3/A/81 – RECCE – BART Walnut Creek-Antioch-Pittsburg-Martinez and back to Walnut Creek BART
Received my new SIGMA GPS ROX 11.0 cycling computer the day before this ride. This proved very helpful, since after Mile 55, most everything was unknown roads. On this occasion, I was able to complete this ride, and I must say, it was quite enjoyable, except for a relatively short stretch along the industrial corridor between Bay Point and Martinez. The new computer never steered me wrong along its breadcrumb display, though my bike sometimes had a mind of its own … or was it me?
Again, I rode solo. The 0800 start and longer distance may have had something to do with it. It looked cloudy, and high winds were forecast, but on the other side of the Oakland hills the clouds were breaking up. Since I caught the earlier train, I was able to start from the Walnut Creek BART station at 0907. There occasionally was wind debris on the roads, mostly twigs and leaves, evidence of the winds which were starting to blow.
At first those winds were helpful, leading me to new PRs along Marsh Creek Road. However, once I turned West, I had freshening winds up to 30 to 35 mph hit me head on. The low-profile front wheel and aero bars were helpful, keeping me steady and my profile fairly narrow, but I had to settle down to a slower, but sustainable pace and cadence at lower gears. To make up for this, the sun came out and it started to get warm, as much as 84 degrees Fahrenheit. I even received some sunburn on my legs.
The one-mile stretch on Highway 4 East is still legal for cyclists, but one has to steer carefully among the shoulder debris, while vehicles zoom past on your left shoulder at 70+ miles per hour. At Mile 66, I felt my rear tire going soft. I pulled over and declared this my lunch stop as well. This time, the valve core stayed put and I was able to top off the air pressure at a gas station later on. I left the adapter on the valve to make certain nothing else would force me to stop:
I reached the Walnut BART station with an overall time loss of about 45 minutes, mostly due to the wind, and was home at 1700. Notwithstanding the blustery wind, I managed an average of 14.35 mph.
Now that I know the route, I hope to have some members join me on the next occasion. The trees have not really bloomed yet everywhere, but I already noticed the first young birds flying, curious about what this apparition on two wheels was about, swooping low right over my helmet. Spring is delayed this year, so there are prospects for this ride later.
A very nice route, much of it on nearly deserted bike paths, save for the Contra Costa Canal Trail. Hopefully, I will have some company the next time. I am considering a 91-miler as well.
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