Monday, January 21, 2013

Patterson Pass (2013)

(January 21, 2013)  Patterson Pass via Tracy Loop, w/ Jose, 95 1/2 miles, 15.7 mph

Martin Luther King days so 3 days of riding.   No century rides yet this year--weather too damn cold (in the 20's every morning--so much for global warming in California.)  Chomping at the bit as my back problem of 2 1/2 months finally cleared up a week ago.  It's great riding almost pain free.  Have stupid ass tennis elbow which is just annoying when stretching out my arm--usually when standing, and calf problem but that just necessities compression socks after the ride.

I shouldn't complain--our whole Club is falling apart.  Dr. Dave has elbow and neck problems, Ward had knee problems.  Cisco Dave may have the flu.  We can only hope that everything clears up by the time warmer weather hits--but a few medical drug posters created by Dr. Dave at the end of last year certainly apply generally as we're medical wrecks.

It's funny how fast things change in a year.  Last year in anticipation of Alta Alpina I was hitting the weights, nightly bike rides in the cold to get used to riding with lights, and on a strict diet.  Now 8 pounds heavier and there is no fn way I'm going bike riding at night in the cold.     Instead I'm edited the videos posted on You-Tube showing the seminal bike rides in 2012 (Part A & B) and am making the extended Director's Cut for home viewing.  2012 was an incredible year--I already miss it.

Today's holiday ride was a "show and go" and I figured the Club would do a popular flat ride which would get me in the direction of Patterson Pass, the climb off the beaten path that is part of the Devil Mountain Double.  Trouble was that no one "showed" except a new rider --  Jose.  He's real strong but usually hasn't done our bonus mile rides.  I told him I'd be going out to Patterson Pass if he wanted to join me--and he did.  Hell with Power Bars, Jose had with him a baggie of bananas and Cosco scone pieces.

We bs'd alot about our kids, around the same young adult age, and the typical stories about how when we first started riding we were ecstatic when doing 15 miles on a hybrid.  We stopped before mile 20 for the early morning whizz, and next stopped for a long break in Tracy--mile 48.   Apart from taking photos from the top of Patterson Pass and an emergency phone call where Jose had to explain he was doing a "little" more than the anticipated 3 hour ride--we didn't stop again.

I did a bunch of stupid things.  Even though I could buy sports drink I try to be self sufficient but forgot to take more drink mix powder.  No big deal, I have fizz tabs in my little drug bag---ah, no I don't.   Regular headband must be in handlebar bag when it's time to switch from thermal headband--no--forgotten. 

Strange weather on run in to Patterson Pass going East, which usually has a strong Western tailwind.  Today there was a cold crosswind blowing in from the North.  On the weekend the run in usually deserted--today it was apparent that garbage men don't get MLK Day off with a few smelly trucks passing. 

Jose by Summit Garage
Post Modern 7-11
Cow Country To Patterson Pass
We then did the same flat Tracy loop we did last time so we'd wind up with @95 miles --which under my theory counts as a Century (on par with Chico Wildflower Century or half of the Solvang Double Century.)   Last time we went to a dumpy gas station at the highway crossroads, this time we tried the busier but more modern facility--BINGO--it had the largest and most modern 7-11 I had ever seen.  The girl behind the counter laughed when I mentioned the dump on the other side of the overpass--she had never been there but heard bad things about it.

While sitting outside in a nice warm sun--a 49er mobile pulled in.  A maroon SUV with dual 49er flags, with the driver blasting some song over and over that contained things that Jim Harbaugh said.  It must have been karma revenge for me blasting Motherfucking Bike while climbing the local reservoir dam on a fixed gear the day before.

This was mile 48 and Jose and I wouldn't stop for a food break again.  Two miles from the Tracy stop the Patterson Pass climb starts.  Very very little wind on it so it was fun.  Jose zoomed up the last steep section--chugging up was descriptive of what I did, but again real happy as my back didn't give me any problems.    View of windmills was great but valley further out real hazy.

Jose Climbing Patterson Pass
At the top of Patterson Pass-sending greetings to our infirmed comrades Ward and the two Daves
Vest and fingerless glove liners came on for the downhill--the weather stayed nice and no need for full finger gloves or a jacket.  Jose said he got lost last time he rode in Livermore--great, as I'm the club leader in getting lost.  Usually Ward or Dr. Dave know a good way to get out of Livermore circumventing traffic, but the only way I know takes us through the heart of downtown.  I planned out a new way but instead of going straight on Patterson Pass I made the usual sudden left on Cross Road.   ???    So we wound up on a zig zaggy bike path in between vineyards and then a subdivision while I was confused how I screwed up simple directions.  We eventually found what we were looking for, and Jose had to make a quick stop to take a phone call from the wife wondering what happened to him.

Rest of the ride was nice--back on Collier without the crap wind from last time.  Jose and I got a good sense of when one of us was slowing down and we'd automatically switch and take a pull.  Unlike last time got back well before dusk but no bonus miles looking for missing riders.  Pace was serious but not hard--good establishing a base long training ride. 

Also good for breaking in the new "annual winter Times Shoes on Clearance"--got carbon soled ones and after last years debacle with strap surgery I'm hoping these will be comfortable with no surgery necessary.   If you have Time Pedals which are flatter than most road pedals, more popular curved shoes you have to shim like crazy.  Time Shoes are 1) always on sale at years end 2) come in the crappiest of colors (I pick white to avoid red or yellow) 3) its a crapshoot if its a good shoe.  I have a NON-carbon soled Time Shoe where the uppers are incredibly comfortable (unfortunately they are falling apart), and a carbon soled Time Shoe where the footbed is comfortable but the stiff, heavily solid plastic uppers eventually hurt on real long rides.   

Well-I thought this was a street--on the bike path
The famous pink pannier lady--does she really climb Mt Diablo with panniers filled with bricks?

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