Kop Van de Wedstrijd (Cop Van de Weck-strand, ph)-The Leaders
Up Mines Road--I'm telling Dr. Dave we should slow and wait for the tandem but he isn't having any of that. (WI)
Road to Patterson is 30 miles, and it starts off steeply downhill, narrow with not the greatest pavement and a few cattle guards to fly over. But once we hit the next county (Stephen fell behind the hill climb on the race to the line here), the road opened up, flattened out a bit, and San Joaquin County does a much better paving the roads than Alameda. Unfortunately it was still fn cold, whereas it stayed that way.
Dr. Dave leading the line through (WI--low cam shot)
It was calm but overcast when we hit Patterson. I wanted to see the old town center, laid out like a wagon wheel. If I was an urban designer I’d plan beautiful grids then bitch that people had to ruin them (a al Robert Moses—the guy who almost destroyed New York.) On a map the wagon wheel grid was intriguing and the bonus mile group put up with my whim as we rode through the new part of town, foreclosure city, onto WARD INDUSTRIES Road (home of his GOD’S HAND TESTING LAB) and then the old town. Wished we could have seen more of the old town but the sky was ominous. Stephen waxed for real food while we all munched power bars on the museum porch in the center of the wagon wheel. He also proposed that we don’t do an out and back but do a zig zag northern route that follows an organized century route (he’s good at collecting this information and then improving on the route.) But the wind had picked up from the North and the sky was still overcast. At least on the climb back to the Junction we’d have a slight tail wind, and could stay warm on the climb.
Ok-its not the Chapel on the Muur de Grammont so Patterson City Hall would have to do
Going back the road went up but hills blocked the wind, the sun came out, and the climb started out mostly gentle so we ran a good paceline as we passed picturesque fields , campgrounds and cows both behind the fence and on the road.
Coming close to mile 20 I had to relive my youth, when I raced this in 2004 the pelaton wasn’t going that fast, the road was full of muck spraying all over, so I decided to attack. I got about 2 miles of “television time” until I was caught by a stone wall fronting a campground, and then was dropped before the attention getting climb started. So I did the same thing, fully expecting to wait up 2 miles down the road but my partners in crime Ward and Dave bridged up to me—and with another county line dangling at the top of the climb I was then motivated to stay off the front with the guys. When we hit the few steep miles we’d slow down for the weakest guy in order to keep together—until Ward yelled out “here comes Stephen” whereas I took off like a jackrabbit for the rest of the climb until the County Line.
Pace wasn’t balls out down Mines Road—June had left the Junction early and was nowhere in sight.
All of a sudden we were back in Livermore—seems like 116 miles (7 hours riding, @ 9 hours total time (had flown by .) really good group and nice route, can’t wait to do it or Stephen’s circular route over it again, when it is minimally 20 degrees warmer. A hard ride but a great group, and it will be colder in Belgium tomorrow.