I've been getting hammered at work, so this post comes in late.
Saturday. JK and I headed out to the Junction Cafe, south of Livermore. This fell in line with the Halloween spirit, since the Junction Cafe is probably the scariest cycling destination around. Scary because of the rednecks with pickups, and, this time of year, giant tarantulas. Honestly, the spiders creep me out more than the rednecks, who are used to bike fags descending on them every weekend. A detente has been established wherein we don't block the road and they don't hit us. Seems fair to me. As for the spiders, they're supposed to be harmless, but those things will take you DOWN if you turn your back on them. They will swarm all over your struggling body, then eat you. I seen it on the YouTube, I swear.
I like the Junction because:
1. The roads are almost car free, and riding two abreast is seldom a problem.
2. It's a nice 50 miles with a good mix of small climbs, false flats, and a wide open descent to the finish.
3. Leather clad motorbikers and lycra wearing cyclists are two kinds of sexy. Truth be told, neither are that sexy at the Junction. The bikers are lawyers in disguise, and the cyclists are all soccer dads on high-end bikes.
4. It feels more remote than any other cycling spot in the Bay Area. The first time I went out there was a shit show where I forgot my cycling shoes, drove home to get them, rushed to try and catch up with the group, took a wrong turn and ended up lost far out in the middle of nowhere. I bumped into some off-roaders on quads; it was like Mad Max. But they were nice enough to give me a ride back into town.
5. The fries at the Junction. Ok, they're the frozen kind, but they hit the spot mid-ride. One order is enough for two people. Resist the urge to stuff your face. The road back starts with a pretty long, hot climb, and your body will reject that greasy burger like a bad kidney.
At the Junction, JK and I shared a bag of Corn Nuts with a grizzly old biker at our picnic table. We had the usual Lance Armstrong conversation with him, and learned that he'd actually driven out to watch the Tour of California one year, and was blown away by the sound of the peloton going by. Interesting to hear the regular man's view on bike racing. Made me wonder how Armstrong can be a top-10 athlete in terms of name recognition, despite cycling being a bottom-10 sport.
We continue to enjoy the Bay Area Summer (aka October); I was comfy in shorts and a short-sleeve jersey all day.
Sunday. Seen today while on my easy Sunday ride: a bloody operating table on the front lawn. Bleaugh. Were they re-enacting the birth scene from Rosemary's Baby while the kids came up?
The cyclists were out in force, and I hung around some high-end racers on a recovery ride up Tunnel. Sadly, I had to put in some work just to stay within spitting distance. Meanwhile, they could have been passing tea and crumpets back and forth.
Monday. Spinning with Mistress Wendy. Solid workout as usual, but.....Frampton Comes Alive? Seriously? Talking guitar does not fire me up.
Thursday. I finally threw in the towel and brought the IF in to Solano Cyclery. They sorted out the front end creak (loose headset - duh) and rebuilt the rear hub, which had been slipping consistently. I took it out for a pre-work spin this morning up Shasta. Super smooth. I love that buttery greasy rear hub feel. And no squeaking at all when I stood up. Ahhhh. Quiet.