Monday, January 1, 2007

New Years On Mt. Diablo, Bush, Bikes, and Velodrome-2007


Diablo Cyclist ride up Mt. Diablo--loads of cyclists come out to bring in the new year. As a holiday put bike stereo on the back and blasted some tunes--somehow last time (Thanksgiving) no Doors tunes came on--this time no "Patti Smith" especially bellowing her greeting "Have a Great Happy Fuckin New Year" Jason-champion mountain bike racer came out and damn I'm envious--I have 4 layers of clothes including thermal vest tied to the top of bike stereo for the eventual downhill--he is just going up in a jersey. We have a huge group of Diablo Cyclists--get to Arbalado traffic circle and another group of cyclists coming in from the other side--two call out "hey Jay"--it is Mountain Bike Mike (to distinguish from whiny Mike) and Neil from the Delta Pedalers--two of the nicer guys who stayed out of the DP bullshit and just liked to ride. Ironically the first time I climbing Diablo I struggled up being paced by Mike's wife, Rynie, on a mountain bike. Mike and Jason talking about Mountain Bike racing as I resolve to sell my Mountain bike this year.This time Jason and I leading a long line of folks enjoying the tunes to the ranger station. Good pace but not a killer pace as want to keep group together and with my bike being 8+ lbs heavier I'm not going anywhere fast. Don resplendent in his New Years Party Hat. (Most club members including me hadn't made it to midnight)

We get to ranger station to regroup-Ward says there is a guy in the bathroom bitching about the tunes--hell-if he wants solitude ride a double century--as usually be on your own for a quiet 30-40 miles. When we get started to the top many log jams with cars coming down and bottleneck of climbing cyclists. Lots of cyclists whooping up up the music. Here we pick up the pace as after getting stuck behind a huge group Jason and I fight our way through, joined by Chiro Jim and lady from England (real distinct accent the rest of the way--loved when U2 and other English groups started blasting from the Blautpunks), and other DC members. Not too cold but some big gusts of wind around some turns. Regroup at the top, put on the extra layers of clothes and DOUBLE glove liners which worked perfectly. Ward positions us for photos--everyone looking 10 lbs heavier due to extra clothes. Took it real easy on the return trip as bike with stereo is very top heavy--and cars/ cyclists coming up made the trip uphill better than the one downhill.. How is this year going to surprise me?? New Years on Mt Diablo--Clear & Windy--you could see SF. Top photo is most of group at the top (though lots hiding by wind break) --lower photo is regroup on Junction on way down. Photos and ugly bike I'm holding courtesy of Ward.

Where are the W stickers?Usually try to keep this site just cycling related as can never win on politics. After 9-11 I favored the US overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan and caught a lot of shit from leftist friends and rock message boards. Later I thought it was inane when 99.9% of Americans were all for an invasion of Iraqi and also close to ready to invade France (raise your hand if you wanted to change the name of French Fries to Freedom Fries.) At the time I grew my hair in a ponytail as a tiny protest to business as usual--which my dad got a great chuckle over before he died (when the person who does my hair braded it and my daughter was aghast.) I think back to this as I'm going to Florida--first time since dad died. Meanwhile a nice memorial in Lafayette reminding people that young people die for our leaders of "weapons of mass destruction" lies--nice change from a few years ago where all you saw driving by Lafayette were "W" 2004 stickers. Hard to believe that there are still some holdouts who are pissed that there is such a memorial--but support our president's call for more troops. Can you say Vietnam. Support our troops--bring them home.

The Bikes

GT COURSE@1997 Reynolds 853 Steel Kestral carbon fork; Ultergra Components; King Headset; Rolls Classic Saddle on Campy Ti Seatpost; Rivendale Rack170 cranks@23lbs

Winter bike and used on trainer. Unusual design has seat stays intersect both seat tube and top tube. Hi-ish bottom bracket. Real comfortable. Rack clamps on, used to carry around bike stereo and/or winter clothes. On trainer switch out Ritchey 12-27 geared wheel and put on Mavic CXP-33 geared 11-21.

2004 Litespeed Siena Oversized Ti w/ Carbon Seat Stays; FSA Compact Gearing which isn't the greatest so have a 50-36 as jumps too much with a 34.172.5 cranks;Zero Gravity Brakes;Rolls Classic on Campy Carbon seatpost; Unfortunately Intergrated Headset@17.25 with American Classic wheels but on the front ride too harsh so Open Pro w/ King hub usually on the front. *************************Light and quick. Though carbon & ti it is oversized with short wheelbase so not as comfortable as GT, but much faster.Low bottom bracket (with the longest cranks) and handles great. Despite the color it is really ti. (Would eventually replace crappy FSA compact cranks with Shimano Dura Ace and crappy Zero Gravity Brakes with Campy Records)

Jamis SputnikFixed Gear 2007 Reynolds steel 631 w/ Eaton Carbon fork. 46 x 17 or 18 gearing(x20 freewheel as bailout);Paul Suite of Card Cranks;Velocity V orange rimed rear wheel w/ Paul Hub; Miche drill out curved seatpost 165 cranks@19.5 lbs
Full specs on Fixed Gear Gallery #4450

Took a trip to Florida and stopped two evenings at Brian Piccalo Velodrome to hopefully see some fixed track riding. Beautiful nights, 80 degrees--no wind. NO ONE ON THE TRACK (BMX Park next door packed) I could only picture myself and a half-dozen Diablo Cyclists on a track all to ourselves 2-3x nights a week. Next time I go down I bring my pedals and helmet and rent a fixed gear. Was really surprised by bank--28 degrees--of wall at ends of track. No wonder you don't need brakes

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