OYJ Zoo Ride 2011 (preseason)

The regular Saturday ride was rained out, but several people thought we should re-schedule the ride for today. I wanted to get some miles in and it looked it was going to be the only dry day of the weekend, so I went out to the lake. I knew it was going to be cold, but I didn’t really realize how cold. I was completely underdressed. I was wearing shorts, only two layers on top and, for some inexplicable reason, I left my full finger gloves in the car. Maybe it was sunny when I got ready to mount the bike and head for the start.

At the lake were about 8 people, mostly Humane riders, all bundled up against the cold and giving me a hard time for being so poorly prepared. I was fine when the sun was out, but when it drifted behind the clouds, I was shivering.

We went up Wildwood and Leimert. The strain of the climb kept me nice and toasty, But Butters Canyon was a different story. It was cold, dark and wet in there. By the time I arrived at Skyline, I was ready to head home. So I bailed on my fellow riders and headed down Joaquin Miller and Trestle Glen to return to the lake.

I was bummed that I only got about 12 miles in, but I quickly forgot about that when I got into a nice, warm shower. Next time, I’m going to bundle up and be prepared.

OYJ Tunnel/Grizzly 2011 (preseason)

Randy and Kyle and the bottom of Wildcat Canyon
Since this route makes a counter-clockwise circuit around the north part of the East Bay, I decided I’d ride to the lake and then bail out back to Richmond around San Pablo Dam Rd./Key Route. It was a beautiful morning, slight chill in the air, lots of birds around.

Tons of people already walking their dogs at Point Isabel at 8:30. I crossed over the Berkeley I-80 Bridge and then I made a fateful decision.

Instead of continuing straight on surface streets or winding through Aquatic Park, I decided to check out the road between the park and the freeway. I had never done it before. I was making good time this morning, so what the hell?

I didn’t get 100 yards down the gravel strewn path when I flatted. It was my flat in ages. I know I had a few last year, but this was first with the black and white Vittoria tires, so I know it’s been a long, long time.

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OYJ Dublin Grade 2011 (preseason)

This ride started off a little strange. I was late. Sort of. I parked near the lake and left my car at around 9:24. I rode like a maniac around the lake and down the Embarcadero trying to catch up, but I wasn’t catching up to anyone. I should have caught up to the Light and Humane riders already. I realized that the group must have been coming around on Bellevue as I past the Children’s Fairyland parking lot. Thinking I was late, I skipped Bellevue and just went straight on Grand, missing the pack entirely. Just about the time I realized my mistake and stopped under that little pedestrian bridge just before after the fish packers, up ride the Advanced group.
I continued with them over to Alameda and about halfway down Doolittle, but the pace was too much for me. I would suffer later for the effort of trying to keep up at 22-25 mph on the flats. Big mistake.
After the typical break at the gas station in San Leandro, I climbed Fairmont easier and quicker than I had on Lake Chabot two weeks earlier, which is to be expected. There was no wind on the descent and it was really quick. I topped 43 mph on the way to Castro Valley.

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OYJ Lake Chabot (preseason)

Got back on the bike for the first time since early December and, man, am I paying for my lack of fitness. Had roughly the same trip as last year, except it was a whoel mile per hour slower. I am weak, weak, weak. And the thing is after last year’s struggles with fitness recovery, I told myself I wouldn’t let it happen again. I just couldn’t help it. Persistent pain in my right knee forced a hiatus from the bike. While I’m happy to report that I suffered no knee pain on the ride, I don’t know if it’s because the knee is better or ifI was just going so slowly, it wasn’t affected.
When I review the climbing segments on Strava, Fairmont, Redwood Road from the Golf Course, and Redwood Road from Pinehurst, I was slower than results from 2 and 3 years ago. To be fair those times are probably from the middle of the season when I was at the peak of my fitness and I should get back there, but it’s frustrating.
I know it’s going to be a long, slow process to get back where I want to be and stay there. I need to lose about 10 pounds, which I hope to do by the start of April and I need to spend some serious time on the bike, time which I don’t really have right now. At the very least I need to get the trainer set up in the garage so I can train at night. No more excuses.
Miles: 37.80 mi
Ride Time: 3:01:23
MPH: 12.6 mph
Max Speed: 38.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,532 ft
Flats: 0
More photos on Flickr.
More detailed ride stats here:

Here’s the route map: