Monday, April 22, 2013

No Jacket Required....

The title of this post has more to do with last night's ride than an oblique reference to one of my favorite albums in the early-eighties....

The usual suspects showed up for the Thursday ride and it was so nice that most of us were in short sleeves which was a very nice treat. That combined with doing the entire long loop sans lights made for a really nice evening to be out on the bike.

Several of us decided to do the longer loop and while I started out strong and felt good for the first few climbs, my legs eventually began to protest as the climbs didn't let up and the pace remained higher than I would have liked.

Eventually, as we reached the top of Soaring Hawk with the views of the bay and a nice breeze, I realized again just how blessed we are to live in the SF bay area. It never ceases to amaze me that within 10 minutes of a major metropolitan area like Oakland, we have access to good riding trails.

After a brief rest to catch my breath, we began the descent that was to be the reward for our efforts. The downhill portion on this part of the ride is fast, narrow and although somewhat rutted, is a great little hidden gem in our area. Actually, it's not even that it's hidden. It's just that there's quite a bit of work that goes in to getting here and even many that are aware of it, are unwilling to put the required level of effort in to enjoy it. I think that in all the times I've ridden this section, I've only seen a couple of hikers and never any other riders.

The last little bit drops you off on Redwood Rd and is REALLY rutted out. So, not only are you listening for oncoming cars and the crotch rockets that race up and down the canyon, you're required to put a large amount of focus into staying on your line and keeping your rear wheel from launching up and over your front wheel.

This section is followed by a nice slightly downhill fireroad run back to the lake loop. This is also the only section on the ride where I wish I had gears. I spend most of my time either pedaling like a hamster on a wheel or tucked and trying to draft off one of the guys ahead of me.

Bort Meadows is also where Jack and I separated from the others in doing the long loop. They were adding in another little sideloop, but the truth be told, I wasn't sure I was going to finish this loop without cramping. There was no way I wanted to have to walk the last section of road back to the parking lot so I decided that discretion truly is the better part of valor and Jack and I headed back without the added detour.

As we pedaled up the road to the parking lot, my legs were definitely tired, but I wasn't quite as spent as I thought I might be. So, with the last 100 yards left to finish, I taunted Jack and he and I raced in to the parking lot with him cranking a big gear and me spinning again like the proverbial hamster.  Afterall, while discretion may be the better part of valor, stupid is as stupid does and I'm always game for another really dumb idea.....

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