Friday, June 18, 2010

Late Spring On Diablo

Got cleared to ride on June 3rd. I was hoping it would be warm by the time I could start riding as at the top of Mt Diablo it is usually 20 degrees less than at the base (always a slight chance of an inversion layer where it is actually warmer), with wind chill (and sweating from the climb) it seems like 25-30 colder. Me being a cold wimp, unless I am training I don't go up unless it is 83 degrees at the base.

The last two weeks I went half way to the Junction four times and to the top twice. Unfortunately, except for the weekend (beautiful mid 90's with the mountain clogged with Death Ride trainees), and one evening, it has been cold. Unfortunately, I still can't stretch out my arm and stand on a climb for more than 25 revolutions.
Pumpkincycle fans thrown out of the World Cup--with one sporting the NEW Diablo Cyclists Summer Jersey.

Oakland Pumpkincycle fans not to be outdone by world cup fans.

Last weekend I was a little nervous going in as our club ride was going over Morgan Territory--overall not that bad but with a few semi-steep hairpins that are perfect for standing. I bypassed the first rest stop (a regroup stop at mile 8), and continued up solo as I don't have enough self control not to chase when in a crowd. Warm day but stayed cool in great--light new Diablo Cyclist Jersey, which used to be dark blue and now is a beautiful peachy-orange. Tree lined Morgan Territory was beautiful, windy day but hills to the side buffered the wind, and sat for most of the climb. At the end of our 45 mile route some people suggested going up the easy side (South Side) of Mt. Diablo. Nice and warm and feeling good, and I opened it up. Just before hitting the Junction Super Joe (2nd in Eastern Sierra Double a few years back) comes roaring by, I yell at him for attacking the handicapped, so he slows and we ride in together.

Next day Joe and Johnna, later has done all the passes of the Death Ride a half dozen times, want to blow off the Club ride and go straight up Diablo to the top. Pace to 1,000 is killing me and I'm about to drop off but Joe slows and then we follow Johnna's pace. Felt good until last 18% ramp as didn't want to stand on it--where I usually really pull my arm. ***

The next week Ward, Johnna (who went up Diablo early at 48 degrees), Christine, new Steve and I did a hilly 75 miler, starting off on the Diablo Cyclist club ride--though we made the beginning hard by going up the 18% (Steve was yelling out the gradient--someone told him to be quiet) Muur de Moraga. It was cold and windy and since Skyline hasn't been paved in years my injured elbow and back really hurt. We dropped down through Tilden Park and the bonus mile group then did the Bears--paved road, it was warm, and I got happy fast and opened it up on the hills. Then we out to Crockett (stopped off at the worst market ever, unless you were looking for organic Marlboro's) and up McEwan, which also has grades @18% but new Steve learned to keep that info to himself.

Finding the 2 warm spots on the ride over the Oakland Hills and then to Crockett--Diablo Cyclist Bonus Mile Group look resplendent in their orange tie dye jersey--the one's in white aren't bad either. Frank Zappa Bridge in the background.

Meanwhile certified Lance hater Dr. Dave was racing his recumbent on the San Jose Velodrome--Lance showed up, gave Dave "the look," and al la Filippo Simeoni the pelaton begged Dave to get in the back in the pack to Lance wouldn't chase them down. Besides teaching Dave a lesson Lance no doubt had to get some practice riding his 'bent on the Roubaix velodrome.

Mark Mervich photo.

The next day was an easy father's day breakfast ride where some of us went half way up Diablo where we got to see the Rivendell Steel Lugged Classic Car Show and drivers wearing seersucker shirts. Then some of us forgot our bottle at the Junction so Ward and I rode back up to get it--40 minutes for a $3.99 bottle so now we know our time is worth $6.05 an hour.

So a few metric century rides and a few times on climbs--now I have to start extending as Mt. Tam Double is a month and a half away and after this weekend I'll be off the bike for a few weeks as daughter turns 21 and then off to New York on a baseball pilgrimage vacation.

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