Jacque Anquetil's 1962 Tour de France Winning Bike

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Number 16

Back to riding outdoors, I left the house at 6:45 a.m. with an empty stomach, staring at a 3-hour ride.  Armed with a $25 Peet's card, I rode to the cafe for a pair of mini lemon-currant scones and rode off to meet the SiSi cafe ride at 7:15.  Due to my commitment to VeloSF, I haven't seen some of the guys from that ride for over five months, so it was good to catch up and catch crap for insufficient fortitude to ride in winter weather, even in what passes for winter in the Bay Area.  This winter, however, was much wetter than most and the wetness has persisted into what passes for our summer.  This week we've had drizzly foggy days one after another.

Today was no exception.  As soon as climbed from the house and I crossed Highway 13 on my way to Peet's, the fog thickened.  I looked over my glasses and saw misty drips floating down, down.  A couple of hundred yards farther and the road became damp and mist turned into drizzle.  It remained drizzly until we reached Moraga about 12 miles to the east.

I kept riding, while my group stopped at SiSi.  I didn't have good legs and wanted to keep going, fearing that stopping would leave me tight.  I rode to Walnut Creek, then turned around and took the Lafayette-Moraga bike path back, returning by climbing North Pinehurst to Skyline.  On Skyline a pedestrian would have used an umbrella.  I plunged cautiously into Montclair.  A few words about the Llewellyn: I rode cautiously, braking more that I would have on a dry rode, but the bike felt very sure and stable.  I felt completely safe and confident on the wet descent.  It was a reassuring and inspiring feeling.

I didn't try riding hard, but trying to keep pace with the group, I ended up riding hard, though it couldn't have felt hard to the group -- I am in January-February shape and the guys are in July shape.  That was OK, but it left me with sore legs, so that I even let two people ride away from me on Pinehurst, as I rode home.  I don't do that normally, but I don't have the legs to race these people now.  Give me a month and we'll see.

Tomorrow will be a recovery day.  I really hope I am very motivated for a recovery ride and don't ride stupid when a faster cyclist rides past me.


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