Wednesday, May 31, 2023

2023 Diablo Day 23 - Wednesday Junction

Charlie and I met at our regular South Gate Spot. He said he didn't have a goal for today's time... but I could tell he was gonna go for it. We talked about cycling shoes and cell phones.  I hung on for a while, dropped back and caught back a few times, and finished about 1 minute down.  At Junction I saw local cycling celebrity Cathy - in pursuit of another million foot vertical trophy... she honored me with a selfie.

On the way home, some jerk in a diesel pickup rolled coal on me. I decided it wasn't worth chasing him down for an environmental lecture, and let him go to his MENSA book club meeting.

 Cal Shorts Autoblog 


Coal roller.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

2023 Diablo Day 22 - Saturday Morning Junction

Memorial Day weekend, but the traffic was fine. I wore my patriotic socks.

Wildlife Encounter:  turkeys and deer

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

2023 Diablo Day 21 - Wednesday Junction

Busy week. Let's ride.

Started out cool so I dressed warm. Then it warmed up and I got a little hot. 

Met Charlie at the Tire Poppers. He said he wanted to do a 45 minute Junction. That's a brisk but doable pace for me, and we got'er done. We met some other folks along the way; we talked about growing old gracefully, and some other stuff I forgot.

After I got home, I learned the news that Tina Turner had died. This struck me especially hard, because Tina and I once shared a special moment together. Here's my story.

It was 1976 and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue were doing a concert in Cedar Rapids Iowa. I was a busboy at a hotel restaurant in nearby Coralville Iowa and we would sometimes host celebrities when they came to town, and the whole hotel knew Ike and Tina were staying there. So when the hostess that night handed me a room service ticket, she said "This is Ike and Tina's room." My heart fluttered a little bit, I smoothed back my hair, unwrinkled my busboy tunic, and popped a couple breath mints in my mouth. I of course was expecting to see THE Tina Turner... with the short dress made out of tinsel and the big hair and LEGS. I didn't exactly expect her to put on a show for me or anything, but I thought she might be dressed and ready to go. Her room was the farthest room away, I guess to give them a little privacy. I imagined she'd say "Oh thank you handsome young man... I love a Reuben Sandwiccccccchhhh"... and perhaps she wouldn't be able to control the urge to do a little dance right there. Well the door opened, and a somewhat ordinary-looking, soft-spoken woman in a bath robe and towel on her head greeted me. I looked at her I guess a little quizzically, in my mind wondering if this were really her. She recognized my expression, signed the ticket, and gave me a sly little wink. Then on the way back to the restaurant I realized I had Tina Turner's autograph!  Except she had signed it "Ike Turner". That was the day that I joined the exclusive club of busboys who had served Tina Turner. I don't think she winked at every one, but she touched us all.

UPDATE: Ooh, look... thanks to the internet, I was able to pinpoint the date of the concert: it was May 23, 1976... 47 years ago, almost to the day... and only two months before she left Ike for good (by sneaking out of their hotel room in Dallas).


Putrefied possum yet remains

Saturday, May 20, 2023

2023 Diablo Day 20 - Saturday Morning Junction

Well I started to pull out my sunscreen, when I decided to check my weather app... then I dug out my winter coat and long fingered gloves.

Just past Athenian, I happened upon NGR regular Ceyhan and he indulged me with a not-too rapid pace. We talked about music, and bad drivers, and modern medicine.

NGR is now closed for MONTHS. A few people coming up SGR weren't aware of this and were planning on a NGR descent so now they had to turn around. Otherwise there weren't too many bikes or too many cars so it was good riding.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

2023 Diablo Day 19 - Wednesday Morning Junction

Tomorrow is the LAST DAY that NGR will be open to anybody for months while they do much needed road work. Charlie suggested a 1030 ride to beat the heat - then he wore long sleeves and a jacket. I forgot to take my Ibuprofen and electrolytes... so my knee wasn't cooperating but I didn't get any cramps.

Boy the weeds on the side of the road are getting tall and out of control... this portends grass fires in the near future, but for now there's still water in the creeks.

At Junction we saw quite a few people I knew. There was also a woman who told me about her hip replacement - both sides... still a little unstable. Then another guy recognized ME and it was Blog Reader Keith. Haven't seen him since we were both perceptibly younger. We talked about sewage, tuberculosis, COVID, and moustaches. Then we took a selfie.

On the way down, just around the Ranger House, I noticed my camera at a cockeyed angle and before I could grab it, it fell to the ground and slid into the ditch. The handlebar mount had broken, and now the camera door was broken and I couldn't get it back together.  I kind of got it working again when I got home but I'm not sure how much longer it's gonna last. I have another mount I can use until then though.

Diablo Shoutout to Lance Oldstrong whom I saw while I was descending and didn't stop.


Saturday, May 13, 2023

2023 Diablo Day 18 - Saturday Morning Junction

First off - North Gate Road will be closed for several months starting next week for road repairs. No word yet on how much they'll re-do, but the new single-lane section before Diablo Ranch is definitely in the scope of work.

All the weather reports said it was going to be very warm, so I got started just a little earlier than usual, and it was really nice. Warmer weather makes my jerseys stink more than they should... there's probably a scientific reason for that.

Still lots of poppies and wildflowers to look at, but the explosion of color is no more. There was a big group from a club ride (I think the Western Wheelers because lots of them had Sequoia Century jerseys on) that were all over The Mountain in small to medium sized groups; lots of older folks and more than a few eBikes.

On the way down, I went past 36! touring motorcycles coming up - they were riding single file and passing carefully and not too fast and they had a follow car that looked like a cross between the Batmobile and a Jeep.

Knee update:  there is no update. Gave me a little trouble, now it's throbbing a bit. I'm going to rub in some stuff and put up my feet.