|Vintage Diablo Cyclist photo of Opening Day circa 1908 (PC)|
|Mines Road Altitude (WI)|
Looked forward to this year's ride, though in the past few years the new long distance cycling training starts right after the New Year. I'm not training for anything--as such my concession is to no longer to try to beat myself up and stay with the leader in an attempt to make the ride as hard as possible. Now I just enjoy going the long miles and at a much more relaxed pace. Unfortunately, by the end of this ride I was going at a much much much more relaxed pace than I intended.
We had a nice group of bonus mile riders in Walnut Creek, seven which is a nice size. The promise is that we'd touch a high of 70 under sunny skies--but at 7:00am it is freezing under sunny skies. The temperature wasn't THAT cold, mid 40's, but when Ward arrive he said his fingers were numb--and 1 minute into our start, w/o glove liners I felt the same way. Our group was chilled until we hit the Blackhawk area--about 12 miles into the ride.
Side note: Hey look--I didn't do 100 miles so I wasn't going to write anything but Cisco Dave said I had to or he wouldn't dance to Ganga Style while riding the bike anymore. So you get what you get--even bathroom humor.
|(top) Leaving Blackhawk and suburbia (PC); (2) On Collier--it looks like it is going to be a sunny-warm day--ha (PC) (3&4) On North Livermore Road--get that guy onto the shoulder and off the road. (WI)|
You know--instead of going straight to Livermore we could have made that sudden left turn and gone by the beautiful Patterson Pass windmills (cameraman Cisco Dave, film editor PC)
Warmed up nicely on Highland/ Collier, much of the rustic road between Blackhawk and Livermore. Lots of trees in bloom--really looked nice, sometimes the buds on the ground looked like glass until we were up close. Rebecca riding behind Big Todd looks like Paolo Bettini riding next to George Hincapie--all Rebecca needs is a gold helmet. Cisco Dave telling me about how he worked out splits to beat 15 hours on Devil Mountain Double. Lots of cyclists on the road that our fast moving peloton is passing. For once we didn't make the left turn to beautiful Patterson Pass, but continued straight to downtown Livermore. We had left Heather Farms late, we were at the rest stop for a longer than usual time, so we pulled into Livermore about 10 minutes late. Crap, hope the big group waiting isn't too po'd that we made them wait. And surely it was going to be a big group--a couple of people contacted me in the prior week and said they'd start in Livermore. It's always a big group.
We get to downtown where the huge City Center fountain usually has soap bubbles or is dyed green. But today it was unaltered. Then we got to the Library where we met up with the big group raring to get going. It was Dr. Dave-Christine-Don-?guest joining us---------that's it.
|Arrival of Bonus Mile Group in downtown Livermore--5 minutes to the see the BIG GROUP waiting a few blocks away (PC)|
Then the killer section--a few miles of a steep climb. Cisco Dave, Ray, Rebecca and I took off--though Dave may have been the only one happy with the effort. In past years I would be motivated to try to hang on, but now it was what the F, I'm gonna kill myself trying to hang with this group (and in current condition I wouldn't last anyway.) I stopped and pulled the camera out, got parting shots of Ray and Rebecca, and waited to see who the first person up in the next group would be.
|Dr. Dave and Todd in front of the pelaton passing an octopus on the road leading into the Mines Road Climb (PC)|
|Christine and Rebecca on lead in to Mines Road(WI)|
|Ray looks happy that the steep part of Mines Road is over(PC)|
|(1)Ward and Dr. Dave on Mines Road (PC) (2) Dr. Dave and me (Cisco Dave)|
|Chairman Ward (PC)|
|Ward spots some of the SF Naked bike riders off course (PC)|
|My Time RXS Pedal converts to Speedplay size(WI)|
|Jack picnicking at Mines Road Junction when everyone else is evening out their tan (PC)|
|Dr. Dave brings little heated ear warmers (PC)|
Cisco Dave didn't even suggest in humor to continue to Mt Hamilton. The return back was into a cold wind. On the steep climb out of the Junction I quickly fell behind the lead group, the second group, the preschool group. Don came along and we rode up the climb seemingly at a snails pace--but somehow left Jack far behind. A few years back Don and I successfully raced the Mt Tam Double together, and I'd let him set the pace on the climbs where he was slower and he'd let me set the pace in the downhills where I was slower--and in this way we stuck together. Today we did the same thing and it worked again though we were going about 1/4 the speed we did at Mt Tam.
At the top of the climb Ward, Christine, Dr. Dave and Todd were waiting and we formed a good 6 man working group into the downhill headwind. When we first joined up I told Christine I'd like to get a ride back with her when we got returned to Livermore. The gradual downhill pack riding was nice, albeit dodging small falling rocks off the sheer rock wall. Occasionally a motorcycle sped by. This part was going well, and I started having thoughts of getting a lift back to the start --'hmmm, you can do the whole 120.'
|I think Cisco Dave (and later Ward) purposely flatted so they could wear Todd's flat changing gloves. Dr. Dave on the lookout for the neutral support motorcycle that should have a spare wheel (PC)|
For me next section was a disaster--a few short downhill sections before the long one--I usually fall off here but come back on the interceding short uphill rollers. Not today where I rode gingerly on the rollers. Group was soon way up the road--Dr. Dave hung back to ride with me. He was feeling good so he'd tack on a 6 mile Del Valle climb after hitting the bottom.
|The pygmy ponies by the dental floss bush (Children of the 60's will get this reference) (PC)|
|Relaxing after return to Livermore (WI)|
Typical boring ride thru Livermore. Collier Canyon was windy as all get out! Ray sat off the back most (all?) of the way up Collier so he was able to enjoy the full effect of the wind. I don't know how much physical difference it made to be in a paceline, but mentally watching the wheel in front made it easier to keep the pace up.
|Springtime group waits for Ward to change his flat. Doesn't look windy--I want to see the video (WI)|
Heading to Blackhawk, Ward flatted out his rear wheel…we got a nice break. Group did not seem to be much of a hurry since the rest of the gang was on the other side of the road calling out for pizza. Pumping took a bit longer than usual as Ward had a mini pump. GPS trace says group was stationary for about 13 minutes. Ward took a photo of the group, as the trees were in bloom, the sky blue, and the grass green.
We all just wanted the ride to end…boring flat windy ride home! All our legs were toast by the time we hit rudgear! No Sprint ;o) Everybody wanted Rebecca to write this section of the report but Rebecca didn't know what happened unless she has eyes in the back of her head (since she spent so much time at/near the front).
Nobody wanted to do North Gate.