Monday, March 17, 2014

Del Puerto Canyon greens and blues of happiness and joy century

Dan, Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0698
Lance Oldstrong
I'd just gotten home from riding Mt. Diablo when I got a text from Lance Oldstrong asking if I wanted to join him for a 100 miler the next day. I have a double century coming up and could use a test-run, so I said "sure." Little did I know…
Ride Start Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0666
Middle of nowhere middle school
I met him at his house and from there we picked up Steve and Glenn, then headed toward Patterson, where I thought the ride would start. But no, we got off the freeway and headed East. I thought perhaps we were stopping in downtown Patterson, but no. At this point, as we traveled through farmlands, farther and farther from Del Puerto Canyon, Steve and I started whining and moaning like old men who didn't get their Jello. But still, we kept driving and driving. No level of insult from Steve could sway Oldstrong from heading to his desired parking place — some locked-up school at a crossroads of nowhere and nowhere by a very aromatic cattle feed lot and a sad-looking Crows Landing This Way sign. When we eventually got there, and finished a long discussion on the probability of the van still being there when we got back, we readied our bikes and launched toward Del Puerto Canyon, realizing it was now 12 miles away, and we'd also have those same 12 miles added on the way back.
Steve, Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0678
The Steve
Glenn Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0664
Glenn, not moving
The ride up the canyon was stunning, and perhaps worth the 12 flat miles we rode to get there. California, drought though there may be, is green right now. The hills glowed, and the rolling climb was a delight. At least it was until we hit the steep part in the heat of the day. My exaggerating Garmin reported over 100 degrees. I'm sure it was only 80, but as it was the first warm day of the season is felt really hot. I managed to hang with Glenn a while — he was taking it easy to chat with me — but most of the day he was off the front or I was working too hard to photograph him. Hence the lack of action-Glenn photos.

Dan up the road Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0680

Red cars Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0691After the Junction at Mines Road we headed toward Mt. Hamilton, but got smarter and decided not to ride to the summit. When we got back to the junction there were three bright red cars there. We chatted with the owners a while and were amused at the fuss they made over our bikes. I asked if they minded if I leaned my bike on their cars and they said it looked like a nice bike and I wouldn't want to risk scratching it. They were amazed with our bikes' lightness, the materials, the skinny tires, and most of all Oldstrong's electronic shifting. We, of course, were reasonably impressed with their toys as well.

From there we headed down, and then back uphill to the gated community of Diablo Grande. The guards at the gatehouse had mercy on us when I explained we needed 1.5 miles more before we turned around so we could hit 100 for the day. They told us the traffic circle was about that far up the hill, and said we were good to go. We even did a few laps round the round-about just be be sure.

Statue Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0701

Selfie, Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0684The ride back was uneventful in a wonderful sort of way. I even had time to pop off a photo  of myself. But perhaps the best part of the day was the light that made the California landscape smile with springtime wonderfulness. Every way I turned I witnessed the greens and blues of happiness and joy.

We finished strong, ate some Patterson BBQ and got home entirely too late. A good time was had by all.
sky Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0693
I love the California spring.
Bonus photo of the fearless, or bored, vole that sat munching grass as we stepped all around it as we loading up the van for the drive home.

Vole. Century with Dan Steve and Glenn_0708


  1. Midland7:20 PM

    Nice report Curtis. Fun day with lots of laughs. Glad we got that water near the end.Hope you got back before midnight.

  2. Anonymous9:44 PM

    It was an excellent day. Great report and photos Curtis.


  3. Nice art on display here sir. You capture so well why we do these rides.


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