(September 8, 2012) Real Peets Coffee and Palomares Century Ride (2012), w/ Ward, large part with Diablo Cyclists., 101 miles, 15.5 mph
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)|
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)|
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)|
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.
|I welcome Vince for saving the donuts from chasing rider in back of him (WI w PC editing)|
|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)|
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)|
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.