Today is Sunday, its supposed to be an easy day after our usual extended Saturday ride. But with bad weather forecast my three compatriots were hibernating yesterday which featured a bit of a wind but great weather for 65 miles! Dr. Dave and I rode pace with Stephen and the Club unless we wanted to stay ahead of the M.C. Hammertwin Tandem. Stephen got us organized in echelon practice. Unfortunately the route was 80 miles, and for the middle 15 miles the sky opened up and we got hit by a heavy rain storm. After the showers the M.C. Hammertwins disappeared, every one's legs had locked up, so we rode back easy, covering any weak riders. But as indicated it was beautiful an hour later, so dried off albeit soggy feet Dr. Dave (and he's supposed to be the smart one) suggested we ride half way up Mt. Diablo to get rid of any energy we had left.
Next day was had the best weekend weather of the young year. The Club had a gently hilly 35 mile ride scheduled--so figured to do A BIT of add on to get to 60 miles. Plus Ward was bringing the jersey samples so once again we could see if there is any difference between a Voler Medium Club Cut and a Large Race Cut. (There isn't.) The Diablo Cyclist present day jersey looks great but it's a dark US Postal blue that retains heat on hot days--I've been lobbying for a lighter color. A Domo Farm Light Blue would have been great but consensus was that while some light blues look good, other light blues look like crap--so white was decided on. Hmmmm-dyable material.
I showed up early for the jersey try on and it was 1) COLD, and 2) a LARGE group was already there--wow-our lazyass bike club turning up early (Sunday the 9:00 start time is usually 9:20)
for the jersey try on. But actually it was a half dozen folks from BikeDirect Forums.com (guarantee I messed up their name)-someone had done the Davis Double (great support) and now they were training for the Solvang Double (hee hee hee.)
Dr. Dave did prove to be smart--he showed up for the jersey try on but after yesterday he wasn't going to get suckered in and ride. We had a big group and though I felt surprisingly good for having done an 80 miler yesterday, I was sooo content to sit in the pelaton--until a tri guy from the Olympic Club motored past. Christine knew what would happen-she told a new rider "watch this" as I jumped out and got on tri guys wheel. At first tri guy tried to drop me but I put in the effort on the flats to stay with him as my legs suddenly screamed, but on any uphill he took alot off and I could recover at his pace. When we got to the end of the road--Pig Hill, the guy knew he wasn't going to outclimb me so he started taking. Turned out to be a nice guy, told him I wouldn't have jumped on his wheel if he had called out when passing our group--he said "oh I would have if I was on my road bike."
Before the Bears we regroup as a Club and off the first climb we can usually form a paceline to charge into the second and third climb. Ward and a new guy joined me--but so did Sprinter "Ballarini," great guy but he wouldn't take a turn at the front so we spent the last climb attacking and attacking until Ballarini fell off--and then I kept up a big effort to stay ahead of him on the downhill.
At the next regroup low on energy--I had eaten just enough to go 80 miles yesterday and had not stoked up on carbs overnight. Jack & Ward indicate they want to go up Tilden Park--what the hell--Christine and I came along. In Tilden a Racer came shooting by on a downhill--I wouldn't race on a downhill, but Ward/ Christine were right on his wheel. The downhill dumps into a short but semi-steep climb right before the Brazilian Room--Ward leads Christine out past the Racer and I tag right behind him in case he catches and passes Christine, but he can't.
At the "top of Tilden" Castro Valley is mentioned so we rode along Skyline where Christine alternatively made friends with and attacked ("that's the largest bag I've ever seen") other sister Cinderella riders. To Castro Valley I was still riding hard, good speed but no zip in my legs on the rollers, and energy low, but after Castro Valley it would be flat back. NO!
At Castro Valley someone says--how about Palomares? Definitely more than I want to do but I figure really good back to back training. Turns out to be training in riding while suffering.
On Palomares I lost it--sweating too much and so out of it didn't even see the "scenic water crossings" when we rode by them (usually my job to call them out.) I was out of it. Luckily had an emergency gel--my drinks were so diluted they were basically pure water. Christine and Jack zoomed up the climb.
I was never so happy to see a downhill in my life. I've gotten better on the downhills and this was the second time (first on Skyline) that I could stay relatively close to Jack as he passed and I could benefit from being in his draft. Even a bigger benefit when Ward pulled all the way up Niles Canyon--with the usual westerly wind we rode up Niles Canyon faster than we usually ride down.
I figure at Sunol we were 4 1/2 hours into our 6 hour ride. I should have had about 50 carb grams an hour so 225 would have been right. At that point I had 200, which wouldn't have been that bad a deficit if I wasn't depleted from the day before.
At the great Sunol General Store it was the cyclist special--Gatoraid, Strawberry Fruit Bar, and a Power Harvest Bar--100 instant carbs.
The weather was getting nicer and nicer--glove liners had long come but kept knee warmers on more for their insulating thigh properties than to protect the knees. Oh yeah--still had toe warmers, wool socks, and sock liners on. Strange weekend-Saturday-wet foot, Sunday-hot foot. Great rotating paceline on the great Foothill Blvd with nary a traffic control, which we continued on Danville Road which looks like the stop light salesman made his fortune. The bonus mile group motored into Walnut Creek at 22 mph and touched 30 in the sprint. Great pre season ride--first double metric Club ride a few weeks away--opening day on Mines Road.