Sunday, May 13, 2012

Palomares-Patterson Pass Double Metric (2012)

Century #15  Redwood Road (Club Ride) + Palomares (Bonus Mile Group) + Patterson Pass (Double Secret Probation Bonus Mile Group.  122 miles, 16.1 MPH avg.  w/ Toby (Double Bonus Mile Group,)  Ward, Christine, Dr. Dave, California Mike (Bonus Mile Group)

I was in heaven today.  Very warm forecast.*  No carrying a shitload of clothes, knee warmers etc needed in the morning.   Flexible and could stay in the drops for a long time.  Breathing good--no sign of EIA.  I was ready to ride all day.  (*Warm but not oppressive--high for Livermore Airport was 89)  Lighter Domo Farm Freites socks replace heavier Lion of Flanders socks.  Sleeveless jersey.  Pearl Isumi In-R-Cool shorts--regularly not the most comfortable pad but they really do a nice job in very warm weather.

It was also nice waking up at 6:30 for a 9:00 ride--as the last 3 rides necessitated a 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15 wakeup.

Toby at St. George Ironman--water cold and choppy so Toby abandon freestyle and took up the Jesus stroke. 
Some long absent bonus mile teammates on the ride today.  Mike is off building a hospital on the other side of the bay, though he probably has more job stress than everyone else combined he was in his usual good humor.  Toby back from a major tri event--St George Ironman--where he placed in the top 25%.  He was disappointed today that he couldn't swim in freezing water before our ride.

Jeanne ready to play tennis after the bike ride (Christine)
I wanted to do 100 miles and hoped for 125.  Also hoped for a frozen fruit bar.  So this meant we had to abandon the Club Ride in Castro Valley--climb Palomares from the hard side, and then wind up in Sunol--a great rest stop that allows for assorted bonus mile routes.  I'm no longer surprised when my WORST miles of the day are my first 5-10, whereas I never expect to do long miles at the beginning of our rides and often wonder how I'll even do 40 miles. 

Christine zooms by the Castro Valley golf course.
Loads of riders out on the road today.  Saw some long lost Club members doing their own thing going the opposite way on Redwood Road/ Palomares Road.   After getting a little sweaty on the Palomares climb the air conditioned descent was worth $1,000,000.   Then nice paceline UP Niles Canyon Road to Sunol--it is easier riding up the gentle grade than down as always have a Westerly wind.  Cyclists weren't the only people out en masse.  Seemed that there were more cars on this busy road than usual.

In Sunol the international man of mystery, Rusty, made a brief appearance.  We admired Dr. Dave's new Gold Bike Chain, and enjoyed frozen fruit bars.   Gold chain aside, Dr. Dave running Stan No Tube Rims--same as me though I run a tube in them and he doesn't.  Found out that if running them with no tubes, and you get a flat, you still have to put in a tube as almost impossible to pump up with a hand pump.  But the rims are lighter than Mavic Open Pros and offer the same nice soft ride.    Mike has a carbon wheelset which makes a 'wosh-wosh' noise, but he seems to like them though he's not sure he'd do a brevet with them yet.  Ward, our 'failure analysis' expert, has carbon rims on order.  If both Mike and Ward give the thumbs up to doing long rides with them then I'll also consider them and start saving for them with my next bike (ETA 2014.)

One cycling group was out running an organized ride and one of their rest stop workers welcomed me to dig in to their stash of Cliff Bars and Shot Blocks--as a warm day took a handful of Shot Blocks which came in handy on the ride.  I was definitely enjoying the warm day more than most--when I suggested Patterson Pass there were no takers--I think off his revolt in Santa Rosa last week Dr. Dave led another one.  Only Toby was game.

(above) While Dr. Dave says "NO" to Patterson Pass he does say "YES" to frozen fruit bars (below) ..and "YES" to disco bling on his bike

Mike and Dave relaxing in Sunol (Christine)
We still had to transverse Pleasanton and most of Livermore together--and nice group ride.  We pulled another group up Sunol-Pleasanton Blvd and they were unhappy when we turned off to do the Happy Valley Road loop.  It was more like the Hectoring Valley Road Loop as Christine, Mike and I started in about SF vs Oakland sports teams (maybe Dr. Dave's gold chain came from JaMarcus Russell.)  More riding through Pleasanton-Livermore followed and finally the turnoff where Toby and I parted ways with the rest of he gang.

We took the Greenville Cutoff road that Christine chose a few weeks back where we found one general store--today we needed water and the store was closed for remodeling but guy was luckily selling some drinks out of a shed off to the side.  As described in other posts the run in to Patterson Pass is one of the great 12 miles in the Bay area--smooth road--almost no traffic--gentle wind aided climb.  Though Toby had ridden this route often before his tri event-he didn't know about the sorted history of Altamont Speedway and the Rolling Stones.  Maybe because it was warm, or maybe because my DMD and his St George was over and didn't need to train hard, we just rode pace bs'ing about kids, bike riding in Italy, the great Sierra Century coming up, and training for events.  We both never expected to do the events we've done this year--if anyone had told us 10 years ago we'd be doing Devil Mountain Double or St George Ironman we would have told the person they were nuts.

Got to Patterson Pass at our mile 80 today and planned for a 45 minute climb--as though very light headwind I figured the warmth and the miles would have us chugging a little.  I was wrong; climb was closer to 30 minutes--cooled off by the strong breeze every time passed by the MF motorcycling doing time trials up and down Patterson Pass.
(above) Toby on Patterson Pass (below) Toby and I unfurl the traditional banner when Dr. Dave is absent from his favorite recumbent friendly climb--Patterson Pass.

  Rest of ride was beautiful but uneventful.  Practically all downhill into Livermore--must have been warm as I drained my water bottles 4 miles short of the downtown library which would be our last rest stop.  Along route we were on were frequent signs alerting whatever drivers existed (hope the nut in the motorcycle can read) about the pro bike race taking place in a few days.

I like riding the Amgen race course more than waiting around for 2 hours in a crowd and then seeing the riders for 2 minutes.  So was jazzed that we pre rode part of a stage today
It couldn't have been that hot--as Toby had a HOT coffee at the Livermore Library.  Both he and I have no clue about the zig zag route smarter people in our club take to leave Livermore so we went through heavy traffic in downtown to get out of town.  Then backroads back to Blackhawk/ Danville where we were  too soon back in suburbia.   Now at mile 120 and felt real good.  Great group and great day of cycling.

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