Sunday, November 25, 2012

Calaveras and Tour of Livermore Century (2012)

I'm falling apart so Good god, is this my future in cycling??   Photo thanks (I think) to Dr. Dave who can't keep out of trouble after pouting with the President and his favorite athlete McKayla.

Century #36 (November 24, 2012) Calaveras Reservoir and Tour of Livermore to Collier, 102 miles, 10' climbing (or so it seemed) 16.5 mph.  w/ Jack and Stephen.  Calaveras section with Ward, Mike, Eri, Fresno Kim, Jose

This was a perfect ride to appear on club schedule.  Not much climbing (80 miles, 2,000' climbing.)  We had a group kept the pace down which was fine by me.  Good news is that my back is better than it has been for a month--the bad news is that its only at 70% and hurts when starting from a dead stop, climbing, or hitting the gas hard--so this ride was what the chiropractor ordered.

Ok, its November but was still fn cold when we started.  At 9:03 (per National Weather Service) it was 45 degrees in Walnut Creek.   OK--I know that the folks in Yakutsk think this is summer weather--but this is why I live in California.   With my brain frozen I forgot my official Lance drug kit (tums, endurolytes, lip balm), and didn't bother to take a light as I didn't expect to go 100 miles and finish 30 minutes before nightfall.  I need to go on more century rides--maybe by year end I'll get the hang of getting ready.

I did remember to break out the toe warmers and arm warmers but I was not happy--though full sun it was fn cold when we started out.  Woman visiting from Fresno, Kim, had done Climb to Kaiser so we bs'd about the ride.  New rider Eri is fast on flats so she'd like the route.  Mike only got to play a half day of hooky so he could only join us for part of the ride.  We started off with about a dozen riders but we'd eventually split into three groups.

Riding out Danville Blvd-San Ramon Valley Blvd in the morning isn't bad--not enough cars to turn every traffic light red as usually happens later in the day.  Group kept a nice paceline going.   Huge Frostys (the Giants of Roubaix?) springing up on vacant lots now becoming X-mas Tree Farms. 

(above) Ward on the run in to Sunol (below) Jack, Stephen, Mike on Foothill (PC)

Eventually warm enough where I could pull of glove liners-toe warmers and vest.  Was wearing an orange and black Museeuw Bike jersey--unfortunately it is mostly black and has one of those real short short zippers, so when there is even a hint of warmth it is useless.  But for the rest of the day (well, until the last half hour when we rapidly lost the sun), the black jersey with a thin wool undershirt was perfect except for some of the densely shaded tree hairpins on Calaveras.

After San Ramon we continued on Foothill Blvd which has little traffic and traffic controls--then our paceline started revving up the speed.  Ward pulled me into the hill before Sunol but Stephen and I must be getting old--we used to beat each other up on this hill, now we just rode up together.  All along I was pleasantly surprised how well I felt.

We now need a special wrench for formerly free water tap in Sunol so I went to park across the street from the general store--we've never been there as entrance is around the corner.  Man, we've been missing out on some fine art. 

Here we lost the "Mike Group" who turned around, and the rest of us continued onto Calavaras.  Eri and Kim never had ridden it--always nice to ride a great section with a first timer and see their reaction.  I remember long ago (actually Paris Roubaix day in 2003) riding the nondescript Primavera Century--but the highlight was going over Calavaras for the first time.  Its a gentle climb along a narrow forested road with sudden hairpins --its actually a perfect fixed gear route going South.  Ward has perfected the art of looking across the road before hitting a hairpin so we can spot the occasional motorcycle, or bicycle flying in from the other direction.  Real important to keep way to the right on this road.

Statue in Sunol Park--we've gone to Sunol for years--first time we saw it (PC)  
One or two regroups--one where everyone seemed like they were looking into a nudist colony, but it was a bald eagle nest on  a transmission tower --but at least 300' away.  Downhill to the turnaround at the end of Calaveras but Ward, Jose and I rode about 2000' past the turnaround so we could continue the Brother Vic tradition of going down and then back up THE WALL.  This is a short but steep climb which scared most Primavera riders.  No one proposed Sierra Road today--the real WALL to the 10th power--which was very very good.

Eri and Ward on Calaveras (PC)
Only takes about half the time to fly back to Sunol as now mostly slightly downhill with a tailwind.  Fond memories of being on this section on the Devil Mountain Double, with Jack last year and Cisco Dave this year, with Ward stopped on the side of the road taking photos ("your here early"--which was great to hear.)   Two or three times ago here on DMD 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' popped in my head going back to Sunol and now it gets recalled again. 

I think Jack a little freaked by the whirleygigs (PC)

The peloton leaving Sunol before we split up (PC)
Seemed early when we got to a corner store in Sunol---but Ward was going to lead a group back on Danville Blvd.  Meanwhile Jack and Stephen were devising a route looping Livermore that would bypass the sections with lots of traffic.    Though I couldn't match a sudden acceleration to the county line earlier I felt good enough to say I'd do the longer route.  Besides getting a century in we'd be coming back on rustic Collier Canyon with no traffic controls. 

Jack, Stephen and I did the customary Happy Valley Loop then out to Vineyard.  But instead of turning on Isabel that passes the local airport and all the motor traffic usually surrounding an airport--we continued out on Vineyard, turned on Vallecitos (only place with a no control lots of traffic intersection) and eventually circled back to Murrietta.  Basically, instead of taking the direct rout out of town we circled far to the East and then after traveling North we came back East.

At this point we had @30 miles to go and I mistakenly thought I was down to two Chomps (I did have a ZBar buried between all the clothes I had taken off.)   So when "Hate To Stop" Jack got stuck at a light--I rolled into a convenience store with Stephen and grabbed the great cycling food Rice Krispie Treat.  

After crossing the highway we were almost on Collier Canyon and it was great riding on rustic Collier.  Sun was setting a bit but still very bright--no worries (the modern catchphrase) of losing daylight.  Stephen and I continued our cooperative ride and passed by another county line sign together without any hi jinx.  Mostly we were bsing about the clubs future--older membership and noticeably less riders on seminal rides this year.    Soon on the hill up to Blackhawk where......Jack got a flat tire.

OK, any thoughts of finishing the ride much earlier than sunset now gone. 

Of course a flat near the end of the ride--Stephen looks like he could be in Presidential Photo next to Dr. Dave (PC)

Downhill from Blackhawk was nice--we hit mostly green lights.  Stephen turned off to go home.  When we got to Danville the sun was now low and long shadows on Danville Blvd--at all other times we would have run lights but neither of us had front lights and my back light needed to get charged.  Also temperature seemed to have dropped 20 degrees.  F-though about Mike's emergency blinking light he had on his bars--I gotta get one.  Jack has the magic ability to ride his fastest at the end of a ride and he was hammering down the boulevard.  

Jack turned off to go home while I had to navigate through the shopping district in Walnut Creek.   I didn't want to temp fate and get hit by something thinking about Neiman Markup so for once I jumped on the bike trail early which was still crowded at twilight.  Got back to the car at about 4:50--a half hour before full darkness.

Good ride, very very glad for the easy route and steady pace.  Next week is our club ride up Morgan Territory which means-----Salvador Dali's  Patterson Pass. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Metrics around Marshall Wall, Marin, and Memorial Ride, Benecia--Last Diablo Cyclist Rides with Toby

Usually I just post regarding seminal Century rides, but we just had two interesting but disparate metric rides.  A week ago we had a beautiful ride around Marin--over my favorite part of the Mt Tam Double, the run in to the Marshall Wall.  Yesterday we joined the Benicia Cyclist for a memorial ride when one of their members were killed when striking some wild turkeys on a downhill. 

These were also the last two extended rides before Toby moves back to England.  There were earlier "move back" false alarms--the last reprieve had him stay here so he could set a record on the Alta Alpina by doing 8 1/2 passes.  His first double, but what the f--he once did 5 full triathlons in 5 days row.  More importantly to me, bs'ing with him for the days leading up to the Alta Alpina took my mind off the event--which was good as it was the only ride remaining that I was a little intimidated by. 

During our club rides he was our Fabian Cancellera--riding steady for a long time pulling the fastest people in our Club along and barking "get out my way, you're slowing us down" if I tried to help out chasing down a young kid who tried to get away off the front.    Toby got Ward hooked on power meter training.  Real positive on our long training rides--he'll be missed.

We tried to find out Toby's rigorous training secrets--his web site is just a cover.   Ward and I got a few clandestine photos of Toby's secret training methods while he trained for the three parts of a triathlon--now we'll share his secrets.

Coach Toby shows proper crosstraining
(top) at Pt Reyes Station on his secret training course (WI animation)
(middle) high in the hills of the Gold Country on the Sierra Century course (WI animation)
(bottom) practicing palming basketball skills with Christine (Pumpkincomics)



 Hicks Valley on run into Marshall Wall (top) Rebecca, (below) I'm with Toby (WI)

 November 10, 2012-Marshall Wall Metric, Marin
November 18, 2012-Craig Elstins Memorial Ride, Benecia

Rain was predicted held off for our Marin ride.  For some reason I started to fall apart after the Patterson Pass Double last week--leg vein issues morphed into back problems.  Usually 1 chiro treatment is all I need, I screwed up my back so much, at this writing I'm sitting on my third chiro visit.  If this ride hadn't been in Marin--one of my favorite loops as its the Mt Tam Double highlight course, I would have skipped it.

Good day where our group stuck together nicely on the flats and rollers.  All hell broke loose on the climb to the Cheese Factory.  We passed a large group around Nicasio and the fastest of that group took exception--so then it was a race to the Cheese Factory climb, and then up the climb.  I'm happy to report Toby and Rebecca dropped everyone from the other Club on teh climb and I just hung in with the chasing group to the Cheese Factory.  To paraphrase the great Servais Knaven--I don't care who wins as long as its a Diablo Cyclist.  My back wasn't happy--especially on the rollers I usually love or when I tried getting off the bike, and luckily we had a relaxed pace ride for the rest of the day.

(Top) Rachel, (Middle) Jack, (Bottom) Eri & Ward, on the Marshall Wall climb (PC)

Toby coaching Renecca on proper technique on ringing the Peace Bell (WI)

(top) Rachel, (middle) Toby, (bottom) Rachel and Eri leading the paceline-all along Highway 1-Bodega Bay (WI)

Da Group at Pt Reyes Station (WI)

Toby by Nicasio Reservoir (WI)
Ward coming back over Big Rock--ready for the 23 curve hairpin descent.  (PC)
Next week it stormed on Saturday--our usual long riding day.  On Sunday we joined the Benecia Cyclists for a memorial ride for a cyclist who died in a freak accident. We started across "the river" in Martinez which necessitates a disgusting ride through (Christine coined this along time ago) "Perpetuem Factories" bellowing smoke, then trying to find the hidden bike tail that leads onto the bridge. Nice large turnout where our group tried to follow some Benecia Cyclists who were going hard--man, what a fast Club ride this is. Light bulb came on when we pulled into first rest stop--we had followed the fastest guys in their Club--much of the peloton rolled in 5 minutes later. The next rest stop got us into the agriculture belt outside Fairfield where the Benecia Club ride ended.  Ward took us through bonus miles on a road mostly void of cars. Void of cars as a small bridge in the middle was closed and we had to trudge through the mud for a few hundred feet (cleats love this.)

Downtown Martinez (PC)

Toby on the bridge over the Carquinez Strait--soon he'll be riding over the London Bridge (WI)

We saw a guy with a cool Lion of Flanders helmet--this wasn't him.  Is anyone missing a traffic light?(WI)

Toby meets up with a neighbor from the United Kingdom, which is something like England.  Jack in the background is from the Commonwealth.  Everyone has the Queen on their money.  This only makes sense if you are from Great Britain.  (PC)

No comment (WI)

(top) Jack (below) I'm with local honey at the cigar factory.

Solano Art (WI)

Ward and Toby practicing if crazy lady from a few weeks ago appears and again asks for directions (PC)

(top) Toby (below) Jack in Wooden Valley

After a lackluster effort, Coach Andy had to tell us to go hard THROUGH the county line on a sprint--Ward looking for excuses. (PC)

Christine, with the best pony tail since Roman Vainsteins, in Gordon Valley (WI)

Toby and I are following Christine (WI)

(top) Toby and Christine at Mothball Fleet overlook (WI) (below) Andy happy that he can see Mt Diablo (PC)

Heading back to Martinez--Andy telling Ward and Toby they best not slack off at the upcoming county line--which Christine "gifted" to Toby (PC).

Christine and Ward on da bridge (PC)

I'm going by another trainload of Perpetuem (WI)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mitt & Lance

"We wanted someone who would fight for us. What we got was a weak, moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country club establishment wing of the Republican Party.  The presidential loss is unequivocally on them" -Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

(Romney ran as a) "Democrat-light" and adjusted his positions to campaign as a moderate during the general election. "At the end of the day, conservatives were left out in the cold. It should have been a landslide for Romney, had he embraced a truly conservative agenda." "But Romney's a moderate and his campaign embarked on a bizarre...defense from the outset."-Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center

"What was presented as discipline by the Romney campaign by staying on one message–the economy–was a strategic error that resulted in a winning margin of pro-life votes being left on the table"--Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion rights group Susan B. Anthony List

 "Tea partiers will take over the Republican Party within four years," Richard A. Viguerie, chairman of

If Romney would have picked a Hispanic like Senator Rubio as his veep--he might have won the election.  Florida-New Mexico-Colorado-Nevada probably would have flipped, and then he would have one medium state away from the Presidency.  But he picked a turkey to solidify the white bread ticket--and this may be the only ticket where one member didn't carry their home state.   (McGovern carried MA--the home of his running mate)

Meanwhile the two most right wing major candidates--the religious fundamentalist Republican Senate candidate lose in Republican tilted states--Indiana and Missouri. 

So what message do the Republicans take away from this?  Moderate a little--especially on social issues.  Actively include more people in the party so you don't slowly become the party of  only religious fundamentalists  (A thesis Kevin Phillips, who was a major player in the Nixon White House, advances.)  Nah.

The message is  ROMNEY WASN'T CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH--THAT'S WHY HE LOST.  Hee hee hee--please please please keep being misguided and say this often.  Please keep moving to the right.  Mitt Romney's dad who ran for president probably would be forced out of the Republican Party today.


The working conditions of his job demanded that he dope. And if Lance was going to go down that road, you can be certain that he was going to do it better than anyone else in the world....Although things have changed drastically for the better in the past five years, no one ever raced in Europe without knowing that the sport was rife with doping.  -John Eustice of Time

Meanwhile Lance apologists are saying that all riders doped so what's the big deal.  They are right--Lance doping is not that big a deal.  THE BIG DEAL is what made him "special"compared to other doping athletes.  Lets see--Sammy Sosa wasn't part owner of his team like Lance.  Barry Bonds didn't organize his team into a mass doping program like Lance.    Mark McGuire didn't marginalize teammates, former MVP's and the press that exposed his doping program like Lance.    And Roger Clemons didn't throw fastballs to the head of players who had testified against his dirty personal physician as Lance proverbially did.   (See Simeoni for the Lance equivalent which even had fawning Bicycling Magazine puzzled at the time)  

Doping was the least of Lance's problem--acting in Nixonesque fashion; running the doping program, covering up the doping program, and having an ever growing enemies list is the BIG DEAL.

Baseball players Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire and Roger Clemons have something in common with Lance Armstrong.   While on the juice (or off) none of them ever rode Paris Roubaix.   But if Sosa, Bonds, McGuire and Clemons were cyclists, they would have ridden Paris Roubaix to help their team.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Patterson Pass 2x Century (2012)

(November 3, 2012) Patterson Pass 2x-Totally Crazy Century, w Ward and Toby, 117 miles, 8,200' climbing, 15.4 avg.  Century #34

Strava and Garmin elevation of the ride--Strava people trying to set a record on the pancake flat bike trail--get you ass onto the hills (WI)
With this being the last day of daylight savings time, it was time to do something very very special.  Our club ride (dubbed "a little nutty" by Ward) was a metric over the Oakland Hills to Peets Coffee--Berkeley.  Ah, can get coffee anytime, and in a month it will probably be warmer over the Oakland Hills than in Central Contra Costa.  No--this called for an epic adventure--doing Patterson Pass TWICE. 

As readers know from previous posts I love Patterson Pass as it is so different.  You leave crowded suburbia and for a dozen or so miles you're on good roads seemingly void of human life.  Whirling windmills dot the landscape, some strange man made structures, but no people--OK maybe a car coming by every 10 minutes or so.  Then past the deserted Altamont Speedway where the ghosts are playing Rollings Stones music from their infamous concert.    Then the Patterson Pass climb, 30-45 minutes of fun on a narrow unstriped but well paved road among the windmills--and the faster the windmills are turning the more screwed you are cause its ALWAYS a headwind if they are turning.  The last 1/4 mile or so spikes up to a double digit grade--which is 'just perfect' as any headwind is blowing the fiercest up top.

I figured instead of coming down off Patterson Pass--which is a nice desolate road to the left into Livermore-- I could come off and take the right fork, which would loop me back to the Altamont climb.  Before the second climb I would go @2 miles past where the Patterson Pass climb starts--and hit a gas station at the major freeway suddenly nearby.  Oh yeah--I'd go out to Patterson Pass via the Morgan Territory climb--another rustic road that leaves suburbia in the middle of nowhere.

I just emailed that I wouldn't be doing the club ride.  Ward dubbed my ride "totally crazy" but joined in--Toby has done much crazier things (8 1/2 climbs on Alta Alpina, 5 full triathlons in 5 days ) so he thinks stuff like this is normal.     More sane people decided on the club ride (though Dr. Dave misread the schedule and took his recumbent out for a 'flat' Club ride, so he also wound up creating another option.)

It is not a good idea to try new things during a century ride.  I went to town with new things today and they all worked out like crap.
-First time in years I did a century ride over 150lbs (well over 150lbs)
-First time in years I did any ride as a 56 year old.
-First time I wore compression socks on a ride.
-After an eating free for all after Mt. Tam Double I started my winter diet on November 1st--two days ago.    Not a good idea going into a Century ride on 1900 and 2100 calories the two days before a long ride.

I don't scientifically plan these ride but figured we'd need as much daylight as possible so planned to leave at 8am instead of our usual 9am.    I pushed off at 8:05--no Toby? and met up with Ward a mile into the bike trail--prearranged spot so he wouldn't miss any of the climbing.   A few short hills getting out of Walnut Creek into Clayton--where Toby caught up to us.  Fall coolness in the morning, Ward wearing a yamaka under his headband and I was wearing compression socks overlayed with regular cycling socks and kneewarmers.  No Christine parked on the side of the road--like she was on Devil Mountain Double--to toss off excess clothes (she would be on Dr. Dave's ride).  This was needed as after Clayton we were hit with full sun, some more short hills and improved warmth.

Mt Diablo from Morgan Territory (WI)
A few morning SUV's buzzed us but we lost the traffic once we turn off onto Morgan Territory Road where Ward discovers his Power Meter battery is dead.  We're laughing at the four Strava people who claim to be members of the Diablo Cyclists (they are not) who proudly posted Strava segments on the local multiuse trail.  One of our top ten prime directives (go see Star Trek)--"there is no racing on the bike trail."  Riding up the narrow tree covered road we morph into a discussion of how Lance Armstrong is now getting pummelled in the press (who were asleep for a half dozen years), and then the upcoming presidential election.  Ward filled us in about something I didn't know about Mitt Romney.  Mitt actively protested FOR the Vietnam War in college and Vietnam War, and wound up never going into the military, instead left for France to proselytise for the Mormons.   If Mitt's father was still alive and in political office, Mitt Romney would attack his father -Progressive Republican Presidential candidate George Romney, for being to far to the left.

Toby and Ward leaving Morgan Territory rest stop (PC)

Long break at the top of Morgan Territory with little wind--which will be great on Patterson Pass.  Then the plunge down South where I turn on the blinking headlight as at least ONE car going uphill will suddenly appear on the narrow road--and sure enough that quota was filled half way down the course.   When we start to set out one guy flies by us--but we are having such a good time bs'ing--and nut'tin to train for, so for once we don't chase.  Some big big groups come by in the opposite direction.  Spot some of the windmills on the hills of Patterson Pass and they ain't turning.  Very good.

We skip by the last convenience store in Livermore, get yelled at by an ass in a pickup truck that felt that our being 2' in from the edge of the road was 2' too much, and then past the BMX Park where we wouldn't have to worry about asses in pickup trucks any more--as we were entering the land of the desolate.   The 12 miles--at first a gentle uphill and then usually  downhill after the Summit Garage (have we ever seen any people there?) went by fast.   It was now really warming up and I thought about stopping at the Altamont Speedway entrance just like last time I did this ride to pull of knee warmers and compression socks--but didn't.  I did stop to rededicate the same place I stopped and whizzed on DMD--Toby also doing a Sierra Club dedication while Ward started up the climb.

Toby and Ward going past the Summit Garage (PC)

Toby hiding behind Ward after the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont (PC)
After pulling off arm warmers Toby and I started up, and first inkling of trouble.  I stopped to take a photo and Toby now a little up the road.  As Toby was staying in an ez power zone I should have been able to catch up to him and then we'd get back to Ward.  But not today.  I was wearing the compression socks, as at the beginning of most rides since the Sierra Century it feels like someone hit me sharply with a ball-peen hammer in the back of my calf 10 minutes ago.     This feeling doesn't go away for 10-15 miles (and then returns post ride.)  With the compression socks my calf's felt great.  But now it felt like someone was tapping my inner thighs with the ball-peen hammer--wasn't hurting but just "twitching."   Also felt too warm in the climb.  Without any wind no trouble going up the climb--just slow.  No problem on steep part at the end.  Vow'd that 2nd time around I'd take off knee warmers--compression socks and motor up climb.  Ha.

Toby starting up Patterson Pass (PC)
Toby on Patterson Pass climb the first time (WI)

Yeah baby--We did Patterson Pass the first time.  Toby is checking to see if he's first on the Strava KOM list(WI)
Usual fast downhill towards Livermore where we cut over on North Flynn Road that has many sudden short climbs--and where the thigh twitching picked up.   Remembered that our Club used to come in from the opposite direction alot--until some crazy person insisted on making the ride longer and going out to Patterson Pass.   Soon we were again on the Altamont Speedway, again past the Summit Garage, again under the gigantic train trestle (where we stopped to read the graffiti), with Toby usually pull us along.  Oh F, out of water.  But from here we'd turn on Midway, go up the short climb up past the Altamont Speedway and continue 2 miles past the Patterson Pass turnoff where we'd hit the gas station convenience store. 

Ward and Toby by railroad trestle on Altamont Pass (PC)

I'm following Toby on Altamont Pass speedway which leads onto Patterson Pass climb (WI)

Lady who is going to drive 200 miles in the wrong direction to get to Patterson needs to down a few cans of these.  As it turns out so do I (WI)
Until this time lived mostly on Perpetuem, Cliff Z Bars and Chomps, but at the gas station broke open a Peanut Butter/ Pumpkin Butter sandwich and pulled off knee warmers and compression socks.  Probably around 75 degrees so knew that knees would be OK.  Then we met the most annoying lady.  Luckily this wasn't the first American that Toby ever met.

Chubby lady in big car pulls into gas station and asks us for directions to Patterson.  Very easy, if you go onto the Super Highway about 100' up the road it is a straight shot a few exits away.  Ward tells her this and she starts to argue--shouldn't she go in the opposite direction where she'd wind up on a rustic road that goes into Patterson.  Yeah, she could do that--especially now that gas is under $4 a gallon and she'd be killing a tank of gas going that way.   Ward tries to explain this to her, she keeps arguing, Toby is dismissive ("yeah, just go the way you want") and I'm laughing quietly like hell.  (Ironically, as soon as she leaves another person pulls up within 5 minutes, asking for directions.  The 2nd person actually listens.)

Our rest stop was at red dot on Hwy 580 near Tracy.  Some lady wants to know how to get to Patterson--Ward gives her the orange route down Hwy 580/ 5.  Besides being the most direct way--speed on this road is 75-85mph.  So, the lady starts argues that she should go the other way, on the blue route.  This hilly route is three times as long and would probably average 35-45 mph.  And we wonder how anyone would decide to vote for Mitt Romney.
OK--back up the road for Patterson Pass #2.  I pull out camera to take photo--Ward and Toby 200' in front of me.  I put in a dig to catch up and WHAM--now it feels someone just hit me hard on my inner thigh with a claw hammer.  Then WHACK--outer thigh.  Then another for good measure on my inner thigh again. I gotta stop--we all do--and when I get going I'm crawling along.  No more hard whacks but lots of those light tapping as I continue up the climb--while Ward and Toby fade in the distance.

Ward and Toby start up Patterson Pass..da SECOND time (PC)

Toby crests Patterson Pass the second time (WI)

TWO TIMES!!!! Is that two times cresting Patterson Pass or two Giants' championships in three years? (WI)
About a half hour later get to the ending double digit grade steep section, and Toby comes down to check on me, then Ward.  Start going up steep section and WHACK-WHAM-WHACK--its another full assault on my thighs--mostly on my left leg but a few on my right.  Fuck. Have to stop for a few minutes.  Luckily a road with almost no traffic--to get going again I have to start out sideways and clip in and then quickly turn sharp left before falling off the cliff.  Do it and wait for man with ball-peen hammer to return--he doesn't and I finally make it to the top.  Patterson Pass #2--but I could have been alot happier.

Ward opines that I should have left my knee warmers on to provide warmth to my upper leg--I'd do that at the Livermore Library.  Toby gives me a salt tablet.  This is the first time I ever felt like this on a ride and I think its due to starting the ride with compression socks.  Who the f knows.

Toby and I try to locate our legs at the Livermore Library (WI)

Why the hell are we eating bananas??  I have a sudden craving for donuts and I don't know why. (WI)
For the rest of the ride Ward and Toby take something off while they pull me along.  I get a few more nasty spasms--but usually when we are stopping.  Emergency stop for a Gatorade G (Cliff Enduolyte Mix tastes to salty to me all day) and a banana. 

Toby learned his County Line celebration from Christine PC/WI)
Another emergency stop when Toby runs over a roofers nail near Blackhawk--for some reason throughout the years we have had to stop here for lots of flats.    When we continue riding in suburbia very long shadows from the rapidly setting sun.

Toby pullin me along down Collier Canyon Road (WI)
Great course, great company, just felt like crap for half the ride.  Fn depressing, if anything ever gave out during a ride it would be my cardio system--not my legs.  But this is first time legs went down the toilet.  Not the greatest way to end a great cycling season with winter now moving in, but an epic ride worth remembering.