... and the first DNF was me, naturally. :^)
This is a pretty challenging ride. I wanted to keep it for the most part on scenic roads, preferably shady, with little traffic. Alas, in the East Bay, that means climbing. I tried to keep it under 6000 ft of climbing, but between RUSA's constraints with respect to designing permanent routes, and my own self-imposed contstraint to avoid yukky urban sprawl as much as possible, the best I could do was about 7000 ft. Oh well, most of the studly randonneur types I know can do this easily.
Speaking of, congratulations to Veronica, aka Princess Zippy, the first finisher of the EB200 permanent !
Pending verification and rubber-stamping by RUSA, of course :^)
I started out strong & feeling fine. Veronica and I left the start point in Dublin at about 6 am, so it was very pleasantly cool out and the car traffic was about nil.
Calaveras Road was lovely. Along the way we passed a couple of deer, some quail darted across the road in front of us (quail are so doofy, they always make me laugh), and lots of turkeys - the bird kind, that is.
I had a flat after about 30 miles, and I discovered my Topeak road morph frame pump wasn't working properly - I could pump my tire up to only about 60 psi or so. Which was fine on the flatlands, but Palomares Road was a truly painful slog, I have never felt so awful going up that, I felt I was pushing a tank uphill. (yeah, yeah, some of you might think I already push a tank uphill, but trust me, this was worse).
At the top of Palomares, I asked a passing rider if I could use his frame pump. He galantly pumped up my tire, and then while disengaging the pump he broke off the valve. Ooops. Glad I carried 2 spare tubes. He galantly changed the tubes and inflated the new tube with a CO2 cartridge. I halfway expected it to explode, but yay, no more disasters.
I was only at about mile 50 and I was getting stressed out knowing that I was riding with a defecto pump and no good tubes left. And the way my luck was going I knew that was going to come back and bite me, so I managed to get a hold of Lee who met us out at the golf course and gave me his (working) frame pump and a couple of spare tubes for the rest of the ride.
We had been wasting a lot of time with all my pump/tube mishaps so I made V go on ahead to the next checkpoint.
Climbing up Redwood Road wasn't near as bad as Palomares, but by then I was really off my game and feeling stressed and lousy and it was getting hot. I was climbing so slowly that I was worried that I wouldn't make the next checkpoint in Moraga in time. Then eventually I decided this was BS, I just wasn't enjoying the ride any more. So I phoned ahead to V as soon as I got a cell signal at the top of Pinehurst Road and told her to just keep going, I was going to bail when I reached Moraga.
Once I reached Moraga I bought myself a Diet Coke at the Safeway - and wouldn't you know it, even with my glacial climbing and dawdling on the phone the receipt showed I made it 10 minutes before the checkpoint closing time.
I hung out in a shady spot waiting for Lee to pick me up. And I started feeling a lot better. I shouldn't have been so hasty to bail, I suppose, particularly since almost 3/4 of the climbing was done. I couldn't keep going since I had already called Lee to come & get me. Oh well, lesson learned.
Lee & I drove out towards Martinez to check on V. She was looking strong and going great. freak. We met up with her at the train station and chatted a bit and then we went on our ways.
I might give this a try again next weekend. With a working frame pump. :^)
Another Year, and More Time to Reflect
1 week ago