The wacky misadventures of the SF->Google/south-bay bike commuter gang
Friday, August 14, 2009
Bayway - 08/14 - 6.30 @RRR
while slurping a macchiato at ritual, mike decreed with some authority that a mt. san bruno assault would be required to consider today's ride worthwhile in any conceivable sense of the word, so the RRR gang rrrolled right past cortland and cruised mission st. until john daly, then left, then left again at price, and left yet again at s. market st., and up/over mt. san bruno. gorgeous view of the urban forest and the bay from up there, i'll have you know.
now, the descent of mt san bruno can be fast, and it can be very windy. today it was both, and Fast Faye and I got blown around on the tandem quite a bit, but still clocked a fairly zesty speed:
being somewhat over the speed limit, we felt secure taking the lane. nearing the bottom we eased up a bit and were only going 50mph when an unfortunate red light presented itself. lucky for us the 203mm discs could stop a caltrain, and no suburbans got t-boned.
the rest of the ride was moderate-to-brisk, with some spirited riding here and there. just made it to breakfast at 9:31, not bad for all that Kemler waiting.
someone's got some pics right? my unfortunate shorts are doubtless being pilloried on bsnyc by now...
On my non-tandem I hit 52.8mph on the Mt. San Bruno descent, and almost ate it once from an unexpected gust of wind but recovered nicely. I would describe the ride from the airport on as more 'brisk to race-pace' then 'moderate to brisk' but that's just me. When Xton leads out on a 30mph pull and then the tandem attempts to attack him, life is not fun at the back of the pack trying to hang on for dear life
Another personal achievement, I stayed up M. Gaiman's wheel about 1/2 way up Mt. S.B., though my HR was 175 and his was probably 90. At that point he looked back, saw me on his wheel, downshifted once and immediately rode away from me. Still, I felt it was an achievement for me.
The best part of the ride was definitely that descent. I particularly
liked taking the lane. Too bad there were not a lot of cars to
There was one point, I think right before we hit the curves before
coyote, point when Xton was going about 47 mph and my Captain
suggested "more power" "more power" "close the gap", when I much more
in the mood to lie my little helmet clad head on Scott's back and take
a little nap.
But the good thing is that even if I am powerless (and I was),
officially speaking, I could do no wrong :)
You people are crazy and now I'm intimidated.
I don't want to pull a Kemler and end up in the next ride report.
Did you guys make it to breakfast? I actually arrived at Google (solo) at 9.36am... Fun ride, and San Bruno-Bayway is my new Bayway! Thanks a lot for stubbornly insisting on doing it this am, and all my apologies for the Martha's group. Alex and Debbie had left RRR at 6.30 sharp so I was hoping you would have caught them.
First a little personal disclosure. I currently have 6 bikes. 1 folder, a MTB in baby hauling mode with attached sidecar, 2 fixed gear bikes( only 1 of which fits well and is in actual working order ) and 2 road bikes.
Foldy bike is great for getting on full caltrains but not great for anything of any real distance ( tho if someone wants to organize a clown bike ride i'd consider joining in ). MTB as stated previously has the sidecar which while great for hauling the kid about isn't great for the commute down. The sidecar has a quick release but dropping it off makes it look like my bike is sporting an enormous erection, seriously. So let's just say that bike is best left as a single purpose hauler.
My happy fun space age road bike is currently sidelined as I decided to swap out the old brakes for new ones but the old cable housing came up about an inch short so rather than rocking the bike equivalent of high waters it is waiting patiently on the wall.
A couple weeks back when I dropped my chain off my old-school-steel-i've-had-since-high-school bike I ended up bending a link. I replaced the chain, rode down and found out my barrel adjuster inexplicably also was busted so that bike is currently sitting in my repair stand waiting for me to swap out the derailleur.
So I've got a 2cm too small fixed gear hanging in my garage that I haven't ridden in at least a year(anyone want a cheap fixed ride?). The rear wheel is currently on loan to a friend.
So that leads me to the one fully functional ride I have is my other fixed gear. A couple people remarked on it today but really, it's my only current choice. There's no honor here, I'm just a lazy lazy mechanic.
Anyway, given the speedy rides we've had down lately I rolled out my door and was at Martha's by 6:40 sharp. As we started collecting people a few riders rolled past and I thought I caught Debbie tho someone in our group said is was Alex and Alex and Alex and Alex, seriously I think they went on for like 2 minutes enumerating all the Alex's. I stopped counting at 2. We shouted something at them and they said not to worry the whole group wasn't far behind them. We waited, IIRC Mark rolled past, gave a wave. Eventually the clock ticked over to 6:53 and we called it. Andrew, May fresh back from her nasty wreck, Yo-yo and myself rolled out. Andrew cursed us by commenting that the wind seemed to be slightly like a tailwind in addition to being very sideways so it switched to a headwind promptly as we crossed under 101. Yo-yo dropped off somewhere out there around the marsh, I'm not sure where but given this is his second ride down this week I was pretty sure he could fend for himself.
Around SFO we added Paul and Christine to our merry group and continued on to midway. Debbie and the 8 Alexs were pulling out just as we pulled in to refill our water. They sneered back at us and quickly sprinted away leaving little cartoon like circles of dust in their wake.
We were hanging around the water fountain talking about what a superior experience it is to meet at Martha's when Kemler rode up. We got it from him that Gaiman used his Jedi like powers of mind control to drag everyone up San Bruno and that they were all likely behind us somewhere. A few minutes later another rider showed up clad in Wildflower jersey. Once we all topped off our water and fooded up we wandered off in search of feral cats which both Paul and Christine expressed their disbelief in. I counted at least 4 large feral felines lurking off the side of the trail.
We cruised onward towards the 92 and eventually caught the bucket list on the other side of the bridge, Kemler went off the front and so we took turns taking pulls up through Oracle. As the path ended the geese started. They were everywhere, blocking the bike lane, path and menacing an AC transit buss that was defeatedly doing its own honking in an attempt to communicate with the birds.
The light at Airport blvd affected a regroup. We rolled to the start of the path next to 101 mostly as a coherent group. Somewhere between the start and end of the path we got crazy splintered. I waited around to sweep our group before the bridge to nowhere and was hanging with Paul and Christine. Just as we got through the Parking lot Andrew came back to sweep, but everyone else was gone. Paul peeled off at the Bayshore Expressway and Christine and I got to Sun with no problems. As we were waiting there Xton appeared in mid bunny hop out of nowhere. He said simply 'breakfast time trial' and the light changed. Gaiman and the Combination Scott/Faye vehicle scurried out of the bushes and across the street. Faye said something about how I missed her brownies and with maniacal laughter dug her spurs into Scott and they reared back before disappearing over the horizon.
Gotta give props to Faye/Scott for the matching team colors and generally rocking the tandem of insanity. Paul for finally making the ride down after first told me about sf2g nearly 2 years ago. Christine for getting so deep into riding so quickly.
That was fun today. Definitely not civil like wednesday. It's amazing what the threat of no oatmeal can do to a group's average speed. See you all at party car.