Toby and I pushing a little to much to the Ranger Station-- I get a warning when I push too too hard--my nose starts dripping down my throat and out like a faucet. This will be a problem all day. Another problem will be stupid cyclists--I go over to talk to Dave and some stupidass comes by and snaps that we are blocking the road while we're not on the road but a painted traffic island. My respiratory problem has put me in a foul mood and I snap something back.
Caught up when the rollers became serious--and expected another tri dig when the road flattens out before the Pig climb which I expected to die on--so led out Toby to the Pig climb. The tri folks never came back--Toby zoomed up the climb and waiting for me so we could two man and stay out ahead on a fast section to the 2nd rest stop at mile 32.
Pulled in and I was gassed, but clubmate and Death Ride rider extraordinaire (on 23 tooth cogset) Johnna working this rest stop, which brightens the mood. Johnna now training for a marathon--she promises she'll ride with our club again next year. Ward and Dave pull in and we start taking loads of group photos.
Bears start and Toby takes off. Ward, Dave and I pace each other up--eventually Ward and I wind up ahead of Dave. On the uphill we pass one guy shooting video--I just got a mini video camera that may debut next month. The guy zooms on the downhill and we have to crank it up to repass him on the next uphill. Papa Bear--final downhill that slowly curves clockwise and then counterclockwise that used to scare the crap out of me. Video guy shoots by again--Ward slows so I can stay on his wheel for the downhill which helped alot--could keep the video guy in sight and then caught him on the short section of gentle uphill which turns into a steep uphill for about 500'. More fun and games and ANOTHER REST STOP. The 3rd one at mile 40.
We'd now hit the 6 mile climb that goes up Tilden Park, first half is semi steep and eventually levels off. We all start up when someone whizzes by--I'm determined to kill myself so I try to keep pace with the guy as crap again flows down my nose and throat. Half way up I have to back off and I wait at the top and regroup with Ward, Toby and Dave. The bike doctor is starting to get low on energy and when Jack gets to the top he keeps going. From this point on Ward, Toby, Dave and I would usually be riding at the pace of our slowest rider (albeit a few digs or Toby taking off if I yelled "Postal") with Jack usually out of rest stops/ regroups ahead of us and he'd disappear for long stretches until we caught up with him.
Fast downhill where we loop rustic Redwood Road, some uphill and then a twisty downhill that will dump us out near Moraga. This is my least favorite way to come back on a club ride--more surburban riding. But first yet another rest stop at mile 67 (5th of the day) at another park our Bike club usually regroups.
From here we head back toward the start--which is now another rest stop before we go over Mt. Diablo again. Here the ride departs from the usual long straightaway into Walnut Creek, we take a turn and ride over some attention getting rollers. Here we all pacelined on the flats and a few guys sat and drafted behind us--when we hit the rollers they took off. Toby and I were game but Dave zapped and Ward about to take an army of Advil for knee problems so we amilorated our speed and kept together into the start/ finish rest stop at mile 81. Any talk of catching Christine had long ceased.
The Dr. is in the house--Dr. Dave arrives at the South Gate entrance (PC)
OK--we get through the crap road outside Mt. Diablo unscathed--but have to be far to the right and not aggressively dodge potholes as cars coming down in the center. Nice and warm now--and best I've felt all day; not over excerting myself must be helping. Toby goes on ahead, Ward and I ride together and bs about Ohio, the Revenge of Vera Gemini (secret GREAT guest background female vocalist) and other tunes. Now not many riders on the climb. Give Dr. Dave a GU Chomps, which I like more than Cliff Shots--more flavor but more salt. Dave takes one Chomp and suddenly does a huge spit that would make a tobacco chewing manager proud.
Next day our club Jagass swarmily asks "well, how was it paying to ride on roads you always do, hoo hoo hoo?" Actually it felt great not carrying tons of food around and getting assisted by exuberant people all day. Weather and scenery was great. Very different trying to ride at a higher intensity than a Club ride with so many good cyclists on the road. Only bad thing was that I couldn't easily breath and couldn't ride as hard as I wanted too.