Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finding Bolinas Metric (2013)

(September 14, 2103)  Finding Bolinas Metric, w/ Dr Dave and Christine, 110km, flat ride 1,117 meters elevation gain (Christine's Garmin), 1,286 meters elevation gain (Dave's Garmin), 16.0 mph

Mt Tam and San Quentin (far right)--most expensive real estate for a prison in America?
Another mid-week out of town ride proposal as our local club seems to be on life support.   (Last week the most popular local route had 2 people show up)   This week's club ride has died in popularity so Dr. Dave and I concocted an out-of town ride that we hoped would appeal to many of our club members who complain that our rides are too hilly.  So we proposed to start in San Rafael and ride directly out to Pt. Reyes Station (home to #2 bakery in California.)    No Mt Tam--No Marshall Wall.   From there we'd head down the rollers on Highway 1 to the lost town of Bolinas.   Our return would also avoid the Mt Tam or Marshall Wall climbs and be relatively flat. 

So our alternative appealed to one other person--Christine. 

The start at Lucas Valley Road was unsettling as customarily no wind at all in the morning--and a great tailwind upon the afternoon return.  Today, however, there was a constant cold headwind.    Christine, out of the Cisco Dave school, laughed at the thought of knee warmers though Dr. Dave and I were bundled up.   Dr. Dave and I, out of the Blinky Ray school, brought front and rear lights to use later on Highway 1 with no shoulder, but in the Lucas Valley mist we turned it on early.  Dr. Dave went for prime visibility--he had a new shiny red saddle (and also was test riding a 11 speed 11-32 which replaced his triple.)

I love the @12 miles up Lucas Valley with the moderate climb up to Big Rock and the descent among the redwoods to Nicasio--I flashed back to my last race here, now a touch over a year ago.   Like the old people we are, Dr. Dave and I were bs'ing about health insurance--my work just offered my two dozen choices apart from Kasier.  I'm getting dizzy reading about 72% of negotiated charges for a tier 2 provider after the deductible unless see the small print in footnote 87.  One plan indicates different allowable charges and reimbursements for a preferred and non preferred ambulance.  If I go with them I better put on my road ID what ambulance companies are allowed to transport me.

Dr. Dave puzzles--his P-Phone tells him that Johan van Horneren is now leading the Vuelta.
At Nicasio Dr. Dave said we have to stop.  OK--emergency outhouse stop.  NO.  Dr. Dave had to check to see how Chris Horner was doing--the OLDEST guy ever to win a Grand Tour (and first American since Greg LeMond.)  I really don't follow the Grand Tours but love when the oldest guy in the race wins.

Dr Dave penned something funny in a group email earlier this week when I was nonplussed about the Vuelta:

Horner hasn't won Paris-Roubaix, so Mr. Pumpkin only knows him vaguely as "that guy Dave likes." Now, if his name were Johan van Horneren, and he lived in Smurfgarten and rode for Domo French Fries in the 1820s, Mr. Pumpkin  might know everything about him.

When we were in Nicasio a filmmaker came over to us and said he needs some footage of cyclists so can we circle the town square (softball field) while his buddy films us.  We didn't check to see where this may wind up--some stock footage in some porno film no doubt.  So our bonus mileage was another loop of Nicasio.  

Christine, Dave and I ride at around the same pace, so we had a nice rotating paceling going into the wind.   Two small groups sped by and no thought of trying to join in.  When we finally made a turn and some rollers began (first large controlled intersection in 15 miles) two guys sped by without saying anything but at a manageable pace, so we all hooked on behind them.  The guy riding 2nd wheel looked like he was about to fall off his buddy's pace on every hill, but he hung in there spinning madly--so I sat in 3rd wheel.   Right before the last big roller two other guys flew by our group, and I think that got the front riders dander up so he picked up the pace on the hill, #2 died so I jumped ahead and went with #1, and we passed the two guys wnho had just passed us.  This was the only hi jinx all day. 

Retirement project in Pt. Reyes Station.
Foggy in Pt. Reyes Station.   Called ahead to reserve two great Whole Wheat Oat Scones which usually sell out early.  They are so big I only ate half and the other half later in Bolinas.   The 2nd I'd bring back for Ms. Pumpkin; they are so big they almost filled up my handlebar bag.  In Pt. Reyes Station a retirement village was being built by local seniors.

Who knew that adding a red seat would make Dr. Dave look faster.  (Christine thinks its the pink ribbon engraved on the saddle)

Christine and Dave in Dogtown.

Leaving Pt. Reyes Station we took a short detour then were on Coast Highway 1 for about 10 miles.   This part isn't on the Coast so at least no drivers looking at the ocean while zooming past.  Unfortunately no shoulder either--this is why we brought the xmas light display for the bikes.   Some serious rollers out to Bolinas--a long downhill out of Dogtown where I'd enjoy the steep series of rollers when we go the other way.     Passed about every minute by a car but everyone was laid back and didn't pass on curves or try other stupid car tricks.

Around Dogtown, about 80% of the way to Bolinas, the sun emerged.  All of a sudden the bright vest and knee and arm warmers didn't seem like a good idea.    Another bad idea was that Christine got to the front and started a nice pull. She had never been to Bolinas and didn't know that the twonfolks have a long history of tearing down any town markers/ directional signs posted on the main road.  Sure enough, when Dave and I suddenly recognized the unmarked turnoff and slowed Christine was still hammering and suddenly way down the road.    When Christine came back we filled her in on Bolinas's counterculture and isolationist history.

David Jaap and his Burma artwork castings

Assorted pictures of our group in David's front yard with the magnificent entry gate and artwork.
A few years ago Dr. Dave, I and Ward did this ride and we came across an artist who teaches in Burma and does concrete replaces of Burmese wood carvings.  I liked his stuff so much that the next day I drove back and bought a few for my garden.   Sure enough David Jaap was still outside selling artwork from his driveway.  His driveway quickly disappears into a rural unpaved road where he has a cabin, and a magnificent entry gate outside.    He gave us DVD's of his new projects in Burma--happy that in the last few years it politically has loosened up, but saddened that the chain stores were now moving in.  

At the end of the road--Bolinas
About another mile into downtown Bolinas--which consists of a couple of restaurants-a general store-a local gas station-a small hardware and a few other mom and pop stores.  The road quickly ends at an undeveloped beach that sits across a lagoon from the popular Stinson Beach.  Dave, Christine and I picnicked on the last piece of pavement before the secluded beach.

We each find the general store mural that speaks to us.

We're filled in about the history of the BOLINAS sign on the main road disappearing

Homage to Ward--Dr. Dave taking BO*GAS sign on his P-Phone
I bought too much water and at the park adjacent to the general store an older lady was selling jewelry crafts and we offered the extra water to her.  This turned out to be great as Julia? told us about the history of the Bolinas sign removal (22 minutes the record after Cal-Trans put it up), and reminded us that chain store filled Pacifica is as far South from San Francisco as Bolinas is North--"and look what happened to IT."

Any resemblance to Christine is purely coincidental

Bike path art in Bolinas
On ride back we noted the bike path leading to the antique schoolhouse was filled with artwork--kids had painted cyclists on the path as an official class project.   Very different than the ubiquitous sterile stencil found on most of suburban bike paths. 

Dr. Dave wants to throw Christine in the lagoon after she noted that his new saddle is red and pink.

Dave and Christine zoom up the fun rollers on Highway 1.
Ride back was along the same stretch of Highway 1 where, in honor of Chris Horner, Dr. Dave attacked and attacked on my favorite three tiered rollers until I couldn't keep up.  Then we took an alternate route which bypassed Pt. Reyes Station.  Sure enough, when we turned towards Nicasio the afternoon tailwind took full effect and suddenly we were zooming through Nicasio, up to Big Rock, down the 23 hairpins, and the speedway back to San Rafael.   On my pull I thought I hit 29.8 trying to get to 30; Christine came around and thought she did the same.   Both of us disappointed we didn't see the magic "30" mph,  but Dr. Dave assured us we had hit 30.   And then all of a sudden, just like always, the street where we parked and this great ride was suddenly over.


Anonymous said...

That's not a retirement project, it's a Diablo Cyclist club meeting.

Diablo Scott said...

Horner never won a Flemish Classic, but he won the San Francisco Grand Prix one year!