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Monday, April 20, 2009

100 Solo

1 large Whole Grain Bagel - 1 oz Neufchatel Cheese.
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
1 chopped banana - in noted cereal.
1.5 cups Starbucks Italian Roast Coffee.

4 homemade energy bars - designed, created, and wrapped by my wife.
2 bottles of Cytomax mixed a little too strong.

...Fuel for Saturday's 100.5 mile road ride.

The Course was not new. From Martinez, a slow climb to Pig Farm Hill and then the rolling hills of Bear Creek Rd, up into Tilden and abruptly up South Park Rd.

(I got a "good luck!" from a passing motorist as I began my climb up South Park. If I wasn't already intimate with this climb, I would have certainly begun having second thoughts about the relationship.)

Photo from my phone looking West over Oakland and SF Bay.
Taken from Skyline Blvd.

From SP the route goes south through the Berkeley and Oakland hills to Castro Valley, and then back to the Diablo valley through Crow Canyon.

I was hoping for an unseasonal "off shore flow" meaning that the warm air, assisted by a stiff breeze, would be coming from the east out of the central valley. Alas, this was not the case, though warm indeed. Head wind all the way to the foot of Mt. Diablo, and I failed at meteorology again. I did pick up a draft along this stretch though. A older gentleman caught me at a stop light, and I agreed to slow my pace, so that we could trade off drafting for a few miles, saving us both considerable energy.

I had determined early on, that riding Diablo was not optional - I would at least see the Ranger Station. I relegated the summit to an option, but after consuming the last of the energy bars, turned from the Ranger Station and ascended the last 4.5 miles.

Actually I went about 4.25 miles. The final 1/8 of a mile is an 18% death march. I had been seriously contemplating stopping short even as I approached the mountain - nearly 70 miles into the ride. Within a 1/4 mile of the top, an unbelievably obnoxious swarm of tiny flies made the decision for me. They literally covered my arms as fast as I could sweep them off. Ears. Nose. Forget it.
I was spitting bugs for a mile.
(No not like that - I can only spit about 10', and that's with a tail wind.)

I descended fast.
Not my fastest descent, as I did a lot of stretching and sitting up on the straights, but I felt very sharp on the corners, and managed to pass quite a few cyclists.

Got passed myself for the first time on the descent. He's lucky I had to keep stretching. Passed me on the flats at the bottom, where I reigned in with a long back stretch till he slid by, and then I basked in his draft till we hit some rollers. I don't think he was 85 miles into his ride.

OK, so in conclusion, full disclosure requires that I report...
I was passed by a girl on the way up. There were 3 other guys that passed me too, but the girl...

There are so many reasons why... And believe me, I rehearsed them all within the milliseconds after noticing the obvious. It would be pointless to list them here, since you would file them all under the label "excuse" any way - with the exception of the one reason, that I have settled upon. Though fatigued by many miles of riding; a far inferior bike; with no professional training (like she must have had); and weighing dozens of pounds more; I, was only passed for this one reason:

[Consider inserting photo here]

I don't shave my legs.
I'll never let this happen again.

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