Monday, April 18, 2011
Diablo Century 2011
With minimal long-distance riding this year, Tricia and I were a might concerned about tackling a ride with the 100-miles and 6800 feet of climbing. We weren't really worried, just concerned. We'd been bike commuting in the rain, but that same rain had kept us pretty much away from anything over 30. We'd had one or two "real rides" but that was it.
But this ride went well. Though we both had low spots — mine climbing up toward Castro Valley into an annoying headwind — the overall experience was reassuring. We can still ride!
The most exciting moment was after cresting Morgan Territory and descending "the plunge" — a very steep downhill that's challenging on even a normal day. We'd been in sun and nice weather. The plunge dropped us into a wet road hidden in fog. It was somewhat harrowing until we dropped out of the cloud and flew toward Livermore. Yea tailwind.
Canyon is still beautiful. Rolling into the redwoods is still like magic. And what's with car drivers in Orinda? They all drive with such a sense on entitlement, honking, backing up without looking, honking again at cars and honking at more bikes and behaving in a generally clueless manner. Do really expensive cars make you weird, or do the weird feel compelled to buy them?
Tricia, for inexplicable reasons, decided to count road kill.
Her tally: 1 squirrel, 1 bird, 3 snakes, 1 of creature undetermined species and one guy annoyingly zig-zagging up a steep section in front of her.
The Walnut Creek Jewish Community Center puts on a good ride. It's well marked and generally well organized. They did have a couple of flaws this year that i hope they'll correct next time around.
1. I stood way too long at check in. I'd prepaid, so it shouldn't have taken the 30 minutes it did. They really need a couple more volunteers at peak check in.
2. Last year the lunch stop at the school had us using the school restrooms. This year we were told to use the port-a-potties at the Sunol train station. When we came out we were accosted by an angry train engineer who was not happy we'd used their facilities. Apparently we could use one outside the fence, but not the ones inside. The ride organizers hadn't made that clear, and we got quite an ear full from the train people.
The Diablo Century had a jersey this year. The photos were really ugly, but it turns out they actually did a much better job. The photo was just a mock up. I didn't get one and now I think I should have. Maybe next year.
Here's the RideWithGPS map