Wanted to do something special this weekend--10 year anniversary of the greatest team victory ever, Domo Farm Frites' 1-2-3/ Servais Knaven Paris Roubaix, and 10 years ago I couldn't walk this week after getting undercut by a dog and tearing my ACL & meniscus. Club ride was supposed to go up Mines Road, Mt. Hammy from the hard side, and Sierra Road, but with a predicted HIGH of 50 at the top of Mt. Hamilton that was probably going to be called. It was freezing when coming down Mt. Diablo on Wednesday night (first time to the top this year--it was actually freezing going up) , but Friday afternoon it was warm in the office with the sun streaming in--so doing 30 early morning miles riding to our club's ride seemed like a good idea.
The good idea went to hell at 7am Saturday morning, when 48 at my house dropped to 40 at Heather Farms. I was so fn cold, and didn't have a thermal cycling vest, so left on my "street" fleece vest. Bundled up I couldn't get over 16mph on the boulevard where we regularly fly to breakfast in 1 19-21 mph paceline.
At Blackhawk (15 mile) pit stop, the fleece vest finally came off but it filled up handlebar bag (after last week took off bike rack and brevet bag), so all the "stuff" in the handlebar bag went into my pockets***, with the bike stereo going on the handlebars for the next 15 miles of rustic rollers.
(***handlebar bag was 915 grams, with Exposure Light 105 grams and bike stereo 225 grams. Food in bike bag: 3 extra scoops of Heed, 3 extra scoops of Perpetuem, one Pumpkin butter/ Peanut butter sandwich, two (2) Odswalla bars, one Cliff bar, 2 Cliff Shots, 2 oz of Hammergel. At least less tan 1500 grams the bike rack and brevet bag carried last week)
Enjoyed the music coming over the homemade light mount sound system, though have to remember to use lock nuts as speaker was turning over every bump. Was now putting in some speed but figured I'd arrive around at 9:10--just when the 9:00 ride usually leaves on Saturday (it leaves 9:20 on Sunday.) I want to ditch the fleece vest and stereo before the club ride, and if the pelaton left I'm screwed--and left to stuff fleece vest onto Ward's roof rack. I also need to eat and get water and transfer crap back from pockets to handlebar bag. I keep thinking about running late and all the things I have to do when Jeannie/ Jim drive past. Soon I'm in Livermore and sprinting for every yellow light.
Group is still in parking lot when i pull in at 9:10, and I look for a bonus mile familiar face I can dump my stuff in their car, and start the checklist of everything else I need to do. I'm all wound up. Timing is everything in life; Craig, who may be funny but has no sense of timing as he triesto joke the second he sees you starts making a crack about the bike stereo and music so I scream at him, though I'm sorry I did as soon as I do an apologize. Do have time to calm down and luckily quick bathroom stop to get more water.
Two Ward-o-phot action shots put together but essentially what the beginning of Mines Road looked like--I'm sticking behind Jim when he flies through the gradual grade.
Now a touch of warmth (just a touch) with sun in the air. I get into a long paceline for the first 4 flat miles to Mines Road. I'm riding with Darrell, nice guy but he takes microscopically short pulls at the front (blink and you may miss it) then revs up at sprint points. When we get to mile 4 and the road starts going up Big Jim goes out from the group and I/ Ward follow--we look like Thor following Fabian the next day. It starts getting steeper and Jim drops off, we ride up to mile8 at a good pace and Dave-Ward-Christine and I are together along with Darrell and Darrell's friend (for Newhart purposes we'll also call him Darrell.)
After mile 8 some climbing pitches but nothing long or terrible. I put in a few few digs on the uphills so the Darrell's will have to go to the front and work to get back to me as I'M SURE Ward, Christine and Dave will take advantage and sit in.
Now about mile 16 of the @32 mile trip out to the Junctiondrome. One last uphill roller and then the road basically flattens out for @10-12 miles. I put in another dig and get off the front, I'M SURE Ward, Christine and Dave will just sit in and the Darrell's will have to work. I'm not Colin so soloing time trialing 16 miles is out, and I'm not going to go balls out so I'll have something left for the finishing hill when I'm caught. And a few miles later I'm caught--BUT WITH DR. DAVE leading the charge back to me (its moves like this why the Belgium Riders left the Italian Mapei squad and formed Domo Farm Frites.)
Now a big speeding paceline--Christine took a long turn and when she rotated back a slight uphill followed and Darrell-Darrell upped the speed. She was unhooked, I asked them to slow, they did and from then on we rode cooperatively to the hills--doubly so when Ward tested the drop- ability of his camera.
The last 2-4 miles, after the County line, has a steep roller, a short but steep uphill followed with a long downhill, and a shorter but steeper roller followed by a longer downhill--with one last short uphill leading into the Juctiondrome. . I told the group I'd go hard on the uphill as they'd catch me on the twisty downhill--I didn't go at the County line like I did a few weeks earlier but waited until the next uphill. Felt someone come back to me on the downhill section that follows, which motivated me to go up the steepest uphill HARD. Went over very alone but almost down I knew someone was behind me. I looked before the Junctiondrome roller and it was Christine--it was apparent she could have passed me on the downhill at any time, so I eased up and we started riding the last 200' together when whoosh--Darrell flew by with Dave on his heels. Christine and I both pissed and slowed some more, me at myself for not continuing to go hard--though in better mood the next day when I found out that teammate Dave had whizzed past at the top of the hill and been the first to arrive at the Junctiondrome.
It was nice when sunny at the Junction, but the occasional cloud passing by cemented the fact that Mt. Hammy wasn't a good idea. Dave and Jeannie need to make time, so they were going to ride the 10-15 miles to the base of Mt Hamilton and back. Ward-Christine-Jack and I decided to ride down Del Puerto Canyon to Patterson--the Highway 5-gas station-Denny's strip mall exit that has an actual town hidden behind the Highway prop.As 30 mile downhill along rustic Del Puerto Canyon Road, steep downhill at first which soon levels off--not the greatest pavement but would be one of the better roads in Napa County. A half dozen cattle guards and some falling rocks thrown in. A camp site half way down--otherwise nuttin. Saw a few cyclists going up in the other direction, a few cars UNTIL the Porche Club that had been dining at the Junction Cafe decides to pass much faster than the posted 20-35 mph. All give us room though a few knuckleheads pass on a hairpin turn. Lucky for them most Hummers in Patterson have been repossessed with the new subdivision foreclosures.. Jack and I in front of the spectators lining Del Puerto Road (Ward-o-photo)