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  1. #1
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Late breaking ride: East Bay ride Xmas Eve

    What with Twitter, Wave and email it's darned tough to keep up with all the ways to organize stuff, but thought I'd throw this out there. What started as a small get together between brentley and myself is turning into a bit of a group ride. We're planning on starting at 8am from Orinda BART tomorrow (at the station entrance). Approx. route is attached below - say ~50ish miles, ~5500ft climbing (if we do the attached route). Coffee/pastry opportunities in Montclair and Lafayette/Orinda.

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...Rheem-PapaBear

    I'll check back later today, but feel free to DM me if you're interested and want to be updated with any changes to arrangements. Working today so won't be hanging out on the forum during the day.

    Attendees:

    Beaker
    brentley (+)
    spingineer
    BlastRadius
    Lanceoldstrong
    BenRidin
    gpelpel
    Last edited by Beaker; 12-23-09 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    I am in. Sweet.
    In Escendo Est Verum

  3. #3
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    I think I will be able to join you for this.
    Looking for a chateau. Twenty-one rooms but one will do. I don't want to buy it. I just want to rent it for an hour or two.

  4. #4
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    A minor wrinkle has arisen - as tomorrow is a "work day", parking at Orinda BART will not be free. There are a couple of nearby cost-free options that could be considered. The first is a small pull out just before the Hwy 24 on ramp, going South on Camino Pablo, the second is the small parking area at the start of the 3 bears loop at the corner of Bear Creek and San Pablo Dam Rd (across from Wildcat) - indicated below with circles. Neither is very far away, so I suggest we stick with BART as a start point for the ride.


  5. #5
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    Sounds good we can figure out the parking guerrilla style, but where do you want to meet at BART?

    North Side of Camino Pablo?
    or South Side of Camino Pablo?
    In Escendo Est Verum

  6. #6
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Let's rendez-vous at the station entrance to avoid ambiguity.

  7. #7
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    PS, in case it isn't obvious, it'll be a little "fresh" when we roll. Weather.com claims 38F. Still the climbing will keep us all warm, and the bay views from Grizzly Peak will be fantastic.

  8. #8
    Wheres my snuggie? taxi777's Avatar
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    Have fun you guys...Stay warm.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    If I am able to corral enough crab for our Christmas Eve before 8am, I should be able to join.

  10. #10
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    For those of us who aren't from Orinda, which side is the station entrance?
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  11. #11
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spingineer View Post
    For those of us who aren't from Orinda, which side is the station entrance?
    It's on what I think of as the "westerly" side, i.e. towards the Caldecott tunnel and the bay. Does that make sense?

  12. #12
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    It's on what I think of as the "westerly" side, i.e. towards the Caldecott tunnel and the bay. Does that make sense?
    We'll see ... I'll let you know if I'm lost. I wouldn't know west from east, north from south ... don't even ask me which way the Caldecott tunnel is.
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  13. #13
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Looking at the bikely map above, it's on the same side as the "24" label and the Google Map label. Trust me, it's not too difficult to work out when you're there - the other side of the road has a smaller parking lot and no buildings. If you end up on that side, you can just drive or ride over the bridge to get to the main parking lot and the station.

  14. #14
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I so wanted to go on this. But I've pulled something in my hip region and I'm not even walking all that well. I rode 20 slow miles Wednesday and felt OK. But when I told my sweet wife I was going to go with ya'all I got the look that I translated to mean: "You hurt when you walk. You grunt every time you stand up. Even though I already know you're out of your mind, this goes beyond the bounds of the simple stupidity I've come to reluctantly accept. So: No."

    So, I won't be there. Enjoy the freeze without me. It looks like a glorious blue-sky day. Make photos.
    Last edited by cccorlew; 12-24-09 at 03:41 PM.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    Sorry you couldn't make Curtis, heal well. Your 'sweet wife' was right, better give it some time than making it worse.

    Anyway this was a sweet ride, chilly and windy on the bay side but a great day for riding. We hit some new roads for me; up South Park (a dandy), down Shepherd Canyon (sweet descent), and up Old Tunnel Road (nice easy grade and quite stunning scenery). We had a small adventure out of Montclair, I will leave the others to comment on this part...

    Thanks Richard for organizing and getting us together.
    Last edited by gpelpel; 12-24-09 at 06:33 PM.

  16. #16
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
    We had a small adventure out of Montclair, I will leave the others to comment on this part...
    The adventure was crossed wheels and a near crash when the pace line made a sudden right turn on to an uphill street.
    Us hangers on at the back were caught off guard and Beaker and I overlapped wheels. His rear and my front.

    Due to our exceptional bike handling skills neither one of went down, but my front wheel was knocked way out of true.
    It would not even turn with the front brake wide open. Brentley declared it d.o.a. and pronounced it a taco.
    He offered to go home and get me a spare wheel if I could limp along with him. That was so nice!

    Then mon ami M. gelpel whipped out a tool that looked like the symbol for the artist formerly known as Prince.
    prince_symbol.jpg

    With this tool, I had never seen the likes of, he expertly trued my wheel in the field. I touch a spoke wrench from time to time and always just make things worse. Gpelpel must have good French cycling genes. When he was born in France, they still ran Le Tour on unpaved roads sometimes. A cyclist had to know how to true a wheel. I am embarrassed I do not.

    Gpelpel is my hero, he saved the day!

    Great ride. Thanks Beaker. 34 degrees when we set out but by the power of group stupid we persevered. Group stupid is when on your own you could come up with 10 smart reasons not to do something. In a group somehow we were collectively stupid enough to ride in those temperatures and it was great.
    In Escendo Est Verum

  17. #17
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    You hit hard enough to bend a wheel, but didn't go down? That is flippin' impressive, or stunningly lucky, an amazing gift of the season, or a combination off all of them.
    If I'd have been there I'm sure I could have brought you all down...if I had managed to stay close enough....
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  18. #18
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    Great ride, if a little chilly to start with - Brentley, Georges, Ron and Dan showed so we had some good company.



    Wildcat was a nice warmup, and I felt good on the climb. I'd been hoping that my increased "training" might help, and all the climbs felt good today. Brentley wasn't feeling tiptop, but elected to follow the HTFU option and headed to South Park. Georges managed to pull off the first feat of bike handling skill today by avoiding a near-clipless fall as he ground to a halt at the gate. South Park also felt good but when we hit Grizzly Peak the wind really started to show up.

    Ron and Georges at the top of South Park



    Brentley and Dan



    The views from Grizzly were stunning, as were the potholes - are they getting bigger or what? We made a quick route change and headed along Skyline to Shepherd Canyon - a really underrated descent. After the steep twisty start it's a real sling shot all the way down to Montclair. Fun.

    Hot coffee and chit-chat in Montclair hit the spot before we made our way to Tunnel. Mad bike handling skilz moment #2 occurred along the way. A quick right caught some of us out, and Dan overlapped my rear wheel, but managed to keep the bike upright. Sadly his wheel was pretty far out of true, to the point where it couldn't spin even with the break calipers open wide. Cue Georges to the rescue - Captain spoke wrench revealed himself unto us and proceeded to get Dan roadworthy in a matter of minutes. Star performance.

    We then hit Tunnel, a nice steady, but not steep climb. I really don't like the road surface though - descending in the past has rattled lights off my bike. Today, I managed the impressive feat of hitting a rut at a bad angle and actually having a fall while going uphill. I mean who in the name of sanity manages to fall off a bike going UP hill? No damage done thankfully beyond a few bruises on my hands, hip and saddle.

    We bid Brentley farewell at the top of Skyline and Pinehurst and then made our way to Redwood. I normally like to push the pace on the 2lane stretch before the left hand turn down Redwood, but the gusts of wind were really a challenge today. Thankfully the Redwood descent didn't disappoint. The flat section at the bottom is always flattering - you can easily push a big gear and speed along imagining that you don't in fact suck. Great stuff.

    The winding climb up Pinehurst to get back to Canyon is one of my favourite stretches of road - very calming and serene. Georges parted from the group at Moraga, leaving Dan, Ron and me to tackle Rheem. Did I mention how impressive Ron's climbing has become? Great job today!

    After the final section it was another fast descent to Acalanes, down the nice little corkscrew before heading back via St Stephens.

    Although we didn't have time for Happy Valley or Papa Bear this time out, I still got 47.5miles and 5046ft from my Garmin - always nice to break 100ft/mile. More importantly though, it was a great day with great company - we had just the right combination of good climbs, gonzo descents and stops/time to shoot the breeze. Thanks for coming out today guys - I had a blast.

    Last edited by Beaker; 12-24-09 at 04:57 PM.

  19. #19
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    Great ride... I had a blast.
    Although I had the green light to join you all, I came down with a case of the "guilts" for leaving the famdamily on such a beautiful day. Not to worry, though, I squeaked out a 51 mile before any one got up this morning. It's been a flurry of activity since then.

    I hope you get a lot of toys for Christmas.

    BR
    Looking for a chateau. Twenty-one rooms but one will do. I don't want to buy it. I just want to rent it for an hour or two.

  20. #20
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Great ride. Thanks Beaker. I didn't realize it was 32 F ... no wonder it took so long to warm up ... and I didn't even have my Ninja mask on!

    The picture doesn't show how steep it was leading to the end where you took that picture.

    BTW, on ridewithgps, it showed elevation gain of 4425 feet, and Ascent showed 4295. Even when uploading to Garmin, it showed 4592 feet ... how the heck did yours get 5176 feet? Unless there was quite a bit of climbing from Bart to your house?
    I'm in it to finish it.

    My Cycling Blog

  21. #21
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    My house is ~400ft higher in elevation than downtown Orinda, so I think it's about right.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Midland's Avatar
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    Sounds like y'all had a nice time. Kudos for getting going in those temps.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Sounds like fun. The temps seem balmy compared to where I am.

  24. #24
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    One thing we forgot to mention ... we did have a mishap ... involved overlapping wheels. One of the wheels went out of true, and looked like it would not be salvageable. However, George trued it back into shape. George is the miracle worker.
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
    Quite a resemblance. The 'magical' tool is a tiny gadget Performance used to carry. I got it for $5 probably when they discontinued it. On my quest for tiny and light tools that could handle multitasks I found it interesting. It's kind of awkward, sometimes hard to lodge into the seat bag due to its weird shape, and, as most multi-tools, not particularly stunning at anything in particular. Yet it managed to save the day on a couple occasions, once to repair a chain and on Dan's wheel.

    In a 60mm x 60mm package, let's call it "the little tool that could".

    Last edited by gpelpel; 12-28-09 at 02:54 PM.

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