Three intrepid riders showed up for my challenge this morning in spite of my late posting of the ride details. The roster was; David MacAfee, Steve Torrence, and Jason Chin. We got under way by 8:15 heading for the Oakland Wiggle and Liemert. I keep tying to find my way into the West side of Dimond Park, but I missed it again today. No problem though, we caught Leimert after a short stint on Park Blvd. Liemert was a nice warmup for the trials soon to come. Shortly after we turned left onto Monterey we were able to find the little tunnel under the freeway. Flash showed me this tunnel many Moons ago. It brought back fond memories of rides past. A quick left onto Mountain brought us to the start of dreaded Ascot. It was steeper and longer than I remembered, I think this has something with selective memory, allowing us to repeat things from our past that we would not otherwise do. ;-)
Jason, like Ruben and others, is a long time runner. He paced me all the way up while we conversed about tire and wheel technology. It was much harder for me to carry on the conversation than it was for him. ;-) We made it to the top without too much trouble but we all received the requisite amount of pain... desired? Steve, then David, summited shortly afterwards. Steve was on tired legs from Saturday's ride, David was on his old Panasonic. Someday I hope to sell David a new, light and stiff steed to enhance his enjoyment of all things riding. Unfortunately he has a mistress in the form of a sailboat that gets priority in the disposable income department.
We then zipped along Skyline to Shepherd Canyon for an invigorating decent leading us to our second climb of the day; Snake. I think Jason had his fill of tech talk, (I think that was the only reason he stayed with me on Ascot.) so he steadily pulled away from me, right from the start. After we all reached the top, I heard much talk of how hard Ascot was compared to Snake. Even some thoughts had passed in someone's mind considering bailing out on Ascot, but everyone was very glad to have climbed them both. As it turns out, David still did not have enough elevation gain to satisfy his thirst for pain, so Jason accompanied him on the Mazanita bypass to the Shepherd/Pinehurst intersection. I stayed with Steve, as his legs were satisfied with the 2500' we had ridden so far.
We then took off for the Training Center on Skyline to fill our water bottles, and drain our bladders. Then to beautiful Butters/Burdeck, Monterey, 35th., and home to Alameda. David reportedly had a near fence contact on the trail at the end of Burdeck. He got quite sideways, but managed to save it just before eating the fence. Good thing he's been out on the Mountain Bike with us, practicing his bike handing skills. :-0
Previous to this, I had a little problem descending butters:
I violated my, "Stay in the outside 1/3 of the lane on blind corners rule".
As most of you know, I now have my dream bike. A fully custom Waterford S3 that I designed and built, finishing the project around the end of June. This bike is the most fun I've ever had on wheels. I've been currently working on a new cornering technique, and let myself veer a little over the middle of my lane in one of the blind corners on the lower part of Butters. Sure enough, a very lazy, up-bound pickup driver was a little more than halfway into my lane. I braked and corrected my line as best I could, but I ended up sliding hard into his door, breaking his mirror, probably with my hip. I was eye to eye with him when we both came to a stop. I was quite shaken and upset when I saw that the left side of his truck was past the middle of my lane. His first sentence was... "You broke my mirror." I managed not to loose it, and after much discussion back and forth I calmed down, then got him to calm down as well. I did not see any damage to the bike, I only had a sore hip, (I did not notice the tear in my shorts at the time. ;-) We both agreed to let it go, and get on with the rest of the day. I'm hoping that after he gets his expensive mirror repaired, it will serve as a reminder to stay in his lane while operating a lethal weapon.
I on the other hand, will be much more mindful of my rule to stay in the outside 1/3 of my lane through blind corners. Please learn form my mistake, I see folks close to the centerline both climbing, and descending, all the time. If I had been closer to the centerline, I would have eaten his grill, and then probably would have careened over the hood into the windshield and/or onto the ground. Who knows what injuries I would have suffered. The bike certainly would have been totaled.
We were back on the island around 11:00. David joined me for a pleasant breakfast at the Little House. I'm very grateful that neither Dave nor I were seriously hurt today, and also for the good company of these three intrepid TA riders that shared the hills with me today.
Be careful out there, and...
PS. I'm just a little sore, and none the worse for wear. ;-))
TeamAlamedaPO Box 1216Alameda, CA 94501