|Ride profile courtesy of Ward Industries|
|Our tribute banner to our friend Dr. Dave who just did Haleakala--we wish he was here with us doing his favorite Bay Area Climb !!.|
Dr. Dave and CA. Mike started the ride with us--it seemed like for the 1st time in a long while the old gang was back together. They couldn't do an extended ride (hell, it was great to see Dr. Dave at all), but relative newcomer Cisco Dave was again in for whatever route was cobbled together. To slow him down I asked and he promised to carry my bag full of food--until I told him I was brining a canned ham and lumpy gravy.
|Sara doing the Schafer Ranch Hula (Ward-o-photo)|
Long regroup before the screaming downhill to Palomares where CA Mike decided to work as hard as he could to pull the group into the headwind--he's pedaling like crazy, #2 rider is pedaling lightly, #5 rider is coasting the whole way.
|Enjoying the Palomares climb with Dave (Ward-o-photo)|
|(above) Ward cresting Palomaras (below) Andy sprinting out ahead of Norm|
The other side of Palomares, the side we were going down, is longer than the one we came up--not nearly as steep, but very twisty. Some washout/ gravel on the road. CA Mike took charge on the downhill again, being the slowest downhiller in the group I dropped to the back and made an effort to hang on with the first group; and then all of a sudden BOOM and the sound of brake squeal. Mike has a blowout-luckily it was his rear tyre. Though he aged 5 years he was OK, the first group which contained all of our bonus mile members pulled over while everyone behind us continued on. to Sunol.
|(above) Christine and Cisco Dave having fun while CA Mike changes his blowout (below) the making of an adventure movie (Ward-o-Photo)|
|(above) Dr. Dave going mountain biking as Captain Jack not around to keep him under control (Pumpkinphoto)|
Down to heavily traveled Niles Canyon Road where we had to go uphill to Sunol. This is a funny uphill--wind is funnelled through Niles Canyon and always a slow downhill into the headwind--so it's always a fast uphill with a tailwind assist along the gentle grade. Cisco pulled close to 20mph most of the way--motivation for all of us to ride like hell is to get off the narrow road with lots of cars and a shoulder that tends to vanish.
|Suntans in Sunol (Pumpkinphoto)|
|Diablo Cyclist Peloton thru Pleasanton (Pumpkinphoto)|
We were on the Cinderella Route--an all girls ride that suffered through torrential rains last weekend. Christine stoked even if she didn't have streamers in her helmet, as she wisely didn't start the ride last week. If we continued straight we'd actually get on Patterson Pass the easy way with the tailwind, but my plan was to cut North and come in so we'd have to do it the hard way.
We had two choices of a cut through to be where we wanted to be--Choice 1 (Vasco) has lots of stores near the intersection we'd again turn. Choice 2 (Greenville) looks like a dumping ground for truck trailers & warehouses from Google Maps. So we needed to turn on Vasco, but Christine who was now in the front decided to skip Vasco, and go to Greenville. OK--not too bad as I still had the handlebar bag loaded with food & drink mix but getting water would be a problem--I was down to half a bottle for the 10 mile dragout to Patterson Pass.
But as we had a great group everything that needed to work out this day did. In between all the semi industrial dives was a GRAND OPENING--Gas Station Mini Mart with tables. The tables were surrounded by walls blocking any wind on two sides and in full sun so it felt great--and knee warmers came off for the day. We stayed there a long time bs'ing about good energy sources for long rides and all the photos we take on rides. Ward and I don't like using a phone for taking photos so we pack a camera--Ward took 155 photos on the ride. Cisco Dave likes using an I-Phone and he's Ward's equal for taking photos while moving--and he took a dozen photos and some movie. Remember--each time a photo is taken the rider is usually alone in the wind, and then one has to put the camera/ phone away and may have to dig back to the group that may not have slowed. I can't ride and take photos like these guys, I took about two dozen photos and some movie, but usually from a dead stop. Christine usually carries a camera but she was being a weight weenie. Lots of fun combining photography with cycling.
|(above--Run in to Patterson Pass-Ward-o-photo) (below-Dave before the turn into the Patterson Pass climb-PumpkinWorldwide)|
All of a sudden we were at the Midway turnoff which would get us past Rolling Stones Speedway (Altamont) and then onto Patterson Pass. Earlier this year I discovered that if we went 1 mile past the Patterson Pass turnoff the highway appeared with lots of convenience stores on the side--but we had done the last 10 miles quickly and no one needed to refuel.
|Scenes from the Patterson Pass climb--up the road(Ward-o-photo)|
|Christine killing the Patterson Pass Climb--half way up (Ward-o-photo)|
Very occasionally a car would pass going up or coming down but traffic very very light. The steep section at the end usually has the most headwind blowing through (of course) but today not bad. Cisco Dave was up at the top taking what I though were photos--later I'd learn it was a movie of Patterson Pass for PBS and me at the end of the climb; I like how it came out. Hopefully I'll be this happy on DMD in 2 weeks.
Remembering the "Nick Salvador*" rule of always riding down a hill for the achtervolgers, I planned to circle down for Christine/ Ward and do the "Oh My God" hill section again--but they were climbing great and Dave/I only had to ride down the last third of the steep section. (*best thing I learned in my old Club--instead of waiting at the top of a climb and then ready to take off when the last person gets there--go back down and do the climb again)
Fast downhill into Livermore wasn't THAT cold, and it seemed like we were shortly at one of our favorite rest stops--the patio of the Livermore Library. We'll we were there after Christine threw out a teaser--yelling out she wanted to do the 6 mile Del Valle Climb. After I accepted the challenge she took the offer off the table. I figure I have an IOU from her when she's healthier.
|(above) NYC Park bathroom (below) Livermore Medical Office Park (Ward-o-photo)|
(above) Another Kodak Moment with wildlife on Highland (Ward-o-Photo) Christine on Highland (Pumpkinphoto)
|The Diablo Cyclists A/V club coming back to civilization (Pumpkincycle Worldwide)|
Great ride--the 120 miles seemed like 30, with the first 10 miles harder than the last 10. Maybe it was the limited climbing; surprised when Ward said we did less than 7,000'--I would have thought we were slightly over. Ride was priceless.
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