My partner in Bike World today was Ken Jones, retired SF fireman and enthusiastically addicted veloman who rides a sweet Moots Ti
There were thousands of cyclists on the mountain today, and the vast majority of them were wearing their local team kits. Lots of cowbells and lawnchairs. It was a very pleasant feeling climbing and being cheered on by the crowd. Like I told Ken, this was more than taking a ride, it was improvisation, open air theater, and we were players in this unscripted play. I also remarked that the Bay Area economy must have tanked today as all these able bodied people were not at work. They were playing, as we were! That's why we live here. For the lifestyle other parts of the country cannot abide by.
Famous fast winning bicycle racer Levi Leipheimer in the light blue kit on the left
We took our watch at the junction ranger station, where the bright orange King Of the Mountain line was adhered to the pavement. I took some spare time to buy a Mt. Diablo T-shirt in bay leaf green color from the friendly park volunteers working the hut. Other friends were there. Warren from Alameda Velo, Brian and Janet from TA/GP/AV and whatever other clubs they are in. Debi Palmer, Flashblog fan #1 was there with Wayne Stetina's wife. Google that former racing powerhouse and you will see Ms. Palmer is hanging with the legends of the sport. Anyway, the peloton blew past us in 10 seconds, my camera saw much more than my eyes. It was just a blur.
Observe the Three Faces of Suffering
But seeing the peloton was not the main reason we were there. We were there to worship at this magnificent mountain, this magnificent alter to climbing, and racing while climbing. We were there to collectively celebrate our passion, to honor those elite riders we could never be, to indulge our senses for however briefly in the knowledge that we are all devoted riders, we all share knowledge of suffering as well as Volupte, we live, and breathe, and think of riding. This is our world, we earned it with hard work, sweat, and endless miles beneath our wheels.
After it was over, there were so many cyclists rolling down the hill it looked like Levi had thrown a second edition of his Grand Fondo. I played the safe and sane card on this descent as many, many Lance wanna-bes were bombing down on the left, even though cars were trapped in the swarm below us. Ken and I had picked up a third member of our little party, and although he is named Fred, he is anything but the stereotypical "Fred" riders out on the hill today. This Fred rocks an authentic inner city vibe, his loud talking, over energized ADHD vibe is fascinating. But I'll tell you what---he's the real deal. He rides hard on an old bike and keeps attacking all the time. He makes the best of what he's got. He's my new favorite rider, seriously. So we bagged 52 miles and 4,200' of climbing at 13.1 average. Not too shabby for a Tuesday in May.
Keep riding, no matter what bike you got