Saturday, November 17th
November So after 6-7 hours in the car with only one stop for gas and one stop for Sbux bizzle we arrived in Pleasanton. Tim's mom Cindy and dog Riley greeted us at the door. Riley was full of energy and bouncing around like a puppy. He knew there would be some good adventures in store. Tim's father was decked out in Boston Marathon Finisher gear cross training in the back yard. (Cross training a.k.a. yard work) I think Bruce secretly likes to wear his Boston Finisher and Ironman Full Finisher gear when Tim and I are around to get our goats. Bruce was planning to do a long run but Tim and I twisted his arm into riding with us. We grabbed a quick lunch and the four of us headed out the door on our bikes.
Cindy calls herself "the weak sauce" member of the family. Yeah .... right. She likes to ride in the front and lead the way. I think it's because she thinks drafting is for the weak. Before we had 5 miles under our belts she had already dropped 5 guys. Weak sauce. Hah. We comfortably drafted behind her as we headed towards Calaveras Road.
Just as we started to warm up in the saddle we turned onto Sunol Road and saw a climb ahead. I heard some commotion behind me and some shouting. "CDF Challenge, you can't go below 20 mph, sprint, sprint." I pick up the pace a little bit as Tim sprints ahead. I hear "dropping, dropping;" I slow down thinking "dropping " means a rider is being dropped. Oh dear, "dropping" meant I was dropping that pace to less than 20 mph for the climb. When Tim stopped his bike at the top of the hill I heard a frantic cry "No, No , No, the sign, the sign." Apparently the rules of the CDF Challenge are that one must sprint from the bottom of the hill to the California Department of Forestry sign. After finishing the climb at 20 mph, the contestant must throw his fist in the air as a salute to the California Department of Forestry. Poor Bruce, he had waited so long to share this game with Tim and me and we didn't even get it right. Beyond that, the next ride we said we weren't playing and on the last day Tim bastardised the game by announcing the CDF challenge was to keep your bike from rising above 10 mph. Poor Bruce, he didn't hear this; if he had, he would have shook his head and said " I raised you better than this."
The ride out was extremely scenic and great for hammering on our new TT bikes. After riding a bit, I let go of the reins and my bike Sweet Thunder galloped ahead. I think she thought with all the cows and horses in the pastures she had broken free. Tim's bike Pumpkin does this too. He takes off and he can't be stopped. Over the rolling hills charged our bikes. When we reached the entrance to Sunol Regional Park we started to climb. I love this climb: it is curvy with switchbacks and overlooks a reservoir. The air was cold and crisp, and the sky was clear and blue. We rounded corners and went through shaded sections where the sun never hits and the cold air settles, known as" the refrigerator".
We turned around at the top, marked by a bald eagle's nest, and headed back to the homestead. We later were told we were expected to descend toward San Jose and climb back up the "Wall" for an extra few miles. I believe not climbing the wall was deemed "tacky." Apparently 42 miles just wasn't enough. We tried to dig ourselves out of the "kids these days" hole by taking Riley for a brick run. We ran 2.5 miles before calling it a day.
Ahh... what a day.