If Morgan Territory-Patterson Pass is my favorite Diablo Cyclist local ride, Calaveres runs a close 2nd. The regular ride is @80 miles, the Calavares lead in and climb is gentle and rustic, and it is such a fast route we usually get a large club turnout. From Calavaras we have options of doing (gulp) Sierra Road, Palomares, or the ez side of Mt Hamilton. The only bad thing about this ride is the afternoon return is down heavily controlled (red lights) San Ramon-Danville Blvd. On the other hand we'd pass though the cute little town of Sunol twice.
Bonus is that this was the first hot weekend day of the year. 82 degrees in Livermore---not a killer day but a nice for heat acclimation. Got to break out the mesh gloves--making sure to suntan the back of my hands so I don't get burnt like last year.
We started out with a big group. Bill, who was seriously injured a few months ago was back--unfortunately he had tyre trouble. (So did Jose, though his tyre trouble was his fault--no tread on the tyre so he couldn't do the last climb/ downhill of the day.) Mike, who was seriously ill a few months back, did his longest ride of the year and kept up with the pace on the way out.
Cisco Dave must be tapering for Devil Mountain Double next week. He didn't propose Sierra Road or going up Mt Diablo on the way back. It was a good ride for him as I figure you need 3 rides in the heat to acclimate, and this will help if next week is a scorcher.
Ride started with a San Diego Dude in Liverstrong shorts passing our group early without saying anything, which is like waving a red flag to a bull. A few of us chased him down and then took flyers off the front. 80 more miles to go--eh, lets make this as hard as possible. Usually like doing the first 20 miles in the small chainring but this was big chainring almost from the start.
Encountered someone who bought her drivers license on Ebay. First she came off a side street and right turned her minivan wide right in front of our group--OK--about 30' in front of us, so there was minimal braking and this was just annoying. But then she fixated on a driveway (leading to sheep shearing, obvlious to us, and right turned again about 5' in front of us which led to lots of hard braking and yelling "what the F are you thinking" while she looked dazed and clueless. Wonder why cyclists wear all those bright colors.
Rest of ride to Sunol was uneventful--not too much traffic on San Ramon-Danville Blvd in the morning so we get a few green lights, and once we cross the highway Foothill Road is pretty light on both traffic and traffic controls. I thought I drank enough last evening but using scientific color analysis at our first rest stop I was badly mistaken.
|OK-I admit, I always wanted to make something like this into a cycling jersey (PC)|
|Cisco Dave and Christine at Sunol train depot. Cisco is faster than the steam engine (PC)|
|I'm enjoying the warm weather at Sunol train depot (CB)|
|Christine at Sunol train depot-we finally got the tourists out from the background (PC)|
|Rebecca and Ward at Sunol Train depot with century rest stop reminder in the background (PC)|
|Cisco Dave on Calaveras (PC)|
|Rebecca on Calaveras--ok, I'm getting out of your way (PC)|
|Ward, Rebecca, Cisco and Jose do the Calaveras Wall bonus climb (PC)|
|Ward ready to blurt out "lets do Sierra Road" and Rebecca waiting to say "I never did it--sounds good." But luckily Ward was quiet while resting at the turnaround (PC)|
I made a mistake on the ride back. On warm days I can empty two bottles on the 30 mile out and back from Sunol-Calavares-Sunol. I should have gotten another small bottle of water in Sunol and stuffed in my jersey pocket--but I forgot to. Starting back I had about 1/4 bottle left--which went fast. When we reached a speedy section (the whole trip back is slightly downhill) I fell off the paceline and soon everyone was 200'-300'-800'...down the road. It would be suicidal and not successful to try to get back to the paceline unless my name was Fabian Cancallara or Cisco Dave, so I just put my head down and figured I'd ride hard but not kill myself and we'd regroup in Sunol. But Ward was waiting for me about a mile away, then Cisco Dave another mile away, and they pulled me back to the group.
Off to the Sunol Park for LOTS OF WATER before getting another frozen fruit pop. Mike was going to call it a day so he went back with a few others the way we had come into Sunol earlier. The rest of us were going to go down busy Niles Canyon Road (lots of traffic-minimal shoulder) to Palomares (semi steep climb but rustic with little traffic.)
|As seen in Sunol--that video screen on top of the handlebars is larger than my television (PC)|
Heat of the day but Palomares is nicely tree lined. Franco doing his first 100 miler with us and he was worried that we'd hammer up Palomares but I told him that the bonus mile group watches out for each other, and someone will come down for the last climber. Cisco and Rebecca took off, Ward joined me, and we had a nice businesslike pace going up Palomares. When we got to the top I was feeling good so I turned around and rode back down to come up with Franco.
|Cisco and Ward, the two debutants, lead up the Palomares climb. I'm checking those white arm warmers for illegal substances (PC)|
|Ward near the end of Palomares climb (PC)|
I again unhooked on the downhill, made some progress getting back to the peloton, caught up to Franco and was pulling him along when someone came by. Nice recovery by Franco--glad he can take a turn. But it wasn't Franco, it was Cisco Dave who had pulled into a driveway, and he pulled me back to the larger group where then Ward, Cisco and I the upped the pace to the end of the road.
Only two more climbs for Franco to suffer on--Dublin Canyon--long but gentle climb on the service road next to the highway, usually with favorable tailwind--and Schaefer Ranch Road--short but double digits. Past HISTORIC Dublin--or so the sign says. I had to stop and take a photo with our regroup stop right down the road.
|Dublin Heritage Park (PC)|
Usually back at the park we start making a bee line is straight to the bathroom. Today we sweated out any excess liquid so no need to stop. Average speed is closer to 17 than 16--which means we didn't add enough climbs. Which is fine if you ain't training for nuttin. Enjoyable ride.