Done any real rides today?

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Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2011
Exercycles are fine for exercise. They are very nice in the winter in areas with snow or heavy rains. But they are not riding a bike. And no amount of TV screens on them make them equivalent to riding a bike. So if you're posting on this thread make it a real ride.
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Since my fall the Saturday before last, I've only gone on one ride. It is a medium hard ride because it has about 2,500 feet of climbing on it on the route I go. Most of the climbing starts early and with the initial climb a quarter mile long and 8%. I do it in a 34-21 because it is very heavy traffic at a freeway entrance/exit and so you have to be able to accelerate. There is a downhill and a short mild climb after that and then a 2 mile long climb. The bottom of it is 7% but that's only for a quarter mile and then flattens out into a 4%er for the rest of the way though it increases to 6% near the top just to irritate you.

I lost a lot of fitness in the last week of taking my brother to the eye doctor, going myself to the neurologist for a checkup. And then finally getting out on the ride. The winds on Mt. Diablo were hitting 72 mph and I expected problems with surface level winds gusting to 40 mph. After going over the grade which I did in slow motion with the damn traffic going by at freeway speeds, I turned down Foothill Rd. heading to Sunol and a really nice little Café Bella Bistro where I could take a break. This is mostly a two lane road with heavy morning traffic. It has continuous rollers and some are steep enough to bring you almost to a standstill when you reach the top in the big ring.

Over a good part of it, it has a come and go bike lane. When the road gets too narrow the bike lane disappears and the traffic is normally surprisingly polite especially with me since I make every attempt to allow them to pass where ever possible. It finishes with a short, steep and hard climb around several blind curves with no room for a bike lane nor even a shoulder line. Finally there is a downhill coast past a large cactus growth. That's the sort of stuff they make tequila out of so I suppose it was planted by the vineyard workers. This is all part of the Livermore Valley so most of the old farms are gone and only vineyards are there as the only real source of income for open land.

After a couple of sharp turns in which I close up on the cars in front so fast I have to brake heavily we ride into Sunol and the Bistro. All this time the wind has been gusting and while it was supposed to be coming out of the north in fact it's been clocking from every direction. These real deep aero wheels I got from China work well. They do not respond to side gusts any worse than old MA2 Mavic rims.

At the Bistro which caters to cyclists to the extent that they have a tire pump and a multitool chained to the bike area I parked the bike in close to the building and leaned against a concrete planter that's about 5 feet tall. There are a lot of outside tables for when the weather is nice but today it most definitely isn't nice. It is still around 52 degrees. So I went inside and ordered a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. They serve the Italian Lavazza coffee. While it isn't great it's one hell of a lot better than Peet's which tastes like mud filtered through horse droppings.

Sitting inside where I could watch the bike, I had my food and coffee. Down by the river - about a half mile away are homeless people most of whom are addicted to methamphetamine that the Mexicans are bringing in by the ton. They would rather live like dogs laying on the ground in order to use any money they can beg, borrow or steal for meth. That stuff is so addictive that you only have to wave it in front of someone and they're goners. Maybe that's why California is a Sanctuary State - so that they can destroy as many lives as possible while the Mexican Drug Cartel gets rich and stays safe.

Leaving I am going to have to ride into that wind so I need a warmup. The road through Niles Canyon ends close and so I have to dodge high speed traffic to get out on the road. Then riding up the hill of Sunol Blvd there's no traffic and I can ride off of the edge of the road to avoid losing control in the gusts. Over the top and then slowly down the other side with the gusts clocking all over the place but at least they're only 25 mph or so. I turn up Happy Valley Rd. and have heavy wind directly in the face, for a change, for a mile and then riding the road around and back down to Sunol-Pleasanton Blvd and into Pleasanton. It is a nice little town but the entire valley is filling up with houses and not it is residential districts all the way up to Dublin and heavy traffic. Well, at least there are multilane roads with bike lanes.

I finally made it to the Dublin Grade again and was hoping for a tailwind because I was really bushed from fighting the wind and broken my training schedule for two weeks. But there was no tailwind. At least I had no headwind. Along the eastern side of the grade there was almost no wind at all. As the grade starts there is a steep jump of about 8% and then it drops to about 6%. As tired as I was 6 mph was the best I could do. Then at the top there was a strong headwind and I thought I was going to have a headwind all the way. But the wind was clocking again and it would be from the nose then the side and then the rear. At the bottom is a dangerous four way stop sign intersection. There was only one pickup there coming from the opposite direction. Since hardly anyone uses turn signals I had to come to a complete stop and then he went straight. So I didn't get a head start on the bump ahead but the Propel was working and I went over it in the big ring and topped at 14 mph. There is only one more climb to get into Castro Valley and luckily at the bottom of the start there's a light that doesn't change for bicycles but a car arrived and changed the signal just as I got there. I made it across and a wide bike lane starts. I ride over this hill in the big ring. About half-way up it flattens to about 3% and I push it up to 17 mph and then nearing the light at the top 20 mph. As I got to that light some SOB in a van in the left turn lane turned right so sharply that he was going to cut the corner so that I couldn't go around with him. I was shouting and with the brake semi-locked to retain control I was going to hit the side of him at 15 mph at the last second he stopped and I could swerve within inches of the front of him and come to a stop. I really cussed that jerk out.

I started down that hill and part way down turned around and went to find him and apologize. Back up that hill and onto the road he was turning on and climb, climb, climb for more than a mile. I didn't find him and in retrospect it's just as well. He HAD to have passed me but the bike didn't make the slightest impression on him and so when he decided to turn right instead of left he only looked for car traffic. But you can bet that he'll notice bikes from now on. After I got into town I decided I would take another hill on the way home so I turned up Chabot Rd. and took that to Fairmont and did another 400 feet of 6%.

As I got over the top, great balls of fire, the wind was fully 40 mph and clocking round and round as I was going down the 2 miles to the bottom. I slowed down to 20 mph still worried about losing control with those sorts of changes in direction. Finally at the bottom the wind dropped down to 20 mph out of the north with gusts from all directions.

Finally home, I had 49 miles. Turning on TV it was continuous Democrats crying "Foul" that they didn't have a blue wave. There was nothing else on the news. But what was really occurring was huge fires driven by the winds in northern California and LA area that have already destroyed over 1,000 homes and people were dying in the flames. This morning if you go outside all you can smell is smoke. And with these winds continuing there is not possible control of the fires in sight. And no rain in the forecast. But the Democrats crying is certainly more important.
Because the air in the bay area is about as bad as smoking cigarettes and it is continuously that way those of us who were free went to breakfast at a local place in Castro Valley. Only about half or a little less of the group showed up but we were 14 there.


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Well, the air quality because of the forest fires is now so bad that all of the public transportation is free so that people do not have to walk around in it. Presently they say it's like smoking. All of the hardware stores are ordering and re-ordering particle masks and selling out as rapidly as they arrive.

But the end is in sight. They believe it will rain either Thanksgiving day or the following day. That will clean most of the smoke out of the air.

The Feds say that all of this could have been avoided if California didn't have hundreds of laws that prevent people from logging off dead trees which are a fire hazard. One in three or four trees have been killed by the couple of drought years or from that weakening them to the point where they were invaded by Bark Beetles which killed them. To log these dead trees off requires three or four permits with all sorts of scientific "proof" that they are dead. A dead tree on your property overhanding your home and likely to fall on it still requires a permit to cut down.

So as is predictable in California the environmentalists have been blaming PG&E for these fires despite no roads or lines where the fires started. PG&E cannot use underground lines in California because people open the accesses and steal the copper lines. And recyclers don't even blink at taking it off of their hands.

Well, NASA's latest research shows - not global warming - but we're about to plunge into another little ice age. Sunspot activity has been very low and dropping which causes the upper atmosphere to cool and allows surface temperatures to fall directly into the vacuum of space. Hope that you aren't someone that thinks that there's going to be a hot time in the old town tonight.
Forum members, Cyclintom is a sad sad person, he did provide us with a major hint as to why he acts the way he does when he said in his second post in the second paragraph of his rambling insane nonsensical manifesto this: "going myself to the neurologist" Don't bother responding he can't comprehend anything you have to say, just let him be forever lost in thoughts that once mattered but no longer do.
Forum members, Cyclintom is a sad sad person, he did provide us with a major hint as to why he acts the way he does when he said in his second post in the second paragraph of his rambling insane nonsensical manifesto this: "going myself to the neurologist" Don't bother responding he can't comprehend anything you have to say, just let him be forever lost in thoughts that once mattered but no longer do.
I wonder if you know how stupid you sound? You sound as if you want PansyBob to chime in and lick your shoes like a dog. Don't you have any friends at all? You sound as pitiful as millennials whose only "friends" are those on Facebook that they've never met and for whom they are deathly afraid with "unfriend" them if they say the wrong thing. So they all "Baaaaa, baaaaa" in unison.
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