Sunday, September 7, 2008

Diablo Cyclist September Rides

The double season is over for me as will do the Auburn 140 mile, 15,000' climbing ride in a few weeks, as opposed to the Knoxville Double which unfortunately falls on the same day. Apart from Auburn the Century rides are over as well. But we still have a month of great weather and many seminal Diablo Cyclist rides.

Unlike other clubs who are always begging for rides and ride leaders, the genius of the Diablo Cyclists is that there is a rotation of @dozen local rides and @half dozen out-of town rides that are put on the schedule with no specific ride leader. (About once a month someone does throw a unique ride with a ride leader on the schedule.) So while there is no one person watching out for everyone on the ride, and we're not the easiest club for slower riders to start off with, as the rides have been done repeatedly there are standard route sheets and regroup points. And while the club follows the same route for most of the ride--toward the end the "bonus mile" group will usually take near the end and add 20 miles.

My favorite rides on the Diablo Cyclist Rotation.

1) Walnut Creek via Sunol to Calavaras (100 toughness rating) 80 miles, 2000' climbing
option of going on and adding Sierra Road loop (217 rating) 100 miles, 5725' climbing--with this addition it stops being one of my favorite rides)
2) Walnut Creek via Tilden Park to Peets Berkeley (85 rating) 40 miles, 4500' climbing
3) Walnut Creek over Morgan Territory North (crappy pavement side) and down the South side
(85 rating) 55 miles, 3000' feet
4) Walnut Creek to Mines Road Junction (184 rating) 124 miles, 6000' climbing (4,000' from Livermore)
5) Walnut Creek via Sunol to Palomaras (95 rating) 65 miles, 3000' climbing

My favorite "out of town" Diablo Cyclist Rides

1) Old Sierra Century Backwards, Plymouth, CA
2) Tunitas Creek, w/ Coast Lighthouse loop, Woodside, CA (126 rating) 65 miles, 6100'
3) Old Santa Cruz, Lexington Reservoir, (113 rating) 62 miles, 5100' climbing, (138 rating) 77 miles, 6100' climbing with "Rusty Loop" ( Browns Valley-Hazel Dell-Mt. Madonna-Casserly-Pioneer-Varni-Corralitos, thanks Ward for remembering this)
4) Pt Reyes Lighthouse, San Rafael, CA, 5100' climbing
5) Marin Century Scouting Ride, San Rafael CA
6) Solano Ramble, Solano Community College 3000' climbing, 3750' with Cantelow Road

One nice unique Labor Day holiday ride was up the easy side of Mt. Hamilton from Amy's ranch. Only 35 miles then we crashed for a BBQ. No bonus miles today. Nice to take it easy sometimes.
(1) View of the San Jose valley from the ranch and cobblestoned driveway (actually cobblestones would be an improvement); (2-5) going up the gradual Hammy side, you can see from photo (5) some of the switchbacks leading up to the observatory ramp; (6-7) resting either in the Courtyard of the observatory or by the San Jose overlook.

Another "out of town" ride we did is Tunitas Creek, which is a hilly loop done close to the Coast so the weather is cooler. 65 miles with @6,200' climbing. A few years ago it was 95 degrees by the Pacific Ocean--when people started complaining we pointed out that it MUST be hotter where we live--yep, it was 118 in East Contra Costa when returning home later.

This also bring back memories as it is where it was one of my first climbing rides--which was made harder when the tough Tunitas Creek climb was closed and our option was the tougher Alpine Climb. It was also when I started putting lots of effort into climbs when the founder of my old club said when I showed up at the start "Oh good--now I wouldn't be last." Nice informal local club, "the 3 Musketeers," really helped out on that ride that day, and showed me that riders could be both good and friendly.

This one turned out to be a nice hot day (though not close to 95 degrees, and it was actually a little cool on the Coast) and we had a good group of climbers, who alternated between taking it easy and trying vainly to catch Joe on the climbs. Johnna and Dave had never done this ride, and it is always nice when new people are on it as it is truly one of the best and unique rides--too bad the person with the 1000 plastic pink flamingos in their yard had moved away. Later, some Nicaraguan food in downtown Redwood City and Dave had to suffer more on the ride back when I didn't turn on the air conditioner (78 on San Mateo Bridge, 103 in Concord)

1) Finishing the early morning-wooded Old LaHonda Climb, Joe and I had so much fun we went back down to reclimb part of it 2) Dave upset--claiming he is as old as the tree in Memorial Park (I'm counting the rings), I need to turn on the air conditioner later 3) Pigeon Point Lighthouse on the bonus loop to Pescadero 4) Half the group in front of the friendly skeleton with the machine gun after Pescadero--half the group was too scared to stop 5 & 6) The pelaton going up Tunitas Creek (Ward-o-magic photos and editing)

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