The meaning of this ride was to impart a feeling of the usual but done differently, as seen differently, felt differently. A sense of jet lag given. Also, it bought me a certain freedom to do unexpected things as I can't be fully coherent in my present state. This might be interpreted as liberal Flashcutting by some, but I think it would be too limiting to apply that label.
Digressions aside, 11+ of us departed the Kaiser station for 38th Ave. Somewhere in Oakland, Lisa's machine developed a shifting problem, which MacGyver and I attempted to fix, but Lisa wanted paid professionals only to attend to her steed, so she turned back for home. Not a bad move. Besides those two TA stalwarts, we had additional celebrities such as Bob F, Professor Nideker, Ken "Shaft" Jones, Stacie, Ren, Dave and Virginia, Lars, Jason (back after a long hiatus with back surgery), John Williams, and new rider Monique on her Diva. Nice to see some Velos mixing in with us as well.
Virginia soon disappeared. Dave had told her this was a recovery ride, and soon enough she said to herself "Flash sucks, screw this!" and went home. Sorry about that. We climbed Monterey, descended Monterey, climbed Leimert hill, crossed St. James into downtown Piedmont where we took a well deserved pit stop. After that, I got the idea of a climb up Moraga canyon, and a left onto Harbord over to Broadway Terrace. That went well.
I was impressed by the women, Rens was showing a new fire and climbing strong, and Monique was making the whole thing look like a flat ride around Alameda. (later I questioned her on her palmares, and trust me, she is good to go with just about anything) Stacie was looking good as usual, pedaling her metronome-like tempo.
It was at the top of Broadway Terrace that the fateful idea to climb all of the terrace entered my mind. John Williams stated it was "not that bad", so off we went. "not that bad" is of course a relative term. Its a bad ass climb, steep the whole way except for short flat respites. Everyone shined on this, Lars was giving his all, Rens gave up her back to spasms (but recovered nicely) Our sagely riders Bob and Nideker were game for this and once again proved that age is just a number. Ken was somewhere off the front as expected with John, Dave and Monique.
I found it a challenge as my legs were somewhat shot from Brian's ride yesterday(and 2 weeks of off time), but what a great feeling to get to the top only to be subjected to Prof. Jone's pontifications on what is and what is not a Flashride. He thinks he knows me inside out, and that warms my heart as I love Ken as a brother, so I will let him continue to think that. Just then the PINK LADY came riding up Tunnel! What an auspicious omen that was. That told me everything I had done today was absolutely right and true and synchronicity is not only a concept, but a way of life.
We had a nice rest in Sibley, then descended the not usual way as now I was in full Flashcut mode, and decided to throw in as many tasty cuts as possible before ending up on Fruitvale. This meant a nice dive down the Fruitvale "wall" at Dimond Park, one of my favorites. Back home, we enjoyed a stop at Nob Hill Peets. And I did my grocery shopping by Dutch bike today, so my legs are REALLY shot. In a good way.
2500' in 23 miles, not bad for a recovery ride!