5 May 2018
3/C/68 – 3,200 feet elevation gain - Recce! - BART Dublin/Pleasanton, over Patterson Pass, Behind Morgan Territory and to Walnut Creek BART
Approaching Patterson Pass from the East involved a lot less extended climbing. With the deviations I made to avoid Byron Road to the maximum extent possible, 5 of 10 miles on this busy highway were eliminated. The next foray will extend the route an additional 9 miles into Antioch before returning over Kirker Pass Road.
We had three members show up:
We proceeded to the Fruitvale BART, where Allen was obliged to use cash instead of his credit card. More importantly, we did not miss the outbound train and found ourselves outside the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station shortly before 0900, ready to start our ride.
Allen was all fired up and created a torrid pace on Stanley Boulevard. This created some PRs, but also an advisory from me that we would hold ourselves to a “C” pace, particularly since we still had Patterson Pass to climb. We stopped at the baseball fields near Tesla Road at Mile 10 and thereafter not until we reached the summit of Patterson Pass. The descent from there was fast and exhilarating, however I took care to apply the brakes at some blind turns for those who followed. I have seen YouTube videos of hotshot motorists trying to impress each other, only for one of their souped-up cars to spin out and plow into a field through a barbed wire fence.
At 1130 we reached the Byron Inn Café at Mile 36. There my companions had plenty of French toast, syrup and powdered sugar, to impart that essential last boost for the remainder of the ride. This did not work out so well for David, who kept on pedaling, but was lagging behind. Allen was so kind to escort him those last few miles, whereas I would forge ahead, then soft-pedal or wait on the top of a ridge. The scenery was still green and gorgeous, the motorists mostly well behaved and the heat, when it came, bearable.
We made another stop 11 miles before the finish in Clayton’s public park. There I asked David to ingest more food, as I have done similarly at the end of other rides. His tall frame and metabolism demand it. We were able to board the 1500 train, just as it pulled into the Walnut Creek BART station. I was home just before 1600 and no flats or other mechanicals were experienced.
I would like to thank Allen for keeping an eye on David, thereby helping me out with my Ride Leader duties. As mentioned, the next ride in this region will be slightly longer, include a detour into Antioch and a second extended climb over Kirker Pass. I may call it the Two Pass Tour. However, I will be in Paros, Greece, between 17 May and 2 June 2018, and shortly afterwards I will be seconded by my company to Dubai, U.A.E., for an indeterminate time. So, I do not know when I will return to lead any future long C-paced rides.
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