Sunday, October 14, 2012

Morgan-Patterson Pass (2012)

(October 13, 2012) Morgan Territory-Patterson Pass, 96 miles, 15.5 mph, w/ Dr. Dave, Christine, Jack.  Beginning of ride with Diablo Cyclists lead by new rider chairperson Ward.  Century #33

The Buster Posey-Morgan Patterson Pass ride.
Club ride this week is a metric loop over Morgan Territory, (55 miles, 3,000' climbing.)   This automatically means I'm adding on Patterson Pass, on the route of the Devil Mountain Double.  Patterson Pass is in the middle of nowhere (wind farms a little past Altamont, home of infamous Rolling Stones concert.)  The @12 mile fast run in to Patterson Pass is wonderful and strange--desolate, good road, light traffic, sudden overpasses, trestles and windmills, lots and lots of windmills pop up.  The downside is then you have to climb Patterson Pass which is a relatively easy 35 minute climb if the wind is calm (relatively easy grade though double digit grade the last 1/4 mile), a brutal 45 minute climb if the wind is blowing.  If the wind is blowing it is ALWAYS a headwind that gets strongest when you hit the steep grade right before the summit.    So--"if the windmills are turning you are screwed." Uncle Steve Berry

Dr Dave on the climb out of Concord on Ygnacio Valley (PC)
Cold overnight--Dr. Dave's heater kicked in and my wife closed the deck door the evening before so I knew it was cold.    47 degrees at wakeup.  Still cool at the start but quickly warmed up over the small hills out of Walnut Creek/ Concord toward Walnut Creek.  We had a few new riders with us and Ward was quickly elected new rider chairperson.  (He was the only one that voted--and to think he voted for himself.)

The backside of Mt Diablo (PC)

Fn around at the pumpkin patch (PC)
Easy ride out to Morgan--our usual pace animators-Toby-Cisco Dave-Rebecca not on this ride.  Strange thing--there is a stop only 9 miles from the start which I alway blow off--today was no different but there is a pumpkin patch down the road that still has the same "scenes" from 20+ years ago when I took my kids there--so I was screwing around at the pumpkin patch when the peloton rushed by, and I had a hard ride back to them.

The Diablo Cyclist peloton going up Morgan territory from the wooded North side (PC)
 Nice pace up north side Morgan which starts out fast, then turns into rollers, and then turns into a climb like Mt. Tam--solid grade punctuated by 100' HIT ME double digit grades.  Stephen told a nice story about when he met June and he rode his fastest century every (or at least didn't linger in rest stops) so he could see he at the end.   Christine and I bs'ing about the baseball playoffs while Dr. Dave wanted to talk about the Stanford Indians football team.  Ward making sure the new member(s) were having a good ride.   We all talked about photoshoppe possibilities if Ca Mike sends us any more photos of his new road rash.  Morgan up this side is thickly wooded and the road surface gets a little rough in places.    Wonderful climb on very hot or very windy days with the tree protection.

Christine and I have a political message at the top of Morgan Territory (DD)
We suddenly got to the top--suddenly as we were all busy BS'ing.  Sunny and no wind which made the picnic area great.  We waited for everyone to come up--and then lounged around for about a half hour.  If we were just doing the metric loop could have picnic'd up there for a few hours.

South side is much different--pavement much smoother and grade uniformly much steeper.  No trees so sidewind usually hit you.  But today relatively calm.  Long rumination going on at the bottom where everyone was going.  Dr. Dave and Christine said they'd join me on Patterson Pass--great great, as Dave hates Patterson Pass since he was almost blown over on his 'bent near the top long ago, and Christine was suffering with a hip injury last week on a much easier ride.

Ward and Christine flying down Morgan Territory's south side (PC)

Golden arches on the Morgan territory downhill (PC)
We started off and Jack joined us.  Waited for Ward to come up but he took his oath of office as new rider chairperson seriously, he didn't want to be compared to Paul Ryan, so he rode back with the new riders.  On Patterson Pass rides I think Ward and Dr. Dave are the same person as I have never seen them on Patterson Pass at the same time.   (Ward wound up looping back after he got the new riders home safely and did Morgan a second time)

Democracy in action-Dr. Dave votes for Patterson Pass--Christine lucky it wasn't a high five (PC)
The whole year--every time I agitate for Patterson Pass bonus miles we have to take a byzantine route through Pleasanton and Livermore--but off Morgan Territory the route was very direct--we all skipped the usual rest top in Livermore.  I was the only wimp wearing kneewarmers so I rolled them down while riding--tight on the drivetrain side so it wouldn't get into the chain.  Then the fun began--past the BMX park next to the highway--then the highway disappears--civilization disappears--and we are on a gentle climb with a nice tailwind.  Shoot past the Summit Garage.   Then fast flat/ downhill past a forest of windmills--almost none were truing and the few that were were on life support.   This was good as a stiff tailwind now would mean a stiff headwind on the Patterson Pass climb.  We only has a slight crosswind from the North.

Diablo Cyclist peloton on the fast run in towards Patterson Pass past the wind farms (PC)

No Rolling Stones tickets on sale, disappointed Dr. Dave cycling away from Altamont (PC)
Eventually turn and pass the Altamont Speedway/ Rolling Stones Historical Landmark.  I stop with Dr. Dave to pull off knee warmers while Jack and Christine go on.  A little more climbing, a downhill run in and a quick turn and we are on Patterson Pass.

Christine going up Patterson Pass--windfarms in the background (PC)

Christine and Jack arrive at the Patterson Pass summit (PC)
No motorcycles racing up and down today as when Toby & I did it a few months ago--but I still has a blinking mini headlight.  No other cyclists and maybe 3 cars came by in the other direction in the next @35 minutes.  About a quarter of the way up we caught up to Jack and three quarters up we caught up to a flying Christine. 

Group on top of Patterson Pass--Christin and I big Giants fans.  Dr. Dave distraught that no one brought a Stanford Indians banner.  Jack nonplussed as hockey is on strike and curling is not yet on local TV. (?)
 Steep portion at the end was relatively easy without the usual whistling headwind pouring through the gap.  Brought a SF Giants towel on the ride and we took a few group photos with it--luckily another cyclist was taking in the great views of the windmills/ ag valley at the top so he did the camera honors.

After Ward's double flats on the last ride I checked both tires before shooting down Patterson Pass.  Most of us only had 1/2 bottle left by now very fast to Cross Road--two stiff rollers, and more downhill where we'd take the longest break of the day at the Livermore Library with their "picnic area' in front.  (Next time when its calm--instead of going South on Cross Road we could go North and loop on Flynn Road and do the Patterson pass run in and climb again.)  At the Livermore Library a joyful cycling oldtimer came up to us and asked how the day was going--we exchanged great when he grinned and enthusiastically added "and we're not using any gas either."

Homemade lawn mower bike at the Livermore Library (PC)
Jack us to a busy downtown Livermore which was the shortest way back to country Highland Road--as we only had 90 miles back at the finish so in retrospect we should have taken the circular route around downtown.  At one point I saw a Pumpkin Farm sign, we didn't take the turn, so when we reached the next junction I circled back.  Jack and Dave joined me--Christine continued on.  The Pumpkin farm on Carneal wasn't anything to write home about and we quickly left. 

Rest of ride was pretty pedestrian--eventually in suburbia and past Blackhawk and Danville.  We thought Christine would be on the "next" segment but we only caught up to her in Walnut Creek.

Only @92 miles  so I rode with Dave and Christine toward their house on the newly paved trail (nice--no blind potholes.)  After a nice 2 mile cool down turned around so I'd get 95 miles---the length of the Chico Century and half the length of the Solvang Double, so it counts as a Century in my book.

New Rider Chairperson Ward tried to give this guy a membership application (WI)
Easy pace and great weather made it a very nice ride--and Patterson Pass as a nice as always.

Made the greatest recovery drink.  Ward started me on post ride protein shakes @3 years ago, and Christine started us on Coconut Water for the electrolytes.  This was the first time I combined the two, and it turned out great.

In insulated bottle freeze @8 oz of ZICO CHOCOLATE FLAVORED COCONUT WATER.  To this you'll add @12 oz of more coconut water with the following mixed in

1 scoop  HAMMER PERPETUEM-Cafe Latte

Coconut Water--210 calories, 3g       fat,  3g     saturated fat,  42g carbs,   3g    protein
Protein Powder--260 calories, 3g       fat,  2g     saturated fat,   8g carbs,  48g    protein
Perpetuem-------135 calories, 1.25g  fat,   . 5g  saturated fat,  27g carbs,   3.5g protein
Total                   65 calories,   7.25g  fat,  5.5g  saturated fat,  77g carbs, 54.5g protein


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