Wednesday, February 23, 2011

George Bush-Richard Nixon Day Weekend-2011

(February 19 & 20) Sunday, Walnut Creek to Patterson Pass, 90 miles, w/ Jack and Dr. Dave. Monday, Walnut Creek to Calaveras, 80 miles, w/ Jack, Collin and Andy.

Looking forward to the three days off for the Bush-Nixon holiday extended weekend--and after it hit 70 degrees the week before was looking forward to two WARM cycling days followed by a day off to kick around and do something else. Buddha prays that he doesn't run into any turkeys this year wearing silver disco cycling shoes. Both seen during walk around San Francisco--I'd buy ONE of these.

The ghosts of Bush-Nixon had other plans--a severe rainstorm hit the Bay Area all day on Saturday--cold temperatures put snow on all the high elevations like Mt. Diablo. So I reversed plans and took a long walk from Chinatown to the Mission in San Francisco decked out in full raingear w/o an umbrella.

Super Joe can't get any faster on a bike (a few years back 2nd on Eastern Sierra Double) so he's now tooling around in a helicopter--where he took photos of Mt. Diablo summit after the snowstorm.

The Saturday ride was supposed to be Altamont (think Rolling Stones), which usually means Patterson Pass--a nice long easy climb albeit two steep sections. Oh yeah--easy when the wind isn't blowing, which you can tell by the wind farms surrounding it isn't often. So though Sunday is usually a short/ easy ride after breakfast with the Club, it only made sense to do Saturday's ride on Sunday.
Only problem with Sunday is that even though it was sunny, it was cold every time we were moving except on the Patterson Climb. I don't think I ever rode 90 miles with glove liners on all day (except for 1/2 the Patterson Climb.) When we got to Altamont the wind was howling but I was psyched to do the Patterson Pass Climb--and on the "beer truck" (steel GT w/ rack and brevet bag.) Dr. Dave and Jack didn't want me to get lost on the return trip so they accompanied me. Felt good at the end of the ride-on a warm day Mt. Diablo junction would have been included but it was fn cold and every tourist was on Mt. Diablo checking out the snow.

Dr. Dave and Brian--our 'bent team. Dave still happy as he doesn't know he's doing Patterson Pass yet, and Brian happy as he knows better.

Snow capped Mt. Diablo from Danville.

Its sunny but cold at breakfast.
Wind farm next to Altamont, at the base of Patterson Pass. Infamous Rolling Stones venue nearby. The farm valley in the distance.

3rd in our series of GREAT CLIMBING RECUMBENT Posters. Dr. Dave on Patterson Pass.

Jack reaches the Patterson Pass Summit.

The next day was overcast and cold, and I was sore from the day before. First Jack, Collin and I convinced ourselves that we'd only go on a flat ride to Sunol. However, once in Sunol the sun broke through so the gentle climb to Calavaras with no traffic controls became promising. But there still is a climb, and still 80 miles all told, and another ride on the "beer truck" with glove liners stayed on all day.

I've hated the Hammergel grenade weighing down my back pocket for years--especially when I only use 1/4 or so on a Century. I also don't like bringing a silver foil Hammer packet--"should I open it now," "should I finish it but I don't really want to," "I want more than what is in the packet," "what should I do with the finished packet-stick it in my shorts pants leg," "Oh look, a cyclist threw another silver foil Hammer packet on the ground." The Gotube bottles with an old style Hammer grenade cap are perfect--in photo above I'm carrying the small one which holds about 1.25x shots. Meanwhile, Collin thinks the Hammer grenade is to small, and he has what looks like an IHOP Boysenberry Syrup Container filled with Hammergel.

At the end of Calavaras we go down "The Wall" and as a bonus climb back up the short but steep section. Here Collin, straight from having a stack of pancakes with his Hammer syrup climbs "the Wall" before our return trip. Collin wanted to do Patterson Pass but we knew that Dr. Dave would be disappointed if he missed it so we agreed to wait until Dave is on the ride.
Found out that Collin joined the Diablo Cyclists after he took a ride with another local club and said they were cliquish and acted like assholes (same thing Sacto Doug said about this big club @6 years ago.) Then a friend told Collin about the Diablo Cyclists, saying the DC rep was "they ride heavy steel bikes and like to do hills."


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of your climbing recumbent posters! Keep em coming! I'm wallpapering my study with them. That Dr. Dave must be one hell of a climber. Hah!
-- Dr. Dave

Jay said...

Amazing what trick photography and a "blue screen" background can do. But if I couldn't stand on the bike I'd never do a hill and would be riding up and down Danville Blvd all day.

Anonymous said...

Riding up and down Danville Blvd all day: who would do that? What a really lame idea!