Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mines Road Double Metric-2010

(March 13, 2010) OPENING DAY Mines Road Climb, w/ Jack, Ward, Dr. Dave, Christine, (new) Steve, Andy, 124 miles, 6,000' climbing, 16.1 avg, 7:10-@4:30, meet rest of Club in Livermore, 60 miles into ride (*184 rating*)

Christine psyched to go and predicting a heat wave.


I had been sky high for this ride, but cramming to get everything ready the night before, going to sleep early, and waking up at 4:30 when it is freezing outside puts a damper on enthusiasm. At the start Dr. Dave came rolling in with huge Alaskan survivalist gloves which he gave to me to stash in my car--he said they hadn't helped, his hands were numb anyway, so he might as well just take a smaller pair of gloves. Our group was real quiet going from Walnut Creek to Danville (1st rest stop by Blackhawk, @mile 20)--as no one had gloves that kept their hands warm.

I wonder what the wind will be like on the return trip through Livermore? (Steady 9-12 mph wind in the PM) (Ward-o-photo)


Section of flats/ rollers on Highland was real nice, real quiet and for once no one sprinting or setting up an escape--no racers coming by or a tandem to escape from. No wind and it was almost warm. We kept a nice paceline as a group though we had to caution new Steve every time he went to the front to keep the pace steady.

Dr. Dave checking on the progress of his adopted plant in the organic garden.


We arrived in Livermore Civic Center @9:10 and met up with the larger group of Diablo Cyclists.

Ride supposedly starts at 9:00, lucky for us it seems that 9:25 is the customary start time when everyone finishes bsing at their cars--except for Rusty (known for his punctuality, or is it escaping to start early up climbs) who slipped away on time



Bruce and Jack charge in front of the pelaton to see Mines Road first (Ward-o-photo)


Nice flat rollout for 2-3 miles before hitting the @26 mile Mines Road climb. Weather is real nice, though with recent rains fully expect the two spots on the road that are traditionally flooded (50' sections of water to the bottom bracket) will be bad today. The first 4-6 miles of the climb are attention getting. Then the road starts to level off, great for pacelining, with occasional reminders that you are going uphill for @15 miles. Then there are @2 miles of short but steep rollers which leads into a @3 mile curvy downhill into the Junction--which is 2/3rds of the way to Mt. Hamilton.

Bonus miles riders join with the rest of the Diablo Cyclists, and continue onto Mines Road. Sarah wanted to know why I had my school lunch box with me. (Ward-o-photo)
The Junction Cafe--our turn around spot has been closed, so I brought extra bars and drink mix with me***--perfect to test out my new small handlebar bag that will get plenty of use at the Alta Alpina 8. Close by is a firehouse that we'll be able to get water from if the Cafe is closed. (***I now have to stop the "losing weight diet" portion of the year, and switch to the "endurance diet--approximately 50g carbs and 10g protein an hour." I got caught out a few weeks ago on one of our self supported century rides when I didn't come close to this goal and the energy just left. Good review article on what to eat the day before, for breakfast, during, and after an endurance ride is Kersick, International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Nutrient Timing (2008)


On Mines Road, Ward contemplating the California financial situation. Bike race on the road, not many motorcycles but lots of cars burning the shit gas dumped in third world countries, and climb started out warm but got colder and breezier.


When we hit Mines Road there were signs "race ahead"--there were college bike races going on all day--doing an out and back also, though not going as far as we were. One men's division had left right before us, which was good as we wouldn't have to worry about blocking riders. In fact our group caught some stragglers--one racer couldn't believe that we were doing 120 miles. Late in the day, Ward took 3rd in the women's division when he passed everyone and then ducked in behind the two women leaders so they couldn't illegally draft off of him.


The breakaway group on Mines Road (Ward-o-photo)


The Mines Road uphill is great for me (except for the last downhill finish) while the trip back down is too fast for me to stay with a lead group--so I focused on the uphill and organized a breakaway group once we hit the flats. Great to paceline the middle section of Mines Road, especially if Ward and Christine are in it. Luckily standing water on the road was minimal.


The firehouse banned recumbents.



We would have had Dr. Dave in our lead group also, but he was on the bent' which will perfect for the fast return trip. Here he is at the firehouse gate, just short of the Junction. Funny, Christine and I had put in a big effort to get over the attention getting rollers before the descent into the Junction. The fire station is paved over and the buildings block the wind. I was actually warm on the downhill and when we pulled in for water. That wouldn't last.


Like always Rusty having fun--but why is he on an Oakland A's bike?


We weren't sure if Rusty was ahead of us or not until we hit the rollers. Spoting him ahead provided impetus to jump out of the group and go hard. Later some of the college racers would get a warning from the officials for drafting behind Rusty, who can turn on the speed. Wish he had been in our group going up Mines Road.


Christine (1st overall to Junction) and Dr. Dave (1st alternative bike to the Junction)--both from the bonus miles group. Note that though sunny the bundled up folks in the background.



Just up the road the Junction Cafe was open. It was also windy and cold--so much so we left the picnic area and huddled on the side of the building which was blocking the wind (a first)--whereas I then froze changing a flat caused by my valve cracking. There wasn't the usual block of motorcycles on Mines Road, but we were passed by the "stinky car club" burning some gas mix made in Yugoslavia, who then set up some cooking equipment for a "frozen" bbq at the Junction.


June and Bruce may be the smartest, sitting inside the reopened Junction Cafe by the fire.



Said a quick hi to the new Junction owners, who seemed real friendly. The old owners always seemed out of it--and it would take 45 minutes to get a grilled cheese sandwich. Was unusually quiet inside.


Strange bike rack outside the Livermore Library.


Christine was only member of bonus mile group to stay in the lead pack BOTH on the uphill and on the return trip. Most of our Club called it a day while the bonus mile group still had to ride back another 30 miles. At the Livermore Civic Center library it was nice and warm--and we stayed awhile before we started up again.


The paparazzi stalk out Stephen after he scored 100 points against the school kids the night before. (1/2 Ward-o-photo)


An annual tradition is that June rides back with the bonus mile group and Stephen drives back, then takes the bike out, and rides back to wherever we are. I'm glad he made the commitment to ride back before anyone realized how windy and cold it would soon become.


Christine contemplating her being with the lead group on the fast return trip and if she should read a good book later, and then getting more relaxed (Ward-o-photo).


I'm finally warm and I don't want to leave for the bonus milers extra 30 miles back to the start.


Dr. Dave -the man of arts & letters.
The 30 miles back featured a constant @10mph cold wind from the North. We soon lost Andy (he told us to go on) in the crosswind, Ward's knee gave out half way back, and Dave did not look nearly as happy as he did at the library. But it was a good ride--great if it had been +15 warmer.

1 comment:

arasdoog said...

Jay, just absolutely too funny! One of these days i will finish a ride with no injuries!!!