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  1. #1
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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    Mt Hamilton Ride Report

    My Mt Hamilton Experience: Marco's ride/with Pete&Ramon's 4 mountain challenge

    Tim & I took off from SF on the Caltrains at 8am. Little did we know we were boarding the slow train to China? We got on our bikes in S.J. bound for some Starbucks pick-me-ups. Tim was a little fast out of the gate and I think 4 mountain challenge plus no breakfast caught up to me and I started to feel like I was going to pass out.

    Coffee did help but I didn’t get a chance to eat my coffee cake until the first regroup. It was really neat to see so many BF’s and guests at the start! The name thing is really hard to figure out at my age. Avatars, names, Bikes. Too much identity symbols. Maybe name tags would help : )

    I had to finish my coffee so I started after the main group. I was a little sad at first, but I paired up with Alain, and we caught up on our life stories. Soon Ty and Kary were in the mix followed by Red Conti. We caught up with the regroup and refilled the water and we were off. Bridge regroup, then the race was on! I kept up with Adam, Tim and Ramone…Until a red head in pink with striking legs caught me off guard!

    Marie Claire, school teacher FRENCH! Sexy…Another American is challenged in the mountains by the French…It was all I could do to drop her like excess baggage. I fought and I climbed but she kept drawing me back like an Evil temptress playing on my male weakness’s : (… I was finally able to break away from the shameless tart only to collide with yet another “Siren of the Highway”. Dressed in alluring blue and shooting out her barbed arrows of promised mad passion… I was a weak man and I most easily played into her evil web of desire! Then!... I was awakened from my dream by a familiar voice from behind…”Hey dumb dumb, were almost at the top” My savior Alain pulled me from this horrible fate of falling into the claws of this mad cougar who preys on the hearts and souls of innocent humble men!

    We got to the top and It was just an amazing view! It had been 20 years since I’d been up here (87 Mt. Hamilton challenge) and It was a new experience again. We all sat around and chatted while Ramon fixed his flat and Bossman arrived after his photo shoot all the way up the mountain.

    We shot down the mountain like fallen angels on a suicide mission. Tim’s Wheel slid out and He was able to save it and get back up to his fierce velocity. Henry took a vicious inside turn as if the mighty Lucifer was in chase. All I saw was a blur as my adrenaline pulsed through my veins numbing my rational mind. We we’re thwarted by some numbnuts who refused to pull over and let us by.

    We stopped to cool out jets…and we we’re off again. At close to 40 mph my back wheel caught air on a tight turn and slid out almost into a rock cliff with Henry so close to my rear wheel you would not have been able to slip a dollar bill between us! We really caught speed towards the base. Six of us close to the speed of sound. We were all completely exhilarated and had launched into another dimension of mass communication with out uttering a single word. What we experienced was beyond common language. What a great day. Sadly we never got to ride with Marco and Ruth who had initiated this ride in the first place. So thanks Marco, even if you couldn’t make it we all had really been looking forward to riding with you. We’ll do it again a.s.a.p. for sure.
    Thanks again everyone I had a great time…and I’ll tell you all about my trip down to L.A. Wish we could all go!
    Pete







    Last edited by taxi777; 05-27-08 at 12:35 AM. Reason: fix

  2. #2
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    This was a really fun ride. There was a good turnout, the weather was great, got reacquainted with familar faces, and met some nice new folks. Here are some of the pics I took:

    Gathering at the start:


    Pete's "photobiking" skills in action as reidconti willingly poses:


    First regroup at the Joseph Grant Ranch County Park:




    Not sure what's off in the horizon but Henry and Miguel just can't seem to take their attention off it. Yet Ramon looks somewhat skeptical...


    So, the lead group takes off and Pete "reluctantly" decides to peel off and find subjects for his "Lady in Pink" section of his blog:


    And then a few miles further up, he decides to start a new "Ladies in Blue" section for his blog!


    Oh yeah, there was actually a view on this ride:
    Last edited by alainp; 05-26-08 at 11:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    More pics:

    At the top:


    Was that it? I was hoping for more climbing!




    Ramon rides a flat for the last three miles of the ascent. "Stopping to repair the tire and ride on fully functional tires is for mere mortals!!!"


    Bigbossman, aka Mr. USA, aka John, reaches the summit with a big smile:


    Everybody found the warm asphalt comforting:

    Last edited by alainp; 05-26-08 at 11:01 PM.

  4. #4
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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  6. #6
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    Great pictures! Sorry I missed it, I was home taking care of a sick boyfriend and convalescent dog.

  7. #7
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Wow, what a turnout! If the weather down there was anything like it was up here, it was an excellent day for a ride.

  8. #8
    one good leg jinws's Avatar
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    Pete,

    Seriously, how many kits do you have? I swear, every ride report, you're wearing a new jersey.
    My Baby

    The Other Woman

    Tony Tang 1982 - 2008 R.I.P

  9. #9
    Shameless Fred Ty.S's Avatar
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    It was a great ride, and a great time. The weather was pretty much ideal, and traffic was light.. so nothing to complain about here.

    How can you think anything will go wrong when you're all setting your computers and you look up.. and there is Pete.. rollind down the street in a wonder bread jersey, holding a camera in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other...

    Was great to finally get out on a group ride and roll with you guys. I'm still not certain I have the mental toughness to grind it out on one of your 100mi. 50,000 calorie burner rides, but this was a blast. We have a great group of characters in this section.

    By the way t4mv... you and your son need to change your names to Team Meteor.. you guys BOMBED that downhill man.. When my wife and I got back to the car one of the first things she said to me was.. "Oh my god, did you see the tandem guys pass us like we were standing still".

    Great way to spend memorial day.. Thanks to all!!!
    The nicer the bike.. the more demanding your life becomes off it..

  10. #10
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    cool! need more narrative on the pictures!

  11. #11
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Beautiful day it was and such a great turnout. It was great to meet some new people and put some faces to names. Here are the pics I managed to take.

    Miguel (kb5ql) charges the hill


    Ramon (bostic) and Eric (Ahpook) looking pretty fresh


    Adam (powpow) and Tim (bottlerocket) moved quickly up the mountain.


    Kari and Ty (ty.s) enjoying the ascent.


    Denizen of the mountain


    Enjoying the warm asphalt
    Alain (alainp), Brian (damnpoor), Ramon (bostic), Tim (bottlerocket), Reid (reidconti), Eric (ahpook), Adam (powpow)
    Last edited by BlastRadius; 05-27-08 at 02:17 AM.

  12. #12
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Great pics, and as usual, great poetry Pete. Sorry I couldn't make it. Spent a mellow weekend here in LA, and lots of posing.

    I guess it was too warm for a penguin citing? I guess you escaped from the pesky penguin.
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  13. #13
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jinws View Post
    Pete,

    Seriously, how many kits do you have? I swear, every ride report, you're wearing a new jersey.
    I think he goes through jerseys like disposable underwear. When you're sponsored by corporations and teams like Wonder Bread, Liquigas, Klein, Trek, Amgen, and manufacturers of all other equipment he's been sporting, you can't be caught being seen in the same outfit twice .

  14. #14
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Nice pictures guys. Sorry I didn't make it earlier. I had been getting over this "stomach flu" type thing from Thursday. Then there was the bike...

    I got a new crankset for the tandem, along new bottom brackets and a Campy Comp Triple front derailleur. So I installed this stuff earlier on this weekend, but still needed to dial in the front shifting and new saddle positions. Easy enough, right????

    Sunday Night...

    So I tried for hours to get the front shifting to work properly, but it was just jacked! Chainline was good, just seemed like the spacing was off. The shifting worked fine the last ride... So I thought maybe it was the new FD, so I swapped the old on back... no dice, same results. At this point, I decided it was the shift lever. The new Veloce levers with the "escape mechanism" just did not have the right built-in spacing for this new crankset/chainline/etc...

    So, I took the Chorus left side lever off of my CAAD8 and installed it on the tandem. However at this point I had loosened and tightened the cable bolt (on the FD) so many damn times, that half the strands decided to snap and fray up.

    So, I cut it short of the FD... grabbed a short section of cable from my tool bag... I used a bolt/nut and two washers to clamp on the the end of the cable and make and "extension."

    Chorus (and up) levers are the best! The micro adjust and lack of built in spacing makes for the easiest FD adjustment ever. Everything worked fine. At that point I PM'd Pete, that I'd probably be driving in, since it was now 4:51AM

    Sleep... for 3 hours.

    Then we woke up and dialed in our positions.. Done... I shifted the FD and snap... my little extension cable did not hold

    OK... So we decided we couldn't make the ride . So would rest in bed a little longer, then pack up the bike and go to Bicycle Outfitter on the way to Hamilton to pick up a tandem length shift cable, and I would install it in the parking lot.

    Rest.... Followed by shower... then getting ready.

    So we head over to Bicycle Outfitter at one something. Bought the cable, strung it up, rode around the parking lot... Perfect! (I LOVE Chorus levers). Bike went back on the rack and we were off to Hamilton.

    See next post for OUR ride report

  15. #15
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    So... with nothing but a Banana, some crackers and an energy bar in our system thus far... we head over to Mt. Hamilton.

    I anticipated I would see you guys on your way down either right at the School parking lot of shortly thereafter. I arrived at the school, and saw everyone's car still there. Cool. Setup the bike, and we were off.

    On Alum Rock heading toward Mt. Hamilton Road, I see a group of riders flying down the hill. First I see Ramon, and yelled out "Hey Ramonnnnn" I think he was laughing. I see the rest of the group right behind, including Henry, and yelled "Yo Henryyyy." Haha. That was pretty cool. You guys were flying.

    So up the mountain we go. We see many riders from the group on our way up. The next person I saw was Miguel on the early section of Mt. Hamilton Road. I saw a few others including the father/son tandem, Eric (I think) and the husband/wife duo (I think). It's hard to tell when decending riders fly past you, and you trudging it up the hill .

    Ruth and I had an excellent rhythm going, and did some alternating standing on the steeper sections. The weather at my house was around 60s and cloudy. I figured the mountain, might be cold.... FALSE I ended up wearing that damn jacket/jersey thing again.... SO I was a bit over-dressed. All I could do was unzip it and keep going, the breeze made it not so bad.

    We did not stop until the base of the third climb on the little bridge. Ate some gel/energy bar/drink and took some pictures. So onto the last climb, the best part of the ride. We were passed by one rider on his single, we were able to keep him in sight for a while, but he gradually pulled away.

    We got to the top and it was actually a little cold at this point. We didn't break any speed records but made it up in a respectable 2:12 (from the school). However it was now 5:45 and the Observatory was closed!! My water bottle-filling, vending machine using dreams of leisure came crashing down.

    I found a hose spicket on once of the buildings, tested the water (tasted fine), and decided to go with it. So we headed down the mountain. Took it easy on the descent, since we were a bit spent. Some motorcycles left at the same time were going about the same speed and refused to pass. It was kind of annoying, so I slowed and waved them by, then accelerated again. We followed the motorcycles all the way down right on their tail, until we caught a slow ass in their car However, no big deal, since we caught the car right before the first little climb on the way back. I think Ruth was running out of energy (lack of food) at this point, since this little climbs on the way back seemed to be hurting her.

    Down again, then up. On the second climb, I told Ruth to grab the gel out of my jersey pocket and she felt bettter Last part of the descent is always fast and fun. Despite being tired, we cranked it up to 46.5 on Alum Rock.

    Despite missing you guys, we still had a great day on the mountain. Hope to see many of you at Sequoia! Now here's the pics (next post)...

  16. #16
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    The beast (notice the mismatched Chorus/Veloce levers )


    Stop before the last climb... Pics of Ruth and I..









    New cranks



    Hubs/cranks/bling


  17. #17
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Continued...

    At the TOP!!!









    Another Mountain Slain...


  18. #18
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Great pics, such a cute couple. Sorry about all the mechanical probs. See you next ride!

  19. #19
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alainp View Post
    Bigbossman, aka Mr. USA, aka John, reaches the summit with a big smile:
    Ummmmm...... It was Memorial Day.

    A belated "Thank You" to all that served.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  20. #20
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Looks like fun! Great photos and report.
    Pete always makes rides sound EPIC.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com óó Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    Pete always makes rides sound EPIC.
    The last downhill to Alum Rock was epic. Henry was setting a furious pace and cadence and I was trying to keep up while struggling to adjust the cap under my helmet to allow some sort of vision. Pete was trying to sneak in but Tim and Adam kept him in check. Then he attacked and took off. I waited a few seconds for his match to burn out and went after him. I knew he didn't have a 50x11 so I upshifted on the final descent and went all out to the stop sign putting my fate in the stopping power of the Mavic calipers.

    To work on my out of saddle technique I decided to stand the entire third climb. It was going quite well until I noticed the flat in the front tire... RATS. The last few times up Hamilton I have had a flat so I grumbled to myself and sat back down and hoped the slow leak would get me to the summit. A tiny green piece of glass was the culprit.

  22. #22
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    I used this ride as an excuse to finally take a crack at Mt Hamilton. I've been up Diablo many times, and have ascended Mt Tamalpias as well. Mt Hamilton was the only one of the "big three" that I had not yet done. Since I climb like ivy I knew I wouldn't be able to keep the group pace, but it's fun to be out with a group and you folks are a pretty fun bunch to hook up with - if only for fleeting moments.

    I arrived at the starting point early enough, and re-introduced myself and had a nice chat before starting out. I rode with Pete for all of half a mile or so before he dropped me, and kept pace with a couple others until I stopped to shed my jacket. At that juncture I was on my own during the initial 6 mile climb, and re-joined the main group at the park 7 miles from the start. After snack and water we started off again, and I rode with damnpoor for a bit before he went to join the main group further on up the road.

    I chatted with several passing cyclists, and was kept company off and on by a tandem crew (Blastradius?) It was a nice steady climb and the weather was nice, so I stopped several times to take pictures and had a nice time. The last 7 mile climb was a bit on the arduous side for me - the road coils on the front of the mountain like a fat, lazy snake, and all those switchbacks had me talking to myself. After grinding out seemingly endless loops of black asphalt, I was finally rewarded with the summit.

    Poor climbing ability coupled with frequent stops to take photos got me to the top just in time to catch my breath, gulp down a Power Bar, and wash it down before Pete declared it was time to descend.

    I was sure glad I had the rare foresight to bring a jacket and full-fingered gloves. The descent from the top was a bit on the chilly side. The descent was fun, but I had to pay close attention to bind curves with opposing traffic, sand/gravel on the inside corners, and the odd pavement deficiency. It made for a lively run, and before I knew it the first 7 mile descent was in the books and I was climbing out off the middle valley. The final 6 mile descent back to the school was a real treat - smooth paverment with excellent sightlines, and a relatively mild gradient into a slight headwind that allowed for a relaxed ~25mph coasting glide all the way down.

    For the 4th (and last) time of the day I hooked up with the main group, chatted for a while, and headed for home.

    It was a great day - Thanks, guys!

    Initial climb:


    First glimpse of the summit, 12 miles distant:


    Climbing out of the middle valley:


    Blimp hanger, Moffet Field - waaaaaaay off in the distance:


    Hairpin:


    After hairpin:


    After hairpin:


    Getting close:


    On top!:
    Last edited by bigbossman; 05-27-08 at 11:44 AM.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  23. #23
    Senior Member powpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostic View Post
    The last downhill to Alum Rock was epic.
    I agree. Definitely a descent to remember. Henry just shot out of some turns like a rocket. Great ride and great pics all!

    - Adam

  24. #24
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powpow View Post
    I agree. Definitely a descent to remember. Henry just shot out of some turns like a rocket. Great ride and great pics all!

    - Adam
    Agreed, we were cruising down the first descent off the summit when I saw Henry pull out just in front of us...wtf?...we're gonna run up his back wheel... NOT! He accelerates smoothly up to speed (which as nearly as I could tell was somewhere between 25-30 for most of the turns, but I was too skeeered to look down), with us about 50 meters behind, and then he just pulled away to the bridge at the beginning of the first climb on the way down. The man is FEARLESS!

  25. #25
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Aw shucks

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