Friday, May 27, 2011

Post Davis Double-Pre Alta Alpina Good Stuff (2011)

Day after the Davis Double sore and dehydrated but perfect day to meet up with my cycling guru; criminal defense lawyer/ civil rights lawyer/ law professor/ musician John who was the most interesting man in the world before the Dos Equis ad campaign.
@14 years ago I took out my new hybrid bike for the "brutal 20 mile" beginner ride he leads almost every weekend--while "this guy" kept enthusiastically talking about cycling and bike clothes and politics and history. Our ride this weekend was no different--like sitting on your living room couch bs'ing about anything and everything. John likes to tell folks about when I showed up in a tee shirt and baggy mountain bike shorts and declared I'd never get road cycling clothes.

John and I riding out on the new Big Break bike path--John's wife/ girlfriend Margot was singing nearby as John and I were bs'ing.

Next day not dehydrated but still sore. Seemed like a good day to replicate (suffering) conditions on Alta Alpina by climbing Mt. Diablo twice. Dragged along my training buddies Ward and Dave and Mike met us for the second time up.

I'm happy that it is actually warm here (unlike coming down from the top) Photo of Ward and I going up the 18% ramp (by Dr. Dave) Man, we look as fast as Chris and Levi from this far away.

Elevation by Ward Industries, 7,000' in 50 miles--it looks cold at the top.

Dave is happy this ride is over

Then it was off to the land of auto traffic all the time and everywhere--Southern California, for Jessie's college graduation. Our baby is out of college!!, how'd that happen??--she was just so little. At the same time four years didn't "fly by"--it seems ages ago (just 5 years) where she had severe medical problems and college seemed impossible. She did wonderfully and frequently shared her ongoing college experience with us. Best graduation I ever went to (I blew off my undergrad and graduate graduations)

Returned home quickly (Jessie landed a job in her field and had to work) so went back to visit an old friend--The Gold Country--my serious cycling ancestral home. Good roads, low traffic, few traffic controls, serious roller after serious roller. Did part of the old (dearly departed) Sierra Century course, the greatest Century ever which was held the week after Memorial Day. Rode mostly uphill from Sutter Creek to Volcano up Rams Horn Grade and then continued up to Hwy 88. Return took half the time as mostly downhill (interrupted by some short but steep rollers) via Shake Ridge Road. Go from Oak fields to Pine forests.

End-May and only 72 in Sutter Creek--and it was 20 degrees cooler near Highway 88 surrounded by Pine Forest at 3,000-4,000'. Fireplaces were being run and a few controlled burns--not a good day for exercise induced asthma but great being in the best riding area I know of. Big trouble--Alta Alpina is 2 weeks away and it is gonna be C-O-L-D

Sutter Creek-Volcano Road-where a magnet seeminly pulls you uphill until the smei steep last two miles of the tree lined 12 mile road..

Wow-in Volcano a special theatre that must just show 'A Sunday In Hell" and Paris Roubaix race highlights. (So 100% Lance free.)

Vest came on shortly at high point (Highway 88) and luckily I had taken jacket for the cold descent. Highway 88 is about 100' away and strange seeing cars whiz by with almost no one turning onto Shake Ridge Road.

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