lady" is a Saturday morning regular.