Monday, November 10, 2014

Bizarro Patterson Pass

November 8, 2014, Bizarro Patterson Pass**, w/ Dr. Dave, Christine, Jack and London Matt, 89.2 miles, 3,440' elevation (wait--Christine has 3,900' and Dr. Dave 3,800' on the same course.)
Riding routes that form art on the map is becoming popular.  With a few more turns our Bizarro Patterson Pass could have done Picasso proud.

Bizarro Patterson Pass as in, 1) the wind was gusting from the EAST which is incredibly rare, and we all expected to set Strava times on the climb where usually you're faced with a block wind from the West, 2) a truck smashed a car and killed the driver on the Altamont run in so the road was closed (what's this with major car accidents, last time I was here a car flipped on the nearby freeway), 3) I was riding my S&S coupling bike and it decided to either drop the chain or constantly ghost shift.
Christine leading the charge around Livermore.

Altamont Road closed--the truck was laying on its side a few minutes before we reached the spot of the accident.

Our club ride was out to Morgan Territory up and down the south side--and I think that Christine and Dave were surprised that I didn't start lobbying for a Patterson Pass add on early in the week.  But my enthusiasm was tempered by my good bike being overhauled and my two other choices have shifting problems.  When the ride started Matt was fully enthused to see Patterson Pass, and as it gets dark early there wasn't enough time to go up Morgan and then Patterson Pass.  Our  group announced that we were skipping Morgan Territory.  Funny, then everyone else decided to skip it also though no one else went to Patterson Pass with us.  (Triple Crown Kris has vowed never to do Patterson Pass again so she declared that she was tapering to do the worst downhill in the Bay area-the allegedly paved the Geysers--the next day.)

For once the windmills were not turning, so Dave didn't do his usual job of issuing ominous warnings.  Who knew that the windmills are only set for the usual westerly wind, and gusts from the east go undetected.
Our motley crew onto of Patterson Pass from the easy way

With the Altamont Speedway closed we just planned to putt around--which was a bummer, but Dave and Christine came up with the great idea to do Patterson Pass backwards--figuring that by the time we do the reverse Altamont the carnage would be cleaned up.
The gang waits to mail a letter or for me to arrive, at the Altamont Summit Garage/ Post Office.

Luckily we had a great group, and super fast Dave, Christine and Matt were nice enough to keep waiting for me.   My bike was consistently slipping gears but luckily held in the x27.   The weather was great--it was full sun and could have been a late spring day--hard to believe it was going to get dark at 5pm.  Shows how Strava is so convoluted, with the wind gusting from the East the Collier/ Highland return, which is usually difficult when we're dead tired was incredible.  Between the tailwind and Matt burning off the pastries by pulling our group along, we all came close to personal bests--even if I couldn't use my hardest two gears in order to avoid chain abortion.
Matt fueling up before he pulls us along Collier/ Highland under unusually favorable  conditions that usually are only found on the Altamont Speedway.

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