This ride was almost as not fun as the first ride of the season. But it wasn't my fault, really.
Saturday afternoon we got home from Las Vegas and I had been a little bit worried that the fellow next to me had been sneezing on me the whole flight. It turns out I was right to be worried, because I think I was feeling pretty run down most of the next day. An hour or two after I got home from riding the cold came on full force and pretty much ruined last week. So that's strike one.
Also, my bike shop had tried to be nice to me. The prior weekend, after the ride to Pacifica, they called and said they they had a new toy for me. However, I hadn't really had a chance to test-ride my new seatpost before this ride. So the bad news was that while they had followed the measurements given them by the fitter the mechanics had measured to a different spot and my seatpost was 14mm too low. Everything was off and that really kind of messed up my day because my knees were very cranky and sore. That was strike two.
But on with the route. It was kinda interesting. We went to Central Expressway and got off at Fair Oaks, just like going to Fry's or Sports Basement. Shortly after we got off of Central a driver tried to kill me with the classic right hook. We all yelled at her and went on. We ended up riding to Mission Blvd and kept going north (never thought I'd ride in that neck of the woods). That was the first rest stop where we were encouraged to buy our lunches. Our super epic SAG driver Diana ferried them to rest stop 2.
Then it was Niles Canyon Road. While riding along 84 the nice lady riding with me (a TRL from the Orinda series) pointed out Palomares Road saying if I wanted a really nice climb to try that some time. (Uh, yeah. I did. The following week.) Highway 84 was pretty stressful - almost no shoulder and plenty of fast moving traffic. I was glad to exit. And I was glad to already have lunch - there was nothing at all there.
Then the big hill of the day - Calaveras. The thing that sucks about it is that while there is a nice long climb and it's nice and gentle - there is also the fact that when you're at the top there are evil rollers. They are evil for two reasons: 1) you're still going up, so the top of the next little hill is above the one before it and 2) there are hairpins at the bottom of most of them so you don't keep nearly as much momentum as you think you should.
And all this with a bike whose fit is off. Not fun. I was so cranky about it that I called the shop from the final rest stop to make a Monday appointment to get my fit checked. (That's when we found the error).
Eventually I made it back home. And boy was I glad to have that ride out of the way. Oh wait...