Saturday, October 31, 2020

2020 SMR 34

Happy birthday to Local Legend Punkin Jay.

Last Summit of DST - next week we get an extra hour of sunlight to warm things up before 8 at The Gate. 

Wildlife Encounter: RATTLESNAKE near Muir.

I kept thinking I heard deer hoof sounds around me, but maybe it was woodpeckers.

Spare the Air Day, poor visibility but easy breathing.

This big group passed us in The Prologue - we didn't see them again, must have gone down SGR.

It was sunrise all morning.

This guy apologized for taking so long to pass us .. but his backpack was heavy LOL.

This guy's Strava said he crashed on the way down, he looked smoooth when I saw him.

The Summit Visitor Center is now open, but the Wall Barrier is still closed. 
JB cyclo-navigated the bypass perfectly.

Probably the most photographed site on The Mountain.

This dude passed me at Butler Bend like he didn't know the road.

Then he slowed me down the rest of the way out. 
I stayed behind him so he'd know that I knew he'd over-estimated himself.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

2020 WNR 30

 Last Wednesday ride of DST!  Boy it was cold this morning, so I over-dressed and then it warmed up and I over-heated by the time we got to The Bump. Just a week ago I was saying how I was ready (emotionally prepared) for winter.

Charlie and I talked about COVID and plumbing problems and Trick-or-Treaters. He had set a goal of 6,000 miles for the year and he can still do it but he can't slack off. I'll probably make 6,000km, but I was on injured list for a while, and no centuries this year.  We also commented on how our friend and colleague Shawn O had been recording some impressive cycling accomplishments on Strava.

Then near The Washout I get passed by Local Legend TED. He recognized me and my bike. He recently had neck surgery and was riding wearing a NECK BRACE! We exchanged reverent pleasantries and then he rode away.

At Junction, Charlie and I talked some more with Ted. He said he's been riding Diablo for 50 years! I asked how he got introduced to cycling way back in 1970 and he said he was a Francophile and learning about French language and culture and cycling was part of that. We talked about old-timey bikes including brakes and shifter systems that never worked right.

Also at Junction, from South Gate Road an SUV drove up with some frat-boy types sitting in the windows with their heads out the top having some stupid fun, but the Ranger in the shack saw them and went off in pursuit to give them a safety lecture and maybe a ticket.

It was too hot for an add-on segment in my retro long-sleeves and tights, so Charlie and I went down on opposite sides. The end.

Ted and his neck brace

Saturday, October 24, 2020

2020 SMR 33

Penultimate ride of DST. 

Cold this morning but we're expecting extreme fire danger starting Sunday so things still have a creepy feeling to them. It was clear and a little windy for the first 1000 feet, then cool and foggy until about Blue Oak, then it cleared up and was sunny, but not warm to the Summit. 

 So last Saturday The Mountain was closed, and I rode on Sunday instead but just to Juniper - first ride of the season on Eddy. After I got home I did a couple adjustments (seat height, derailleur tweak, etc)... today he was dialed in. 

Then Wednesday I was out of town on work, so today was my first Summit in TWO WEEKS. 

 Lots and lots of riders today, of note: 
 A kid on an electric mountain bike (his dad's), he had the widest handlebars I've ever seen. He said he was using "2 of 5" bars of his battery... he was still pretty fast. 
 A group of folks with jerseys from an Oakland triathlon club; they seemed to be enjoying the challenge.


Cold, then foggy, then sunny and cool.

There were a lot of nice titanium bikes on The Mountain today.

Fog was thickest in the middle.

A good way to make my blog is to embroider my name on your shorts.

Wide handlebar e-bike kid.

"Let's quit here, take a selfie, and tell everyone it was the top."

In case you were curious what the perfect spare tubie fold looked like.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

2020 SMR 32*

 *Sunday morning make up ride.

The Mountain was closed for high fire danger on Friday, looked like it would stay closed on Saturday too, checked Saturday morning and the message still said closed, so I did some bike maintenance and hoped for a Sunday ride.  Found out later that they opened up The Park at about 10am on Saturday.

Anyway, this worked out great, except JB couldn't come. I started a little later and it was good and warm and Diablo was a popular place to be.

The maintenance I did was on the Eddy Merckx - he got a good cleaning, chain lube, new brake pads on the front, and a little extra glue on the tubulars. Usually I wait until the rainy season starts to bring him out of storage, but he was so pretty it seemed a shame to not let him show off a little before the first sloppy wet ride. Also, I've gotten so used to the thick Cinelli Cork handlebar tape on Mike that the thin Fizik tape on Eddy doesn't feel good at all.

I talked to a guy at Junction who had Ultegra Di2 and caliper brakes under the bottom bracket - he said he hated it; always needed adjusting, firmware update, etc. He'd replaced the front derailleur once, the brake/shifters once, and the rear derailleur twice. He also said the shop had to take off his crank just to adjust the rear brakes... yeesh!

Roadkill Report: one opossum and one rat.

Cal Jersey Autoblog

Cal Jersey Autoblog

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

2020 WNR 29

Charlie said "Let's ride early - could get warm."

Scott said "OK".

Except when I was doing the morning dog walk and weather evaluation it was pretty cold.

By 9:30 though, we were on The Bump and rolling down the arm warmers.

At Junction, Charlie was looking for an add-on so I suggested Juniper and we did that and he clocked a PB on the Junction to Juniper segment. 

Not many people riding today - I told Charlie that there was a mogollón of riders on Saturday, and how much fun that was; he said he prefers riding with less interference.

Roadkill Report: snake.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

2020 SMR 31

 Air quality was best in MONTHS! It was also kind of cool and humid, which was kind of weird and felt a little clammy.

Wildlife Encounter: Two deers near Junction, flock of turkeys on The Approach.

Tarantula Tally: ONE near Muir. First one I've seen this season, and I wouldn't have seen it if another rider hadn't stopped to watch and point him out to me.

More riders than I've seen in a long time too - bike riders all over the place. Lots of them seemed like this was their first time... taking lots of selfies, etc.

Seizure recovery update:  I'm probably as close to 100% as I'm going to get. My back doesn't feel like it did before I fractured T12, but it doesn't bother me too much. Still don't have my driver's license back. I have a phone exam with DMV next month, they appear to be backed up and slow; I'm not expecting any problems, but I've stopped being optimistic. I'm doing fine with not driving, but I do miss having the option available.

Who knew arm warmers had a left and right?

Tarantula spotter

Watch out for these guys!