Friday, December 24, 2010

Year In Review 2010

***2010 Year In Review
Year in Review 2010 Brought to You by the fare (sic) and balanced Foxy News Network--home of the Obama Caused Death Ride Price Inflation Special Report.


Best new ride--Mt. Shasta Summit Double Metric Century
Best old ride--Sierra (Plymouth/ Slug Gulch) Century
Best view--From Dr. Dave's cabin
Best new toy-Exposure Lights
Edward Weston Memorial Cycling Photography Award-Ward
Best art find--Burmese Castings in Bolinas
Quote of the Year-Christine yelling at Joe with racer girl he was pacing with nearby "Hey Joe--did you get her number."

then there is

Most often heard medical phrase-"Only motorcyclists and cyclists break their shoulder blade"
I Phone Apps Indicating Clear Weather While We're Getting Rained On
Jack's shiny saddle-Lemon Pledge Not Involved
Less Diablo Cyclists Doing Doubles

2010 turned out to be one of the shitty-est and strangest years ever--only surpassed by 2004. After 6 doubles last year, I had planned to take it easy this year, doing only 4--with Alta Alpina and Mt Tam being the seminal events. During the winter was real motivated and got down to an adult low weight of 135 of anticipation of the Alta Alpina climbfest. Wound up doing-----zero! Broken shoulder blade and mother in laws death created major life change-o-plans. As James Brown says "you can't control everything"--and seems like every 6 years is out of control.
Still, many bunch-o-firsts. First time climbed Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen--both times reaching the snow level. Former was done when I solo self supported the Mt. Shasta double metric course, latter was done after self supported most of the Indian Valley-Greenville Century course with Dr. Dave and Donna (wife). Strangest turn of events may have been SF Giants, who failed for the 41 years I've been following them, many with great teams, to win a world championship; this year came out of nowhere (though with deepest pitching staff I've ever seen) to win it all.

Early in the year up Sierra Road, for the only time all year. Bonus miler Ward taking photo, I'm with Dr. Dave, Jack and Christine--one or more of them would usually figure in most of the seminal rides. At the end is Rusty, unfortunately saw to little of him this year--great sense of humor on and off the bike.
Christine and Dave on our club's "opening day" double metric from Walnut Creek to Mines Road. Weather was cold--seems like it never warmed up for most of the year (above) Ward, Dr. Dave and I when we came back to Mines Road and went down to Patterson for another Diablo Cyclist self supported century. (below) Full of hi jinx that day as we passed though numerous county lines.
*** Group photo on the Tierra Bella Double metric with Ward and Jack. One of the funny moments of the year when we met a Triple Crown rider at a rest stop who touched Jack's seat and proclaimed "how shiny." After Jack let out his housekeeping secret we heard a loud "eeeew" as she threw herself on the ground to wipe her hand on the tall grass.
For doubles training, Dr. Dave, Jack and I went on what turned out to be my longest ride of the year, the Davis 300k brevet. Good day, even after %$&#*!% Dr. Dave opened up the bent' on the last 20 flat miles around Davis and sped up the paceline.
A great early season ride is the self supported century to the Pt. Reyes lighthouse during whale watching season--not so much as to see the whales (look--there is one in the background--somewhere) but as cars are taken off the road.
(above) Dr. Dave, Donna, Ward on a preride around Chico the day before the Wildflower. As tradition holds (and we're finally being smart) we have to stay in the small chainring for the preride. (below) You never know what we'll find in Paradise--its the Michael Vick store.
Diablo Cyclists assemble at main gate Chicoland for the Wildflower. Amy and Jeanne practicing yelling "girl power." For one ride this year weather was better than usual. Ward, Dr. Dave and I would do final loop 2x to get in a double metric and it was actually hot. Couldn't wait for Santa Rosa Wine Country the following week as two of my favorites.

Dr. Dave and Ward in parking lot as Diablo Cyclist assembled for Wine Country Century. Who the fuck knew how the day would turn out. First Christine has a blowout in the first 5 miles, so Dave, Ward and I rode back to get another tire and figured we'd time trial back to the group and catch them at mile 60 or so...
...We never caught them (thanks to Capo clad rider who fell off his bike right in front of me.)
Broken shoulder blade and torn up elbow wouldn't have been bad--in December--but came at worst time during cycling year, effectively taking all of May and beginning of June events off the schedule. Went down to Long Back to visit daughter and catch a Dirtbags game Day after graduation so Jessie is one of the few students in the stands, filled mostly strange assortment of locals.Usually in the Spring I'm out riding and come home at night to see the last inning of a Giants game. As was housebound after the accident caught more full Giants games than I recall; thanks to the greatest announcers (post Hank Greenwald's retirement)--Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow for doing a fantastic job while I was alone in a pissy mood with Donna back east tending to her ailing mom.
While imjured took long walks in San Francisco--this day Donna and I wind up near Pac Bell Park Domo. From there it is to the outer Mission where our favorite bulk grocery store is who carry Lebanese Cous Cous--which is about 100x bigger than the regular sand paper variety and tastes like a cross between pasta & cous couse & polenta.
Getting back on the bike was great, but couldn't stretch out my arm for a few more weeks so couldn't stand on climbs. This photo with Johnna, Christine and Ward around the hilly Carquinez Straits region--so must be getting back to normal. Ward and I would go up Diablo most Tuesday's at a conversationalist pace, and then on Wednesday during the Diablo Cyclist time trial.
With Dr. Dave on top of Mt. Tam when we do our first Mt. Tam self supported century--which is to help me prep for the Mt. Tam Double in a month. Dave is a good climber, who did the Death Ride on a recumbent. Learn about riding styles and how cyclists favor seemingly similar courses. When we go up Mt. Tam from the mellow Coast side Dr. Dave easily spins away from me. When we go up from the Alpine Lake/ inland side, which is a series of steep hairpins, I can power up ahead.
Always wanted to see the Sundial Bridge in Redding--and in early July stopped off on the way to a last second "crazy plan" I had up at Mt. Shasta.
Mt. Shasta in July. Always wanted to do the Mt. Shasta (Double Metric) Summit Century, which has as much climbing as the Death Ride, but it always falls out on the same weekend as my favorite double, Mt. Tam. As had taken the week off with plans to go to NYC, which fell through when wife had to go back to take care of her mom, I figured might as well do it--self supported. Had to cut it short by a few miles as snow closed some of the roads--in July!!
With Dr. Dave on Mt. Tam 2 self supported century. Our Mt. Tam century rides always have the main ingredient--Mt. Tam, and then we create some route variations. This time we wound up in the hidden town of Bolinas for the first time, where we checked out some Burmese art. All real nice except for that yellow statue that looks kinda ratty. One of the great out of town club rides is Tunitas Creek--a hilly metric road. I had a crazy idea that Jack was game to try, after the Tunitas Creek loop we made it a full century by climbing just as hilly Alpine Road--first time I had been on Alpine Road since I started doing "serious" rides in 2003.
Wound up in NYC--for a funeral. Strange being back there for first time in @16 years, strange being back there after we were supposed to go on vacation there (change from Crater Lake after I broke shoulder), strange the circumstances, strange missing Mt. Tam Double, strange being in NYC--even if just passing through.
Back in California--for most of the summer 2010 there was a thick, San Francisco, fog bank waiting somewhere. Never consistently warm.
Favorite in town ride is down to Calavaras,, about 40 miles of no traffic controls (and can also go on to Sierra Road. At the turn around spot a few of us started a tradition (Ward above, Christine below) of going out another 1/2 mile to reclimb "the Wall." Caught many Giants games during the year--didn't seem like they were going to do anything special for most of the season. But, strange year continues--the only Giants hitter anyone though they could count on coming into this year--Pablo Sandoval--just gained weight and had a lousy year while everyone else exceeded expectations.
Jessie having her first (legal) beer at a ballgame. Unfortunately its a Bud Light.
Finally did it--in Crockett there is a 3 block @19% grade that turns into a 1/2 block @24% grade, and I could never make the turn and do the final 1/2 block. Until now...
Great trip was to Dr. Dave's hideout around Mt. Lassen. First day Dave, Donna and I did most of the Indian Valley Century route Dave has been talking up for a few years. Mostly flat and rustic.
The next day Dr. Dave and I climbed Mt. Lassen. Had my only 2 beers of the year on this trip--joke is I'll only drink above 4,000'. Great trip as we all just bs'd like we were back in college and great view of the year was lake from the cabin.


The world's greatest Century used to be the Sierra Century out of Plymouth--brought back by our bike club each year...
Christine and Dr. Dave through the El Dorado National Forest-Sierra Century.
Sacto Doug and I--more great photos taken by Ward and assist to Photoshop.
Dr. Dave and Ward get literate at the Greek Theater--Volcano.

My favorite ride of the year is when we go up to the Gold Country, and our club does the now defunct Sierra Century Route, 10,000' climbing, surrounded by Valley Oak on the flatland rollers and Pine Forests high up. Many natural rest stops (like the town of Volcano) so don't have to pack lots of food and few traffic controls. Click here for slideshow
I finally start a double--the "fun" one in Knoxville. At rest stop #1 with Jack. Summer decided to finally hit, I could have planned better, and my ride went down the toilet (pictured) after 150 miles.
Life is strange. A few weeks later did the Dave & Ward 100 mile Grand Fondu which runs on part of the course that I fell apart on at Knoxville. Cycling is fun when you don't bonk.
A few of us did the Foxy Century--strategy (as in Chico) is to get on Jim's wheel on the flats. Pictured with Jim, Jeanne and Ward.
How did the Giant's wind up in the playoffs. But they did and Jessie and I go a game against the Braves in Round 1. Giants win, so....
Donnie and I go to a game against the heavily favored Phillies..Giants win series, so... Its the World Series against the Rangers--who had demolished the Yankees and were expected (by the National Media) to overpower the Giants.... Fuck the national media--GIANTS EASILY WIN THE WORLD SERIES--GIANTS ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF BASEBALL!!
Christine and I celebrating on a bike ride in Santa Rosa area.
I always wanted to see was the Hoover Dam, and saw it when visiting oldest daughter Rachie... ...who also took us hiking in Red Rocks. ..Oh shit--how'd we get this high.

End of year--Ray Manzarak's organ riff on 'When the Musics Over'-Live in Vancouver loops in my head when I zone in on a ride and start riding hard. Before that was Rick James & Teena Marie's 'Sucker for Your Love,' and she died too young the other day. (Rick James died in 2004, that's super freaky.) One shock this year--going on Facebook and finding photo of hippy counselor who first exposed us to rock music--now he looks like my grandpa. Ankle hurts and I go to doctor and he says "testing you for arthritis"--shit. Only a few more years of this crazy riding, even if I'm delusional and think that I'm 39.

Looking forward to Alta Alpina next year, though having trouble starving like last winter--now at 144 which would have been great two years ago but +2 lbs where I was last year. Who knows what the hell will happen in 2011--as 2004 and 2010 show, its hard to predict what will happen--I'm usually wrong. Except that the "sweets" tandem will be wearing the same jersey again and again.
Miles--6880 (18.7 mph-fastest century, Foxy Falls)
Trainer Minutes--1100 (19.9 mph fastest for an hour)
Beers-2 (Sierra Nevada Porter)
Times to Mt Diablo Junction from the Hard Side under 36:00--2x
Best time 34:50
Times to Mt Diablo Summit under 70:00-2x
Best time 69:01