Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why you take a Saturday off...

Sometimes you need to take a day off. Sometimes, you take a day off and go for a ride. Sometimes that ride, while being on familiar terrain, becomes an all new experience. This past Saturday, I met up with some of the Dino riders in Sausalito for a little spin through Marin.

The big feature of the ride was the climb up Mt. Tam on Railroad Grade. It was a busy Saturday on the mountain with a lot of mountain bike riders climbing the grade. When you're climbing a dirt road like Railroad Grade on a road bike, you have no choice but to pedal at a certain pace. Usually that pace is somewhat fast because of the gearing. To most folks a road bike in the dirt is a bike out of its element. I'm not sure what the multitudes of mountain bike riders thought of a bunch of road bikes passing them on the climb up to Tam. But it sure didn't suck passing them in their element.

Once to the top, we hit the road. Across Ridgecrest, down Bo-Fax Road into Fairfax where we stopped for pork products and beers for lunch at Gestalt Haus. Fueled we cruised back towards Sausalito where I had to split off and get back to Point Reyes.

Yeah, that was worth closing the shop on a Saturday.

Railroad Grade
Climbing Railroad Grade

1970 Masi
To some people a 1970 Masi is some thing that is hung on a wall. To Peter Johnson, you ride the damn thing anywhere and every where.

Railroad Grade

Railroad Grade
The last bit of dirt before hitting the pavement.

Alpine Dam
Pausing at Alpine Dam. In this group, if you are wearing a G.S. Mengoni jersey, it's not because you bought it on ebay.

The descent down to Alpine Lake was exhilarating to say the least. It had rained overnight and the road down to the lake was still very wet. Even in the summer time, that road is wet a lot of the time. It sits in a grove of redwood trees which pull moisture out of the air and can make it rain. We hit the descent with Peter, who is a bad ass descender, in the lead. I got around a couple riders to get up to Peter's wheel and from there we bombed the descent passing a rider out on the road who passed us up at the top while we waited for the group to regroup. He had at least a minute on us when we started. About 2/3 of the way down, we saw a flash of his bright pink jersey. It's obvious Peter is still super competitive. When we saw that pink flash in the trees, Peter's rate of descent picked up just enough to overcome the rider after a few fast corners. We went past him at a rate of speed most folks don't get to when the road is dry. Such a pleasure descending on Peter's wheel. Another reason I like the Continental GP 4-Season tires. The rubber compound has excellent wet road adhesion.

(What's playing: The Modern Sounds Blues Roundup)

1 comment:

Gary B. said...

Heavens to Murgatroyd that was a splendid day in the saddle.