Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Real Peets and Palomaras Century Ride (2012)

Early on the ride below we started bsing about the phenomena of photo shopping photos--which used to be called doctoring photos.  There is a controversy in the photography world between folks that think photos should capture reality (so no editing) and those that think photos are art so doctor away.

Earlier in the week (top) I take a photo of Christine while (bottom) Ward sneaks up and takes a photo of me taking the photo--where I give him the Nelson Rockefeller sign--resulting in a "slightly altered" photo (WI)  We all started working on a version with Nelson Rockefeller in a larger viewfinder, but everyone got bored with this at the same time.
Of course photoshoppe is one of our groups favorite programs (mine after Excel which would have allowed me to pass high school math.)  And as many in our group were raised on Mad Magazine and National Lampoon, we aren't (usually) trying to deceive, but free for all satire.

(September 8, 2012) Real Peets Coffee and Palomares Century Ride (2012), w/ Ward, large part with Diablo Cyclists., 101 miles, 15.5 mph

Century #29

Funny, this is usually one of my favorite Club rides.  We go over the Pig-Three Bears, 4 nice climbs in the middle of rustic Contra Costa where a group is always pushing the pace to the regroup before Tilden Park.  Then we climb up to Tilden Park; 30 years ago when I used to get soused at weekly picnics I was amazed that cyclists could climb up to Tilden (and that my beater car also could make it up the hill.)  After Tilden we continue uphill someway (3 different options) out of the park, continue on uphill rollers along Oakland's Skyline, until the fast descent into Oakland/ Claremont.  The big joke is we call this the Peet's Coffee ride but no one ever went to Peet's, we all went to the small bakery next door.

Then, after 45 miles for a cup of coffee we have the long climb back in the hills over the Caldacott Tunnels that connect Alameda and Contra Costa County.   For there the bonus milers would stay on the ridgeline adding miles until taking a few of the options back.

Today the ride flamed out.

Between early on agitating to do Hiller or Sierra Road again
Cisco Dave sent out a bunch of funny takes on the Most Interesting Man in the World (Cisco Dave)

Which got me thinking along the same lines (PC)
Perhaps it was all the enthusiasm for bonus miles at the beginning of the week, which petered out by the weekend after a few people were hit with work stress.  Perhaps it was the CROWDS all day, especially after the tranquility for Patterson Pass last week.   Special Olympics was holding a softball tourney where we begin the ride so the park was jammed.   The CAL football team was playing a few miles from our destination, and people park miles away from the stadium. This  meant loads of cars accompanying us to the Peets/ Oakland area.  Then later on remote Skyline/ Redwood Road--there were a couple of obnoxious trucks/ motorcycles--and we forgot the "delight" of returning on crowded Danville Blvd (which is nice in the morning but with traffic tripping all lights red in the afternoon.)

As I was ordered by Ms. Pumpkincycle to carry my cell phone after a local ride emergency a weekened back, I worked all week to create a new stem bag.  Christine has a great idea a couple of years back--a small camera bag with a belt loop that opens tied around the handlebar is perfect for carrying a phone or camera or drugs (non Lance version)--which gets something out of your jersey pocket.   On every ride I had endurolytes/ tums/ suntan lotion/ lip balm/ Alieve/ Fizz Tabs on the handlebar stem--but now the cell phone kicked them all out.

Stem panniers--one side for phone/ camera, other side for supplements (PC)
Idea was to create mini-panniers/ mini-saddle bag.  Velcro belt loop that opens wouldn't work as you could only tie one bag to the stem that way.  Tried permanently tying the bags at the top and then have closing at the bottom, but that didn't work--but attaching at the bottom and then tying at the top with velcro (and a backup bungee cord) worked well.   I should have taken it on a short trial run but was excited to try it--so it had it's initial voyage on this hilly ride and it did well.   (albeit sometime kneeing it when standing and climbing.)

We had a large group heading towards the Bears and the Pig, mostly staying together, though one of our new riders--Long (all 90 lbs of him) would take flyers on the climbs and blow everyone away.  I got my dander up when someone from another group shot by on a climb, and I put in a big effort to get back on the 'yellow jerseys' wheel to the next Bear/ climb.   In the middle of the next climb--Mama Bear--I started revving it up, passed the yellow jersey--and then he  yelled "OK I'm beat, I  give up."  So then it was just a spirited ride with Cisco Dave and Long to the end of the Bears.

At first regroup after the Pig Climb but before the start of the Bears (top) the lead group waits for Vince to bring Long donuts on his tri bars (middle) fresh corn nearby (bottom) monument art (PC)
Regroup for the Tilden Climb--where I bs'd with CA Mike up through Tilden.  He was full of enthusiasm for bonus miles at the beginning of the week, but after the groundbreaking ceremony midweek for the hospital he's building he is beat.  But in his honor we decided to leave Tilden via the Muur de Mike--as steep climb out of the park near Lake Anza.  Mike used to propose this all the time--today we just heard a groan (but he did it.)

Loads of traffic on Skyline--we suspect most trying to figure out where they'd drop down and find parking for the CAL game.  Only time Cisco Dave, Long, and Rebecca slowed down was when we stopped to take photos on an overlook--windy enough so it was a nice clear day.  Riding on Skyline continued--traffic continued; nothing bad but alot more cars than we'd usually see on this route.

Overlook of Oakland/ Berkeley--sometimes in mid summer its hot where we start and this place is full of fog.  Not today-Mt. Tam, SF Downtown, New CAL Stadium, Lake Merritt area in Oakland all very clear.  (1st) Mike sprints to get into photo (2nd) The group taking it easy for a few minutes (PC)..... until.....

... (3rd) We get excited when Godzilla shows up (WI) , we see the strangest things on our rides.  Great excitement until...(4th) ....Dr. Dave and his favorite Olympic troll McKayla arrive.  Dave said he was too beat to do the ride--I guess he was right, and neither Dr. Dave or McKayla were impressed (DrD)  Lucky that none of these photos were doctored.
I welcome Vince for saving the donuts from chasing rider in back of him (WI w PC editing)
Downhill to Oakland was cold--man that hot coffee at the bakery will be good.  No it wouldn't--the bakery was out of business.   We didn't even know its name apart from "the Bakery next door to Peets."   Peets sponsored an outdoor table to serve refreshments for a cancer charity  20 mile walk so we bs'd with the barista between walk participants showing up covered in pink.  We were told we'd have gotten free coffee/ tea if we were wearing pink--where did I put that T-Mobile Jersey.

At Peets' (top) June & Stephen (middle) CA Mike attracting the paparazzi (below) Ward with chick on bench (PC)
So then Mike does Ward one better.  Now we know why the paparazzi are around (PC with WI editing)
Spirited climb back up to the ridgeline with Rebecca setting a steady pace and Cisco Dave, Long and I following.  Later Ward bitched about out group of 140 lb climbers (I barely made it this week at 149) but he sets a blistering pace on the flats and speed rollers--and that is what is great about cycling--there is something for everyone. 

Off of Skyline there are a number of ways to go back to base, and most of the group turned in at the first available spot.  Rebecca & Cisco Dave continued on with Jack, Ward and I to the next possible cutoff--Stephen and June actually followed us but they decided late to do more miles so unbeknown  to us they started behind us.  At the next turn off we lost Rebecca and Cisco, and Jack indicated he'd do hill repeats on Palomares.  I was still in pain from when Toby and Cisco and I did hill repeats on Palomares months ago so Ward and I decided we'd come off Palomares and go to Sunol.

So now on a rustic road towards Castro Valley--where first an idiot in a pickemup truck decided to pull alongside and ride his horn.  A few minutes later a motorcycle passed me about 12 inches away--then down the road I could see the motorcycle pass a mini-Cooper on the twisty one lane road, and then buzz Ward.   One can only hope the pickemup truck and the motorcycle meet up and try to pass each other at the same time.

First we all regrouped--though at disparate times.   June and Stephen now turn around, Jack plans his his hill repeats and Ward and I speed on ahead.    Palomares climb was steep but nice as finally--no traffic.  At the top there was a Team in Training tent and when we started down we saw blocks of riders struggling up the other side.  One "bike" was a recumbent with a full bubble faring-I was surprised Ward didn't turn on a dime to take a photo.

Sunol always a good rest stop (PC)
Gentle climb up Niles Caynon to Sunol is nice--even with lots of traffic and disappearing shoulder--as there is a constant tailwind.  Its just as fast going uphill here than downhill.    Sunol was strange--usually a cycling mecca but by mid afternoon there was no one out. 

Going back the most direct way is a mixed blessing.  The first @12 miles is through residential suburbia but traffic is light and only a few traffic controls.  But then over the highway, for the next @24 miles, it suddenly is commercial suburbia.  Lots of traffic, lights at every major intersection--usually red with cars stacking up in the opposite turning lane.  Wind had picked up--sometimes a strong crosswind which often shifted into a tailwind until it shifted back.  Only redeeming thing was that bike lane was now wide enough to ride side by side--so Ward and I practiced echelon riding when the crosswind picked up.

Eventually got back to the same section Ward and I always come back from Mt. Diablo on--so very very familiar.  We almost know where all the recessed sewer caps are in the bikeland.   Though only the first 50 miles was a hammerfest, and the last 50 we rode at a relaxed pace--we both agreed more tiring than last weeks Patterson Pass ride.

1 comment:

Diablo Scott said...

I don't always comment... but when I do, it's to prop a gold post.