Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sacramento Bike Trail and Auburn--The Marty "Herms" Herman Memorial Century (2014)

(July 29, 2014)  Sacramento Bike Trail and Auburn--The Marty "Herms" Herman Memorial Century (2014)  99 1/2 miles, 3160' climbing, (1800' is on 34 mile Auburn segment)


Martin "Herms" Herman--as a few of us joked this is a photo of Herms
racing after a fly ball in the outfield.   Big and strong and fast he had
to be the most "unquick" person we knew.   As we were always playing
ball he was teased a lot but always kept calm and was always good natured.
Unfortunately I saw him again only a couple of times in the
last 36 years and though we had good long conversations on the phone,
and always promised to talk more often, the calls remained infrequent.
Suddenly taken away by cancer--RIP to a good guy.
I usually take off the week before a big event and my idea of a tapering ride is the Sacramento Bike trail.   I did it solo a month ago when the temperature touched 92, now the retiree group wasn't going to do it with temperatures touching 100, so it was solo again.   Probably best that I was solo as unsociable due to my childhood friends sudden terminal illness, and our failure to get together more often in recent years.   As I had just done the 75 mile Sacramento Bike trail (includes the few mile add on to Old Town,) I figured I would make this ride more interesting and when I got to Folsom take the aptly named Folsom-Auburn road to ________________. (This is to see if you are paying attention.) 

Metrics and description of the great Sacramento bike trail can be found in my blog from a month ago  click here.
Two minute video of the Sacramento Bike trail and the disappearing Folsom Lake.  Nothing special--
no commentary added.  At 1:52 is my favorite shaded little rest spot on the trail where I want my
 ashes eventually spread--and here is where I got the news about Herms.
Same start at Sac State, still took the steel GT bike w a rack (and flatland gearing) so could load it up with food.  Kept in the small ring on the trail so could spin a lot.  As the 25 added miles would be the slow miles of the course (slightly uphill with some long rollers to Auburn) and the temperature would be hotter than last months ride:
-Didn't detour to the Folsom Historic District
-Didn't sit out at Folsom Lake for picnic (just took quick photo)
-Didn't come back via the Folsom Dam and Folsom Prison
-Didn't add on Old Town Sacramento (so no soft serve ice cream)
Making this trip unique:
-Took video camera with idea of making a Sacramento Bike Trail movie, but because of the heat trail was almost deserted on afternoon ride back.  Nice and shaded in the morning, not so much in the afternoon.
-The ride out to Auburn is on a well paved road with a nice shoulder and quickly goes from strip mall to rustic development to gleaming subdivisions on steroids, with lots of traffic at both ends.   Nothing special.  Also kinda slow as slightly uphill with some significant uphill rollers.  Just when I started thinking that it was a mistake to do this section another cyclist came by and we bs'd about rides we've done--both agreeing that the Sierra Century was the greatest.  When they turned off only a few miles remain to Auburn.
-Shifter cable was "stuck" in the shifter coming back from Auburn, which is slightly downhill, so couldn't get out of the x27.    So I was either spinning like madly in the 53x27 or gave up and just coasted.  Good bike shop next to Folsom Lake got bike to shift when they got it off the floor and with very light tension on the pedals--but they had no idea how they did it.   Half way back on the bike trail there is an 18% option which I took and again bike wouldn't come out of the x27.  Luckily I did what they did at the bike shop and cable/ shifter unfroze.  I was sick of fn spinning.
-Folsom Lake has even less water in it than last month--I think they gave out on the concept of swimming--moving the lifeguard chairs back 900' from where the water now starts.
-Old town Auburn looks a lot like old town Folsom.  Best thing there was getting ice for the drinks.
-Finally, in the how strange department.  I am not religious (more like anti religious) and when my wife asks me what they should do with me if I go first, I tell her have me cremated and sprinkle my ashes on the American River along the Sacramento Bike trail.  The spot to do so is a little picnic area close to the college.  The first time I every did the Sacramento Bike trail 16? years ago for 40? miles on a hybrid bike I got to this little rest spot--chained up my bike, and slept on one of the tables for an hour or more.     Now, every time I pass it or get water  I fondly remember "my favorite rest/ sleeping" spot.   So today I pull in to get water, glance at my phone (as I had sent Dr. Dave a text showing him the water level at Folsom Lake); I did get a text but it was from one of my old friends back home who wrote "Herms Slipping."  What a weird place to get that text.
 Photos (1) Bike shoppe display (2) No water in Folsom Lake (3 & 4) HS & Courthouse in Auburn
(5) Selfie on the Bike trail

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mt. Tam without the Seven Sisters Loop (2014)

(7/26/2014) Mt Tam without the Kardashian Sisters Loop, 75 miles (inc 8 mile bonus at the beginning), 5,200' climbing.  With Dr. Dave, Cisco Dave, Grasshopper Matt, Christine the 1st, Southern California Kris, Penguin Don, Captain Jack.   (I'm Mickey--mixing the 'Rocky' and 'Karate Kid' movies together)
Climbs and Towns

Significant climbs

Big Rock Westbound

.9 miles, 8%

Mt Tam

White's Hill-                      .7 mile, 187', 5% (steady grade)
Drop Down into Fairfax-2.1 miles, -4% (straight drop down)
First Climb-                    3.2 miles, 945 feet, 5% (steady grade)
Drop Down-                   4  miles, -4% (downhill rollers)
Reclimb-                         2   miles, 919 feet, 8% (with .4 mile 17% section)
Seven Sisters-                         3.7 miles, 558 feet of rollers, 2%

100 degrees inland had us thinking about the Coast--where temperatures can be 30 degrees less in Northern California.  Actually thinking about a lot of things, none of them good.  I was going to ride solo in Marin but Dr. Dave proposed a Marin ride in lieu of the inland Diablo Cyclist club ride.   I helped spread the word and we had a nice turnout 1 week before the Mt Tam Double--even without a route finalized.   Matt is going to do the Mt. Tam Double, he's never done ANY part of the course, so it was fortuitous timing.  Dr. Dave and I are doing the Mt. Shasta Super Century next week, a ride we both never finished.

I didn't sleep well so woke up early, which was more fortuitous timing.   My minor problem is that for two years I thought I had arthritis, as my hand under the thumb joint continually hurts.  The last few weeks it’s gotten worse so I looked extensively online and found (good news) it’s not arthritis, (bad news) its carpal tunnel, which I had thought only affected the wrist.  So I've taken sleeping and working with heavy duty wrist wraps, and a medium duty one when riding.  The good news is that most medical articles indicate that wraps might resolve the problem without surgery--but between a partially torn ACL that I have to wrap when cycling, and varicose veins under control with compression calf guards--I look like I'm doing a commercial for ACE Bandage Wraps.

The major problem is that I am going back to the homeland for a wedding in a month and started sending out emails to see if I can get many from my old ball team together.   Growing up we had a dozen guys basically inseparable for 8 years--I've seen a few of the group 2-3x at most in 35 years.
My lame excuse is that I live so far away, but out of the people who stayed in the area almost no one has seen anyone else.  A more socially delinquent group may never have existed.   So I get one email back that one of our childhood friends was just send home for hospice care--he had less than a week to live.   This will be the 3rd person of 12 from our old ball team that is now gone.   We wanted to be like the Pittsburg Steelers but not like this. 

Grizzly Mark--tapering on a 120 mile ride
In any event got to the start of the ride a hour before our club was going to meet, and figured I'd ride over and take some photos of Marin Civic Center while brooding about.   Instead I find the Grizzly Peak Cyclists preparing for a tapering ride, and a good cycling friend Grizzly Mark.   When we first met on Doubles we tried to ride each other into the ground, later we'd usually found each other on the course near the end, and we'd run a strong two man at the end of the race.  He's also slowed down a lot but is still doing doubles and his group was going to do a tapering ride on the Mt. Tam Course--120 miles!  He invited me to ride with his group, at least until the first hill shows up, which was perfect as I could then double back for my Diablo Cyclist ride.  Dr. Dave showed up right before we left as he would never believe that someone (apart from me) was doing a 120 mile tapering ride the week before an event.


Nice turnout for an impromptu ride-good choice as it would top out at 100 degrees back in Walnut Creek, while inland Marin reached 83 and the coast would even be cooler.  Problem was that there was no consensus on the route we were going to do.  Some people wanted to do the Marshall Wall loop, I wanted to do the whole of Mt. Tam via Fairfax, others said that Mt. Tam was OK if we didn't do the four miles of "Seven Sister Rollers" at the top.  So it was up Mt. Tam but cutting it short, a little disappointed but I could live with it.  Hell, when we got to the "Seven Sister Rollers" I could take off and solo that part.

The route we were doing was the start of the Mt. Tam Double and I'm always psyched for it--but today planned to ride sanely with the group.  Matt and Cisco Dave are light years ahead of me now, and when only one of them is with our group they'll do a lot of pulling and help keep our group together.  I figured, correctly, that with both of them together they'd push each other all day and constantly be ahead of the pack.   When we'd start a segment or regroup I'd give Matt lots of pointers for the Mt. Tam Double, as there are lots of places to paceline between climbs.   Case in point was when Matt & Cisco were ahead of the group and a strong rider came along on the flats hammering and I'd jump on their wheel and coast by Matt & Cisco; of course this revved them up and they soon shoot by.

Diablo Cyclists go down Sir Francis Drake towards Fairfax and Mt. Tam
All notions of riding sanely with the group ended when we hit the first climb--Big Rock Hill.  Matt and Cisco shot on ahead, I'm taking it easy and passed two guys with Mike's Bikes jerseys standing off the road.   Get about a quarter way up the climb and one Mike's Bike guy--earbuds in both ears (smart thing to do when cars pass closely by) shoots by without saying anything.  He's going so fast he looks like he'll catch Matt and Cisco Dave.  I don't care, I rev up ignoring that it suddenly gets nice and warm and my heart is racing.   Soon I'm closing in on the guy , he hears me coming and starts standing.   Now standing is a real inefficient way to climb, and I can still stand on many short climbs so I know I got him.  I pass by while he is weaving--telltale sign that his climb is over.  Matt and Cisco waiting at the top of Big Rock but I don't want to stop as I'm not a good descended, we now have a fast @6 miles, and I don't want to see Mike's Bikes Guy again.  In any event it was decided that whoever got to Nicasio first would pick the route we were going to do, and I wanted to make sure we were headed to Mt. Tam.

The Dave's talking about the benefit of pink cable housing
Christine in a special rainbow world champion jersey
Dr. Dave pulled in and he indicates that he discovered a frayed cable which he'll want a bike shop in Fairfax to look at.    Over a few more hills to Fairfax where our group splits getting into town.  We spot a convenient bike shop we never went into (a few years ago another bike shop in town had to replace my derailleur when it exploded on Mt. Tam.)   Dr. & Cisco Dave Matt, Christine and I stopped at the bike shop while the other part of the group pressed on--maybe figuring it was a quick fix.  Well, problem is that this was seemingly a mountain bike shop, the mechanic slowly started changing Dave's cable while roofers were going THUMP THUMP BANG THUMP right over our head for a half hour.  When we left we thought the other half of our group would be at the Fairfax 7-11 but they weren't.   (Where the F are those guys)

La Gazzetta Delo Sport guy checking to see if he should call out when passing other cyclists and what side of the road he should ride on.  Everyone regrouping at Alpine Lake.
Climb up Mt. Tam was great.  With apologies to Diablo Scott, it’s much more interesting than climbing Mt. Diablo.  The first part is Diablolike, with a steady grade.  Then a long, rolling, twisty downhill to Alpine Lake.  Then you have to reclimb much of what you already did on a road with a mild grade interrupted by steep hairpins.  On the Mt. Tam Double I was always passed going down to Alpine Lake and then would repass on the fun climb out of it.  Today some turkey shoots by on the downhill on the narrow road without saying a word, and then takes the WRONG side of the road into a blind turn.  Again kumbaya out the window and I'd flash by the guy on the short uphill sections and he'd come around on the longer downhill ones--again going into a turn ON THE WRONG SIDE of the road on a curve.  Figured I'd drop him for good on the climb out of Alpine Dam but both my group and his group had a regrouping on Alpine Dam--in the shade.   (It was almost hot)

Matt and Cisco Dave start the Mt Tam climb from Alpine Lake.

Both parts of the club come together at the top of Fairfax-Bolinas Road.
Matt asks Cisco for a section of the cycling newspaper for the downhill.  Why is Lance pissed off and pointing at Cisco Dave??
Nice climb up through the redwoods with the twisty steep hairpins.  I used to know this road down to every detail--today I forgot where the last hairpin before the ridgeline was.  Nice guy came along and passed me, spotted my jersey,  and asked if I was doing the Mt. Tam Double next week.  Told him I was retired from doubles but I do wish I could still ride them like I did a few years ago.

Big surprise at the top--the other half of our club had been waiting for us in the densely shaded redwood grove.    At least that is what they told us--I'm sure they had gone out and back on the Seven Sisters Mt Tam ridgeline.  Any thought I had of doing the ridgeline was gone after the 1/2 hr delay at the bike shop, and F it, my hand was hurting on the climb.

Which was nothing compared to my hand HURTING on the twisty downhill on Bolinas-Fairfax Road every time I touched the brake.  Many cyclists coming up, luckily no cars.  Where are those sudden, unmarked hairpins again?   Fog was rolling in on this side of Tam; was glad I took a small headlight with me. 

Fog broke when we got down to Highway 1.  BIG PLUS--lots of fun rollers on this section among great smelling stands of eucalyptus trees.   Example of one such roller (if you can stand the whole way it’s a roller)

Dogtown Fun Roller
.9 miles, 281, 6%


 BIG MINUS--lots of cars, with no shoulder.  Wish I would have brought a rear blinking light. 


Big break at Pt Reyes Station---one guy from the hippie fest followed us and thinks he hears the Grateful Dead


Don at the Coach Toby Training compound practicing his climbing and descending
This wasn't flat so couldn't paceline.  Matt and Cisco Dave zoomed on ahead.   Dr. Dave, I, Christine and Don form another group and Jack and Kris rode together shortly behind.   On the first roller (derision for using that term from the group who felt it was an Fn hill.) I stood the whole way, on the next one I sat and spun like crazy while Dr. Dave stood.   Christine, wearing the florescent world champions rainbow jersey had enough of our goofing around, and she hammered the next few miles while Dr. Dave and I hung on.  That got me psyched so when I went to the front I continued to keep the pace high.

Regroup when we turn off Highway 1 for the run in to Pt Reyes Station but first Jack detoured us into the Pt Reyes Visitors Center, which was great as I just ran out of water.  Then we passed the Pt Reyes Station Far West Hippie Fest--sundress city.  I wanted to go but wasn't dressed properly.  Kris was in an all black kit that collected heat all day, and she definitely wasn't dressed for the Far West Hippie Fest--Christine with her multicolor rainbow jersey would have fit in. 

Then into town for the great Vegan Whole-wheat Scone.  Numerous people followed my lead and ordered it--I think that they liked it isn't overly sweet and that they could save half for both dinner and tomorrows breakfast.  Actually I wish Cisco and Matt had eaten a whole whipped cream cake so I could keep up with them. 


Grasshopper Matt zooming by the Nicasio School---he'll be zooming by it next week close to the finish of the Mt. Tam Double.
Leaving Pt Reyes Station one cyclist with a homemade sign on his back, one that looked like it was ripped off a bum on the side of the highway entrance ramp, came by our whole group on the hill out of town.   The sign said something like "....2 feet, stay away"   Couldn't read the whole thing--surely a passing  motorist couldn't make anything out.  Was it meant for other cyclists?  Soon Matt and Cisco were chasing back to the guy--meanwhile someone big and fast came by when the road flatted out, I went hitchhiking again, got into the guys draft, and was soon by Matt and Cisco.   That has Cisco Dave start chirping about I am Mr. Myagi with all the tips I was giving Grasshopper Matt.  Either all of Dave’s chirping or that we were now within 2 feet from him, has the cyclist sign guy quickly pull off the road.  Then Cisco and Matt took off and the big guy continued to pull me closely behind.   Dr. Dave, Christine and I regrouped and then Dr. Dave made a great bridge up to Cisco and Matt for the fast ride back to Nicasio.

We all all came together before Nicasio, and did a few crit laps so the other half of the club could hook on.   Matt and Cisco shot up Lucas Valley Road--a great slight uphill with a tailwind.  Dr. Dave and Don dropped back to watch for Jack and Kris.  Christine and I tried to slam Lucas Valley--at least ride to the point of exhaustion.

Big Rock Eastbound
.2 miles 595 feet 6%

The Big Rock Eastbound momentum killing roller is a climb I love, and for the month Christine and I were in the top 78% of all Strava riders on this segment.  But we were pikers compared to  Cisco Dave and Matt who were ahead of  98% of the other Strava riders who had done the same climb in the last month. 

Christine and I slow to regroup with the rest of our squad coming off Big Rock, and then a great paceline back to the start.  Damn--this ride is always over too quickly.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Palomares Loop Bookended by Mt. Diablo Junction Climbs Century (2014)

(July 19, 2014)  Palomares Loop Bookended by Mt. Diablo Junction Climbs Century, w Dr. Dave, Matt* and Jack, 99 miles, 7090' climbing.  Middle of the ride with the Diablo Cyclists.
(*Matt went all the way up Mt Diablo at the end 

Significant Climbs
Mt Diablo North Gate to Junction...................6.6 miles, 1825'  5%
Palomares (from the South)..............................4.5 miles, 1058' 4%
Dublin Canyon Road (from the west)..............2.6 miles,   475' 3%, which leads into the
Muur de Schaefer............................................... .3 miles,   159' 10%
Mt Diablo South Gate (Athenian) to Junction.6.4 miles, 1575'  5%

Didn't we just do Mt. Diablo as many times as you can until you drop, in prep for the Alta Alpina?  Now Dr. Dave and I have the Mt. Shasta Summit Super Century in two weeks, and Matt is in for the Mt. Tam Double on the same weekend, which had been my favorite.  Dave and I had talked about doing the Mt. Diablo repeats again but he came up with a much better idea---to ride "half way" up Mt. Diablo before and after our club ride--the metric Palomares Loop which features the Palomares climb. 

The only part of Dr. Dave's plan I didn't like was leaving Heather Farms at 7:15, but apart from lack of sleep it was nice enough once I got going.  Funny, the area was surrounded by low lying clouds, unusual for California Summers.  It would rapidly warm up when we returned at 9:00 to start the Club ride, and there would be more humidity in the air than usual.    Would be great returning to the car as I could dump off excess clothes and had a partially frozen Perpetuem bottle, and Gatoraid bottle for the rest of the ride.
Crowd at the start of the Century.

Dr. Dave and Matt on start of Mt Diablo Climb--unusual cloudy California summer sky.

Dr. Dave and Matt at the Junction before the Diablo Cyclists club ride--a month ago this place was jammed with cyclist training for the Death Ride.
Met up with Matt and Dave and the foot of Diablo--we were always out of synch with Jack on the climbs as he's start way ahead or behind us.   We rode up at an ez conversational pace, Dave and I telling Matt about the interesting Mt. Tam course.  We weren't keeping the speed artificially low as we did on the 'Mt. Diablo Till You Drop' ride, when we'd slow down when we hit 200 watts.   Today we were 2 1/2 minutes faster than a month ago.  Also different-- now post Death Ride the mountain was pretty quiet; maybe 1/5th of the riders on Mt. Diablo today than a month ago.  At the Junction we all wolfed down an energy bar and headed back down.  We were puzzled that we never caught/ saw Jack, as he had texted that he'd start a little before us.   Just when we started going down Jack was about 500' short of his Junction arrival.

Cool descent though I overdressed with both a vest and rainjacket.  No stopping to "strip" as we had to make haste back to where our Club ride started.  Our timing was impeccable, we arrived back for the 9:00 Diablo Cyclist ride at 8:55.   The rain jacket, knee warmers, arm warmers, tshirt went into the trunk and out came the new refreshments.  Bunch of new riders at the start--at least ones I didn't recognize.   When I hit the bathroom I heard a familiar voice--Ward was coming off the DL again and would do the flat part of the ride with the Club.

Paceline mistake--Rider in the front trying to get into a time trial position and suddenly zig sagging--in a paceline keep your hands on the bars.  (WI Moto 3)
The beginning of the Club ride is flat along the main street connecting Alamo-Danville-San Ramon-Dublin; busy during the return trip but not too bad in the morning.  After Dublin there is a nice stretch without many traffic controls or traffic.   One new rider was zig sagging while trying his psudeo time trial position;, I didn't realize he was the same person riding unevenly at Tunitas Creek last week.  Actually I was almost never riding mid pack to notice, I was either riding in the back of the paceline to make sure that no one I knew fell off, or would go to the front and pull a little before rotating back.  I didn't know how Ward would do, but in Wardlike fashion he was going to the front and cranking up the pace numerous times.

On the run in to Sunol there is an annoying little hill that kills me

Mur* de Sunol--  .7 miles, 83' 2% (*I don't like it so we'll make it French)

I do much better on a climb (Schaefer) later than is half as long but 5x as steep.  We had a fast moving paceline into Sunol, and the inevitable was to watch young Andy rocket away from us on the Mur de Sunol with 1000 watts of power if we all went into it together.   So the old guys--Dr. Dave and I--reached into the bag of tricks.  Dr. Dave volunteered to cause trouble and jump off the front--my job being to slow the peloton down.  Either Dave would have a free ride as he disappeared down the road or I'd get a free ride back to him.  The "Old 2001" !!"

Dave took off, no one chased, and I went to the front and soft pedaled as Dave moved further and further down the road--great.    All of a sudden a rider flashes by me--its Matt, who is hauling butt back to Dave as I barely hang on.  He gets back to Dave right when the climb starts, I attack as soon as Matt makes contact, my attack is short lived as Matt quickly passes and just keeps zooming up with Dave hanging on and Bob coming in from the back following.   One of the two places I hit my max heart rate; now I backed off, later I wouldn't.
Funny--at Sunol my, Dave and Matt's bike lined up, and we all had top tube bags.

Nice rest stop in Sunol.  When we started down to Palomares I was in the back and we soon has a split--with Coach Andy in our group having trouble clipping in.    I stayed in the back until pedal problem were worked out--but by that time it was impossible to move up the paceline on Niles Canyon which has no shoulder and lots of traffic.   When we picked up Jack who had been dropped from the lead group was now doing the pulling and the gap between the two groups became larger and larger.  Half way down there was room for me to go to the front and pull but the gap between the groups was  great.  This may have been a blessing as it prevented me from committing suicide trying to keep up with Matt and Dr. Dave on the Palomares climb.

Warned the new riders in our group about the sudden right turn where you best be in an ez gear as Palomares is steep right on the turn in.  Rode solo up the climb where it was warm but the road is well shaded.  Cracked up when some peacocks started cackling off to the side--as they always did in the evening when this was ridden as part of DMD.   Passed a few people who had been dropped from the front group and shouted out encouragement.  Unfortunately the road was just chip sealed so occasionally you hear something rattling around the tyres--shit, how bad will the steep downhill be?    It was warm in the climb with a tinge of humidity but much of the climb is in the shade.
Motley crew regroup at top of Palomares.  Coach Andy (r) tell Young Andy (tall) to get sponsers to advertise on  his wheels

When we got to the top Matt-Dave-Andy and Bob buried in the shade, along with another cycling group.  I turned back and went back down to come up with our last rider--carrying on a great tradition that someone did in my old club a long time ago.   We all regrouped at the top and the fast downhill on the loose gravel wasn't that bad--though the signs every 500' indicating "Slow 25--Loose Gravel" were ominous.  Coach Andy had a pebble lodge in his brakes.

Next came an enjoyable climb along Hwy 580.  Its only a 3% grade for 2 1/2 miles and frequently there is a wind blowing in from the West, and we usually do it from the West>East direction.   As I'm a standing climber, and it suicide to climb standing into a headwind, I love a 3% climb with a tailwind.  The BEST part of this climb is that it turns under the freeway and on the other side is a .3 mile, 10% roller (its a roller if you can stand the whole way on it.)

Matt and I started up together.  Ahead was a guy in 'Fast Freddie' shorts who had passed our group on the Palomares downhill, now Matt and I caught him before turn into the Muur de Schaefer.
Young Andy near the top of the Muur de Schaefer after a nice and fast climb.

Dr. Dave and Bob enjoying the end of this 10% roller.

Jack sticks out his elbows and outsprints Coach Andy at the top of the Muur.

Jeanne enjoying her trip up the Muur.

For the day--of anyone posting on Strava--Matt was #3 on the Muur de Schaefer, Andy was #4 and I was 5th.  Incredible that Matt's heart rate much lower than mine and Andy had the very high estimated watt output.
On the Muur Matt scurried up ahead.  'Fast Freddie" went by me but I wasn't letting up on this climb and kicked it into gear and passed FF.  Heart rate maxed out again but didn't stop the effort until I stayed in front of FF and stomped to the top.  Still having to ride Mt Diablo again was momentarily forgotten.

Rest stop/ regroup in Schaefer Ranch and then a good paceline back--though often interrupted by the frequent red lights.   About a third of the way back we said goodbye to the larger group and turned heading to Mt. Diablo from the South side.

At this time I was sick of warm sports drink and pretty thirsty.  On the rollers out to Mt Diablo Matt, Dave and I lost Jack.   Dave said we should stop at a gas station for water--great move as I put ice in my bottles of warm sports drink, which then would greatly improve, and downed a Diet Coke.   Now it felt like a real Century ride.   While we were at the station we saw Jack roll by , and he'd reach Mt Diablo well ahead of us.
Dr. Dave doing his part druing the California drought--he washes with out of state water bottled water...

Felt good when we reached the Athenian School which is the start of the Southgate Climb--though about 3/4 mile out of the park.   Reminisced with Matt about the time before they fixed the road and this section leading into the park was covered by toilet bowl sized potholes--and the worst part of DMD was riding this stretch in the dark trying not to disappear in a pothole.  

Dr. Dave complains often how HOT it is (at least as often as I complain it is cold), but it really was hot on the Mt. Diablo Southgate climb today.  We've ridden and enjoyed hotter weather but it was humid today.  The speedway through Rock City was refreshing and enjoyable.   Any question which side of Mt. Diablo--Northgate or Southgate--was put to rest as with 70 more miles in our legs and 25 degrees warmer, we were 3 1/2 minutes faster than in the morning.

When we first started toward Mt. Diablo there was a rider about 600' in front of us moving at a good clip, and he'd frequently look back.  Usually that gets me into chase mode but we rode sensibly and this guy was always about two football fields away through Athenian and going up Diablo.  Half way up he was on the side of the road rubbling his legs like crazy--heat cramps.   After Rock City we caught Jack and then prepared for the final run in by the heliport where suddenly the fun is over and the road gets steep.
Matt and Dave on the Southgate climb.

Hey--how did I get into a photo.

Didn't we see the junction today when it was 30 degrees cooler.

88 degrees in the shade at the 2,000+' level

Jack finally sitting down at a rest stop,

Funny how in the morning having a power output of 250-275 isn't hard, now every time I thought I had to back off my power meter seemingly said 177 watts or less.   At one point I put in a jump to get a photo of Matt and Dave and I quickly had to slow and recover.   Rock City did provide relief and I felt good through the last few turns to the Junction, so much so I tried a sneak attack on Matt on the last turn before the Junction.  Well my legs wanted to go but my breathing sucked--Matt heard me coming and easily took off.

At the Junction Matt said he was going to the top.  In retrospect we should have gone also as the downhill was one of the best ever on Diablo--it was HOT.   Dave and I declined, figuring Matt is training for a hilly 200 miles and we are only training for a hilly 140 miles.  Jack, the man who never rests on rides, came in looking wiped out and he quickly grabbed a spot in the shade.
After awhile Matt went up, Dave and I went down Northgate, and Jack back down Southgate.  In late afternoon we truly owned the Mountain---saw no other cyclists or cars.
A great century ride always has a great ride t-shirts.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tunitas Creek Redux (2014)

(July 12, 2014) Tunitas Creek Redux, w, Dr. Dave, Christine, Don, Jack, Sara, Young Andy, Southern California Kristine with a K*, Vlad, New Recumbent Dave**, Zig Zag Dave, 68 miles, 6,300' climbing.

People with the same. similar names so it was time to break out the nicknames
*Yes, I know we have to shorten this nickname, I alternated between Kristine with a K and Southern California Kristine.
**Dr. Dave is the original Recumbent Dave.  The new recumbent Dave followed in Dr. Dave's footsteps and rode nicely in the group.

Significant Climbs
Old La Honda-3 miles, 8%, on it almost immediately at the start of the ride
Stage Road Climbs-1.1 miles, 4%, downhill, .8 mile 7%
Tunitas Creek-9 miles, 4%, in heavily shaded Redwoods, 1st and 4th quarter are gentle, middle section is 6 miles at 5% including one 1.2 mile section at 9%

This is one of the classic (hilly) metric (hilly) loops, and great to do when its 95 in the East Bay as usually 20 degrees cooler on the Coast.  Trouble was that it was only supposed to be an East Bay high of 80 so 60 and foggy predicted for the Coast, and my backside still feeling the effects of getting paddled at school--I mean flipping off the bike two weeks back.  Additionally, CA Mike, Mr. Tunitas Creek, is on injured reserve so he wasn't going to do this ride, no email chatter about the ride during the week and I felt like skipping it.  No good alternatives so I did the ride and glad I did. 

We had a big group turnout.  Dr. Dave kept zooming up the hills, Young Andy wasn't far behind Dr. Dave.  Our group had a great paceline on the Pescadero-Hwy 1/ Ocean-Gazos Creek loop, with Recumbent Dave and Vlad leading us through the flat sections and a bunch of us leading over the rollers.  Weather was far from foggy.

Top of Old La Honda, Sara puts the hex on (New) Recumbent Dave

Regroup where Old La Honda meets Hwy 84 (New La Honda Road).  Sara puts the whammy on the Fremont Freewheelers who are massed in front of us for the speedy trip through La Honda, Fixed Gear Don sees that his bike has gears today, and he is trying to remember how to shift

Vlad is wistfully hoping for lots of hills today


At Memorial Park Young Andy sees if he is taller than a 490 year old.

Christine on the charge up at the start of Bean Hollow Road; we'll loop to the Coast and ride south along the Pacific before cutting back inland

Southern California Kristine wants to go to the Red Barn sale

Dr. Dave doing the Alberto Contador gun at my beautiful Alta Alpina Club jersey.

Christine po'd that we are stopping for photos  while on the Bean Hollow-Hwy 1-Gazos Creek loop.   Even with us bs'ing for @5 minutes, and a crosswind coming in when we got closer to Pescadero,  Christine is the #5 fastest (Strava) woman on the 16 1/2 mile loop

Recumbent Dave, Kristine with a K, and Don on a roller on the Gazos Creek loop.

Young Andy (r) heard the story about how Jack (l) wouldn't let Big Mike eat lunch on the Sierra Century years ago--so he didn't order the super sized on freshly baked artichoke bread sandwich at the Pescadero general store picnic spot.

Andy #1 on the Stage Road stage, climb out of San Gregorio.

Jack and Don finish the Stage Road climb surrounded by neutral support vehicles (they lost our spare wheels.)

Christine and I stop on Hwy 1 for photoshoot with great Pacific Ocean background.

You don't know how quickly a conversation while riding will go down the toilet.   After Kristine had to donate 50 cents to use the Red Bike Hut bathroom we started talking about not stopping while on the bike and taking care of business.   Hmmmm, wonder what 'bent riders with fully enclosed fairings could do.   Oh, never mind.

Dr. Dave and Andy on the Tunitas Creek climb podium.