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Old 02-02-08, 05:07 PM   #1
PrincessZippy
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BF: East Bay Ride Reports

Here's how our ride went:

Thom and I went over to the the start of Jo's ride. We thought we'd do Welch Creek, Calaveras and then Sierra . That translates into a whole lot of steep climbing. But that's what I need to be doing to prep for DMD. We got to the start a little late. We had to take the kitties to the vet for their last round of shots. The group was pretty much ready to go, so we told them not to hang around, as we weren't really going to be riding very far with them.

The five miles over to Welch Creek are pretty flat, a nice little warm up. Welch Creek Rd. is maybe a lane and a half wide, with a very steep drop off to one side as it follows the creek. Eventually you do move up from the creek and the drop offs lessen. It's been repaved since the last time I rode it and the pavement is nice. This road is steep! In three miles you climb 1540 feet, an average grade of 9.4%, with some long sections, 300- 400 feet that are above 15%. My average heart rate for the climb was 183 with a max of 191. I had an average cadence of 51 with a low of 32. There were some sections where I wondered how on earth I was still upright. Sometimes the wind seemed to be blowing me right back down the hill. It was pretty though. The sky was overcast but the hills are super green right now.

Three miles brings you to the false summit. We had planned on only going this far. It's a dead end road. The views are much better at the false summit. We put on another layer and turned around. We were both taking it pretty slowly, only doing about 15 - 20 mph because the road was damp and we were cold. I was leading as we went into the final turn and there was a huge truck right in front of me - on my side of the road. I was already on the right, maybe two feet out from the edge.

The first thing I did was hit my brakes - HARD and I steered for the extreme right edge of the pavement. The rear locked up just a bit and I released it almost immediately. But it was enough to send my rear wheel off the pavement and into the dirt. I kept the front wheel on the edge of the pavement and squeaked by. That sent my heart rate up twenty beats!

Thom says I barely missed the mirror of the truck, by less than an inch. He thought for sure I was heading off the edge into the ditch when the rear wheel went into the dirt. I could feel the dirt grabbing the tire and I just kept focused on the pavement. Fortunately, we were not on the drop off side. I'm not sure how fast the truck was moving as he came around the corner. He was definitely on my side of the road and he had a few extra feet to his right.

All I could think was I'm so glad I have good bike handling skills and I don't panic - until after. We got to the bottom and I was shaking as I pulled off into the dirt, partly from the cold and partly from seeing my life flash before my eyes - again! I was breathing almost as hard as I was on the climb. After a minute or so and a hug, we got back on the road.

We debated heading up Calaveras, but I was getting my usual bad event adrenalin headache. So we went back to the car. As we got to it, it started sprinkling. But the time we had the bikes loaded, it was a full on rain. I'm glad we decided to head back when we did.

We decided we would ride Welch Creek again, but be even more cautious on the descent. Probably not try to tie it into Sierra though - it is freakin' hard!

Veronica
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Old 02-02-08, 06:38 PM   #2
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Wow, that was some eventful ride up Welch. Glad you are okay, Veronica.

Here's my ride report:
Had a good turnout, with BikeForums, Bikejournal, and Team Estrogen represented.

Made a slight detour to the restroom, where we saw Veronica and Thom at the start. We then headed on the route. At our original starting point, I saw another rider, and was not sure if he was trying to join our ride or not. He was ... it was Daniel. Didn't know that till I asked him when we finished the ride.

Since I was climbing so horrendously on the Mt. Tam ride, I decided I needed to push myself, so that my climbing can improve. Made it to the false summit, and was the first one. Standing there for just 2 minutes made me glad I wore my think, wind resistant glove. There was no point in the ride where I wanted my lighter long fingered gloves ... it was freakin' cold out there. I forgot my skull cap, so my head was a little colder than I would have liked it to be, but oh well. Grin and bear it.

Got to Ed Levin park for bathroom and water break. I saw Robo and Jerry pass by and they yell out that they are going straight to the coffee shop. That would be the last we would see of them for the rest of the day.

Waited for the rest of the group, and we decided to continue on with the route, but skip the climb on Palomares. We did stop by the coffee shop, hoping to say hi to Robo and Jerry, but they were not there. We continued on. Jo had some strange noises coming out of her rear. We couldn't figure out what it was. Later on, she found out there was a nail in the tire.

We continued on, and it started to sprinkle. Made the turn on Niles Canyon, and rode that all the way back. Bostic says I was speeding down the road, but I was just trying to make it through safely. When I see there is no car in back of me, I wanted to cross the bridge so that cars wouldn't be honking me trying to cross. There was no shoulder on various stretches of Niles, so that prompted me to practice my spinning, and speed. By the time we got back to the cars, we didn't get too wet, so it wasn't too bad. By looking at our bikes, you couldn't tell we were riding through rain.

We all got back, and had lunch afterwards at Bosco. What was really funny was as we were paying, we all pitched in what we ordered, but wound up putting in way too much money for the bill. We couldn't figure out why there was so much in there ... no math majors in the group So we all ended up with a few dollars extra. hmmm ... go on a BF ride, and make some money?

Anyhow, it turned out to be a great ride. Thanks Jo for leading this, and the rest for the great company. I'll upload pics in a bit.
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Old 02-02-08, 06:57 PM   #3
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Lee


Jerry






Calaveras Road


Robo, Lee, Jerry, and Bostic




Bostic


False Summit on Calaveras
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Old 02-02-08, 06:59 PM   #4
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Jerry


Melissa


Daniel posing at the coffee shop ... yes, we were there.


Daniel putting on the extra rain jacket
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Old 02-02-08, 07:59 PM   #5
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Jo had some strange noises coming out of her rear.
Errr, rear wheel, that is.

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We couldn't figure out what it was. Later on, she found out there was a nail in the tire.
Wire, actually. Thin enough so I missed seeing it the first and second times I checked for the source of the noise, but it still made a racket hitting the inside of my fender.

Fun ride, guys! Thanks for coming out & braving the elements!
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Old 02-02-08, 08:03 PM   #6
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Ron,

Thanks for the picture of me and the raincoat so my wife knows I used it. She got a kick out of that!
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Old 02-02-08, 11:26 PM   #7
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Ron, thanks for the pictures. Sorry, Robert & I missed the party. Next time we'll get the turns right & check out the party instead of acting like two tired old men.
Bostic, you rock on that single speed.
Gerry
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Old 02-02-08, 11:55 PM   #8
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I love seeing the photos. I guess I shouldn't have wimped out.
What was the distance you ended up doing, and how long did the ride take?
I'm gathering info for for next time.
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Old 02-03-08, 01:18 AM   #9
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Sorry to have missed the ride by the time I would have left the city it was raining pretty good. Rode the cycleops and wishing I had gone. I'll always remember this being the ride in which I missed " STRANGE NOISES COMING OUT OF JO'S REAR RIDE" Hope it happens again sometime soon.
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Old 02-03-08, 01:18 AM   #10
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I love seeing the photos. I guess I shouldn't have wimped out.
What was the distance you ended up doing, and how long did the ride take?
I'm gathering info for for next time.
Thanks. I always carry a camera with me when I'm on my bike (even when I bike into work). I am guessing it was 38 miles (I forgot to reset my computer). Total riding time was about 2:40, so figure about 3 hours give or take 15 minutes.
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Old 02-03-08, 08:15 AM   #11
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Errr, rear wheel, that is.
Thanks for that small, but significant, clarification
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Old 02-03-08, 12:07 PM   #12
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I am guessing it was 38 miles (I forgot to reset my computer). Total riding time was about 2:40, so figure about 3 hours give or take 15 minutes.
I forgot to reset my computer after my ride from home out to Sunol, but yep, 38 miles is about right, with about 2000 ft of climbing.


With my ride from home to Sunol I had about 53 miles and 2300 ft, woo woo.
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Old 02-03-08, 01:10 PM   #13
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I was just about to go out for a spin, then the rain came ... oh well. It's a good thing I didn't go out on a ride @ 9am, like I was going to. The sun was peeping out at that time.
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Old 02-03-08, 03:12 PM   #14
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I was just about to go out for a spin, then the rain came ... oh well. It's a good thing I didn't go out on a ride @ 9am, like I was going to. The sun was peeping out at that time.
Yeah, I felt a little tricked today. It was shaping up to be a nice sunny morning, but about 15 miles in it poured on me. But it eventually warmed up around mile 30 and was good to go.

To the guy who did that trip on a Langster. Nice work, sir.
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