January 13, 2018

In the Thick of It

I was excited at the prospect of exploring new territory. [Sort of.]

The skies were clear at home—unlike yesterday, when a winter fog had settled upon us.

My spirits sank as I got closer to the start for today's ride, in Livermore. Fog. Ground fog.

It's magical in the distance; here you can see the top of Mt. Diablo peeking above it.

Up close, it lends a mystical ambiance to field and forest.

The more we climbed, eastward toward the Central Valley, the denser it got. Droplets formed on my sunglasses and dripped from my helmet. Crosswinds buffeted the bike and made it wobble.

Near the summit, I was alarmed that I could hear an approaching car long before I could see its headlights. I knew I was near the summit thanks to my new gadget, a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt on its maiden voyage. Having pre-loaded it with today's route, it beeped reassuringly at key moments and counted down the remaining distance when I was close to the top. [Not that I was going to sprint, or anything.]

I could hear the rest of the group chattering; why would they wait for the last of us, in such conditions?

Change of plans, they announced. [Whew, what a relief!] It wasn't safe to continue on the planned route. (It wasn't particularly safe to ride as far as we did, but there we were.) I was more than happy to high-tail it out of there, back down the hill. The new plan was to head up to Del Valle Regional Park, another new place for me.

The beach was deserted, and we had the park nearly to ourselves.

Not much of a lake view, at the moment. We saw a couple of boats leaving the park on trailers; did they not check the conditions before making the trip?

An Aermotor!

Glad we were able to improvise, for a respectable 2,640 feet of climbing over 35 miles. It was worth it. And I suffered less than I expected, given that my last real ride was six weeks ago.

Not a big riding year for me in 2017: 2,977+ miles, 85,390+ feet of climbing overall. A new year has begun.