I took a break from my sinusitis pity party long enough to squeeze in a ride today. I was getting cabin fever something fierce. We’re really lucky to have such great terrain practically in our backyard. These shots are from my ride. They’re typical of South Livermore, a burgeoning wine region.
As mentioned earlier, I raced in the Sea Otter Classic two weeks ago. I was in Category 3, and an older age group, so it wasn’t the most competitive bunch. Here are the final stats.
|Stops to put more air in tire||2|
|Rank||34 / 38|
|Ribs||In tact, bruised|
|Damage to bike||Front wheel warped, snapped wire|
|Lost Sunglasses||1 pair|
I’m feeling much better today. My shoulder is a little sore and the bruised ribs still hurt a little. I just got word yesterday that my bike has been fixed and is ready for pick up.
I’m not going to stop riding, but I might quit racing.
This weekend I got in a couple bike rides, both marred by equipment failures. I went mountain biking on Saturday. I found some great single-track and ran out of steam going up a gully. I cranked too hard and broke my chain. Fortunately, I was only a mile from the car. Sunday, I had a 25 mile ride according to my plan. About 3 miles from the end, I must have hit some construction debris and got a flat. It was more than the tube, the tire has a hole too.
Linda has decided to take up Mountain Biking with me and last week we picked up a new bike for her. We’ve been looking for something to do together that gets us outside and is also a good way to kill time when we go camping. We had toyed with some other activities like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or surfing, but all those water sports require, well water. On a good day, we’re at least an hour from the ocean. With biking, we can go right from the house.
For her first ride we decided to check out Lake Chabot, an East Bay Regional park near San Leandro. We read about it on a bay area bike website, and sounded like a good place to start.
While we weren’t looking for level 10 technical single-track, we didn’t want a flat asphalt trail either. What did get was a mile-plus climb up some incredible steep fire roads. At one point it we had to walk the bikes up a 24% grade. Overall, a great place to ride, just not your ideal first ride. For future reference, we’ll probably go back.
We finished off our ride with a little brunch next to the Westy.
Finally go the new mountain bike dirty with some riding this weekend. I went to Pleasanton Ridge two days in a row. We have a lot of great places to ride all within an hours drive. The Ridge happens to be one of the tougher rides in the East Bay. There are miles of single and wide track at 1400 feet. Getting up to the ridge is the challenge. From the parking lot, it’s a 1 mile ride up with some grades over 15%.
I’ve been road riding for years, and road shape is definitely not the same thing as mountain bike shape. Even in my granny gear, I couldn’t climb the 21% grade hill known as Godzilla without dismounting.
As always the case with rides that have that much climbing, the ride down was worth the trip up.
Saturday Morning Ride
It was a gorgeous morning to ride. The fog rolled in overnight. At the top of the ridge I rode above it.
Sunday Afternoon Ride
I must be a glutton for punishment, but I went back for another ride on the same trail. Linda and I had been looking at bikes for her, and I got the itch to go back. This time I paced myself and only walked the bike once.
The highlight of this ride was seeing the snow capped mountains of the Sierras from the top of Godzilla.
Added a new bike to the overcrowded garage. This beauty is a 2016 Specialized Crave 29er hard tail.
My last 29er was a Specialized Rockhopper I bought in May 2011. A month later, I took it to Maine where the front rim got bent just being on the bike rack. I never liked that bike. It always felt cheap. I went against my own advice of buying a cheap bike. I sold it in 2014 to a dude with an ’87 Westy from Marin. That transaction led to us purchasing our own Westy (which the bike is leaning on).