Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gate - Junction - Hole

Nice weather today, but the road was still pretty sloppy from two weeks of rain, including a pretty good system last night.

I started up a minute early and JB caught me in the first mile.

It was the kind of day where you take off your gloves about half way up.

Most of you who probably have ridden Green Valley Road which is on the way to Walnut Creek from the South Side, and are familiar with the weird little section where a bike path is separated from the roadway by a curb; it's always been a hazard but after a while you got used to it. But they've recently repaved this road and they made the bike lane even narrower so now you can't ride in it at all. It's really a strange little section and doesn't serve any observable purpose but now it's even more dangerous... so be careful there and plan on riding in the road instead of on the other side of the curb.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Return of Mijares

Proposal would rename Mount Diablo to Mount Ronald Reagan

Still upset over the devilish connotations of Mount Diablo, an Oakley man has yet again petitioned a federal agency to rename Contra Costa's signature peak. This time he wants to rename the 3,849-foot-high mountain after the 40th president of the United States — Ronald Wilson Reagan.

He'll lose again, I'm not worried, but I find this guy really irritating. Last time he tried this was about 5 years ago and I blogged about it. Below is a quote from the previous news story:

"Words have power, and when you start mentioning words that come from the dark side, evil thrives," Mijares told the Contra Costa Times. "When I take boys camping on the mountain, I don't even like to say its name. I have to explain what the name means. Why should we have a main feature of our community that celebrates the devil?"

Art Mijares, who shudders just saying the word "diablo" and thinks the devil is a living person.

I don't know how long they keep these stories archived, but here's Channel 7's story in which they interview Art in his driveway LINK

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gate - Junction - Juniper - SNOW

It's been "the wettest week in a decade" and it snowed on the Mountain yesterday, but it was supposed to be dry today.

Took this photo from my office window Friday afternoon.
Woke up to heavy drizzle, prepped for a Belgian Hardman ride.

Rained on me all the way to the Gate, but then it stopped and I doffed the rain cape. JB was waiting for me.

We wondered how busy the Park would be with people wanting to drive up to the snow... looked like about 2500 feet. There were a number of them, but it wasn't too bad.

At the Junction, the trailer sign said that Summit Road was closed at Juniper.

It was patchy fog above the Junction, with spots of clear and sunny. We could see the snow though and it was drawing us up.

There were a couple rangers at Juniper making sure people parked sensibly and that bikes didn't go around the road closure.

I met a guy with a Taleo jersey who admired my Merckx and he was on a 1960's Peugeot and had done quite a few vintage restorations so we had a good talk.

Had to be extra careful on the way down with so many bad drivers coming up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Today's forecast was for rain but not until early evening. This morning though the fog was really thick.

Chris Horner Guy dusted us early on like a couple of tourists. Good thing we saw him coming and moved over... he likes to shout at people who get in his way. There are things some riders do that aren't the smartest, like stopping after blind corners, not holding a good line, etc... but Chris Horner Guy has a very low theshold for obstruction. Intense rider, great climber; bit of a hot head.... very unlike the real Chris Horner who is by all accounts a friendly guy.

Fog broke above the Ranches and it was suddenly sunny, warm, and clear.

We continued on up to Juniper. Saw Chris Horner Guy coming down, then he turned around and came back up... must be some kind of interval program.

On the descent I stopped to take this photo - pulled over to within inches of the pavement edge in good view of anyone who might be coming down. But Chris Horner Guy came past again - yelling "DUDE! UNBELIEVABLE!" I just had to shake my head... his pass couldn't have possibly been any easier. He always has ear buds in so it probably affects his reaction more than he thinks.

So I'm now starting a club for people who have been yelled at by Chris Horner Guy. Send me your name and a short description of the offending event and YOU'RE IN. I've seen him yell at cars too - but they pretty much all deserved it.

Abbey decided it was a good day for snoozing.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Gate - Junction - Blackhawk - DB

Just after I left the house, JB called to say he was fixing a flat and not to wait. So I took my time getting to NGR and when I saw Rick's car on Doncaster it was already 8:05. He was gone by the time I got to the Gate so he was probably going for a PB to the Summit and didn't need me to slow him down.

Lots of road kill on the streets today - skunk, opossum, raccoon, and dozens of squirrel cadavers.

Not too cold, not too windy, not too wet... not too many people up there but lots of thick fog until about the Ranches.

A few people were hanging around at the Junction, JB showed up about 5 minutes after I got there. Rick must have been on Summit Road - I texted him to meet us on the Blackhawk route but he didn't make it.

Good riding the rest of the way home. But I think I'm catching the cold that DW has had all week.

Some serious column formation at the Treat Overpass.

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year's Day Abandonné @BlueOak

Started off with great intentions for a Summit run, but the weather and a hamstring cramp sabotaged my attitude. Left the Gate at 7:30 so most of the road to myself but did see a few folks coming down, and lots more on Summit Road.

New Year's Morning on Mount Diablo from Diablo Scott on Vimeo.