Monsieur Pelpel and Mr. Hoolihan, certainly a pleasure to ride with you gentlemen! I was experiencing a bit of a logistical nightmare getting out this morning. I've lost efficiency with getting myself prepared for morning rides. I got my crap together last night but, still found myself trying to figure out where everything was in the morning. I got in to the Bart station with 2 bucks on my ticket and no time to addfare (somehow I knew this would be an issue later). I was having trouble getting into my Zen place on the train. I'm having trouble shutting of the brain lately with everything that has been going on in real life.
When I got to Dublin/Pleasanton I had to get in a horrifically long line for the 1 men's room. I gave up and went to get addfare so I could leave the station but there's no way to addfare with a debit card unless you go through the gate and then come back which entails involving the automaton in the booth and getting 15 dollars in quarters to carry up the mountain. Back to the Men's room to wait. It ended up taking me almost 40 mins to get it together and finally leave the station.
Once on the trail and moving along with a good mix in the headphones, plus the fact I had taken 2 days off from running/working out to build up some badly needed glycogen in my legs, I was finally in a good pace, a good space and ready to race! I noticed two big eared Jackrabbits matching my pace ten feet to my left like some weird hybrid land Dolphin-esque beings guiding me to an enchanted Island. This went on for quite a while but, as soon as I started to fish out the camera they were gone...
I was trying to make up time but, by the time I got to Blackhawk Starbucks I was only 15 minutes behind schedule. Unfortunately I didn't realize that this Starbucks had the slowest baristas of all time and space! I guess I'm spoiled living in the City and the speed of light service at most coffee bars here. I dropped a gu, waffed down an apple bran cupcake and tossed back the tall coffee with and extra shot. I got derailed by a family that had pulled in with kids and a neat little Jack Russell Terrier which I had to stop and pet and then ended up to be a bit of long winded conversation about the life of dogs.
As I headed towards Diablo, I was really enjoying the early blooms (even though we haven't had much rain lately), lushness of the East Bay. I think...hmmm maybe I could live here one day.
I always have a bit of anxiety when starting a long climb on my one speed. I still have doubts that I can accomplish an extended climb like this one. It seems to always work out though once I establish a decent rhythm. I could tell that three months of running had gifted me a bit of power in my legs as I passed rider after rider. After a bit I found myself ghosting a very, very nice looking younger racer girl and when I finally went around her and said good morning she smiled and said-
"Wow! You go on that thang guy"!
Oh yeah! Some girls just say the right things at the right time! I blasted away and a little while later as I went past the first gate on the South climb I spotted an odd orange/yellow bike that seemed somewhat familiar...
It would later turn out to be "Hueyhoolihan". Probably stopped for a "Natural break"
A little while later...More girls! They had really cool looking kits. Nice blue and white with the name on the back "Pacific (a skull) Crush". Kinda hot. (more later). I wave bye by to them and maybe 50 yards later I spotted a rider ahead of me. Hmmm... a very familiar cadence and riding style, somewhat resembling "Thomas Volkler". OF COURSE! FRENCH! It was the G man. I had caught the Frenchman! I creeped up slowly and and gently started to push him from behind! Ha Ha! Surprise! We soon arrived at the Junction and chatted for awhile with other riders and Huey showed up and I finally was able to put the name to the face. He's a bit of an inspiration. I hope I'm that strong when I'm his age...wait a minute...that's two years to go!
By the way I talked with the "Pacific Crush" and asked them if they were a "Surfing Team"?...They laughed at me...
We left the junction and headed on up. Seeing as I had to keep up my rhythm I proceeded ahead of George. I can't spin with the one gear so I have to stay in the red to keep my momentum.
I kept passing riders and still feeling pretty good even though I knew what was coming up soon! I'd done the wall in this gearing back in December and I was generally pleased with how my legs felt on that final 200 feet. It has to be all the running I've been doing.
When I got to the top I was pretty done at that point. As I was standing there I happened to see a guy riding around in circles with a ...What?! "System U"!
I haven't seen that jersey since 1987! I talked to him for awhile. He was a nice Irish kid and we discussed bike injuries and recovery. Both George and I are recovering form bad back injuries.
Speaking of of the Devil George hit the summit and we hung out for awhile.
The weather was perfect and soon we descended. I was surprised how fast I was able to descend today. I'd been a little gun shy that past year but, maybe I'm getting over it.
I made it home around 2pm and laid down with the dogs after eating and went into a general coma!
My Layla was wearing her "Yellow Jersey" when I walked in the door!
Great Day! Thanks you guys for meeting up with me and hope to do it again soon.
"I dreamed of Diablo during my nap" I feel like things are starting to look up...