Doing the Diablo Cyclist Oakland Zoo ride which is not one of my favorites. (Never mind me getting caught on a chain link fence a few years back and ripping my shorts.) Lots of climbing and sudden rollers out to the Zoo which is great--but then a long fast downhill through Eucalyptus groves so lots of branches, leaves covering the road and the numerous potholes and raised cracks caused by tree roots.
As last week was rained out hoped to do another self supported century this Saturday--and it seemed like a good way to add on was Palomares-Niles Canyon to Sunol. Only problem is that the North side we'd be climbing is the side we usually fly down--meaning the North side is much steeper than the South side(which is longer and curvey but much "flatter".) Then if I had some companions so I wouldn't get lost we could go through Livermore and return the same way Dr. Dave and I did from the Patterson Pass Century two weeks ago--keeps suburban riding to a minimum out of all the possible return routes...
All this proposed torture prompted this email from Dr. Dave
I'll make the decision at the last possible moment on Saturday. As Jack asked me a few weeks back, exactly WHAT am I training for? Haven't a clue.
Wait, when you say "up Palomares to Sunol," are you suggesting going up Palomares from the North side/hard way after the Zoo run?? It's January! You didn't even get off the trainer this week, let alone train to climb! Why not return over Dublin Grade, down blvd to Sunol, and over to Collier??? If we are going to do 100 miles in January (and, I remind you, that you and I did 100 miles once already this month), why not keep the knee-busting climbs to a minimum? (Or, does that last question make no sense, given this is a Pumpkin-inspired route??) A Pumpkin sufferfest
|New Black shoes have strap 1cm further back than old grey ones--ready to dig into ankle. I've now cut a few slits into the top strap of new shoes.|
|The Gang-of-Three-Ward, Christine, Dr. Dave in Moraga|
|(above) View from Skyline--if you look closely you can see the OCCUPY folks at the Kaiser Center (below) Cisco Dave and Toby|
|(above) Cisco Dave psyched that he outsprinted the merry go round Zebra while (below) Christine, Jack and Dr. Dave dejected that the Giraffe and Tiger beat them to the sprint point|
We all regrouped and rode together for the Castro Valley tennis courts--another long break--the third in 40 or so miles. We'd soon lose Christine and CA Mike who'd finish with a metric. Dr. Dave would meet us in Sunol but he'd skirt the Palomares climb.
|Great place where Steve got a flat--at the start of Palomares|
|Leo from Sears, Toby and Cisco Dave occupy the podium at the top of Palomares|
Then the curvy downhill where some chubby guy flew by until some uphill rollers where we repassed until close to the bottom when he flew by again. Then a long gradual uphill on Niles Canyon Road which had a nice tailwind (yeah) and the usual lots of traffic (groans.) We kept in a paceline--soon passed chubby guy, and rolled into Sunol where Dr. Dave had been waiting for 20 minutes. Not bad considering the flat . Special guest star also waiting there--CA. Mike. Only problem was we were now only 55 miles in the ride, it was already early afternoon, and average speed was 14.9 mh.
Also in Sunol was a derelict reeking of Bud light and chain smoking--reminded me of Railroad Flats. He came over to our group as we backpedaled to get away from the burning tobacco, as he recounted how he rode all over the state in his younger days. Meanwhile two guys came riding in with track bikes--the ones where the rear wheel (with 17mm tyre) is pushed forward into a rounded down tube--fast bikes and looks great but supposedly havoc on your butt with the road imperfections transmitted straight up. Also only one bottle mount--but the guys solved this problem by zip tying a bottle cage on their tri bars. Was bsing with them and after they left po'd I didn't get a photo of their strange road setup.
|(above) The Diablo Cyclist peloton makes it way past yet another Livermore Vineyard.|
|(above) Toby and Dr. Dave anticipate Stephen suddenly jumping out at the County Line sign.|
|(above) The two Daves before we go back into civilization (below) CA Mike and Leo from Sears arrive|
After stopping in Sunol our group didn't stop again for the next 40 miles, and did a good job keeping together on the flats. If the paceline was going to slow Cisco Dave or Toby would go to the front to wind us up.
Sun was now rapidly going down but was warmer than a couple of weeks ago. Shoes weren't hurting as much when I kept my butt in the saddle. We had 8 in the group, which was larger than our usual bonus mile group. Sped through Blackhawk, Danville and then back to Walnut Creek. No Lance wannabe coming down the sprint point blvd this week, too bad as this time I had all my big brothers. I did my usual lead out and was luckily passed way too early--when someone passes my job is done--and from afar I watched as Dave or Dave took out the sprint. Last bit of hijinx for the day, a long and semi-intense ride--which was too much intensity for January but lots of fun.