Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5D5W: 9/14 Joe Gross 6:30 RRR

Editor's note: Yours truly was remiss in not posting Faye's hilarious & compelling account of Day 1, which is herein presented.

Ride report

Bueno Serra.  Not sure about anyone else, but I didn't sleep a wink
due to excessive consumption of chocolate cake while watching Breaking
Away and, of course, anticipation of the first day of 5 days 5 ways.
I made it to ritual in good time to caffeinate before rolling, and
acted on some strange impulse to get a tea instead of a proper
machiato- inausipicious decision that no doubt contributed to my flats
later on.  Trinh was already present and Brian Kemler and Brett Lider
showed up shortly followed by Ted and maybe Eric.  Everyone else
straggled in later... even later than usual.  Our fearless leader
looked particularly dead with his eyes rolling back in his head as he
consumer his small coffee.  A complicated flat repair was taking place
outside... Mike G. was riding his Felt and went through a good 3 inner
tubes outside of ritual.  I went out to ask if he wanted a coffee, and
encountered Shoumen on his folding bike in sneakers and running
shorts!  This did not stop him from motoring up the grades on Mission
at break neck speed, however.  Space arrived with amazing blondies and
beautifully and individually wrapped protein bars (that I did not
sample due to their healthy sound).  Who would have thought he could
top that salted chocolate layer cake, but the blondies were just
amazing.  Anyway, we started off with 15 riders, I think, including
Scott, Brian, Trinh, Theo, Space, Jim (on fixie), Xton (on fixie),
Eric (on fixie), Brett, Yoyo, Shoumen (on folding bike), Ted, Mike,
Mark, and me (on Creamy, my beautiful creamsicle bike).  I think we
hit about every possible light as we slowly made out way up Mission
and somehow to El Camino.  On the stretch of road before Colma, land
of the dead,  Scott authorized me to "attack" or as I prefer to think
of it,  try to take the pace up a notch.  Just as I thought we were
rolling at a decent clip, I had my first flat.  For anyone who was not
there, on Friday, I got a flat just before the steepest part of
tunitas, so I thought I did my time!  Grr.  Anyway, the flat was
annoying, BUT the scene around it was definitely the highlight of the
ride for me, and I sure wish someone got some photos... as I yelled
out that I had a flat, there was this mass frenzy as no less than
Mark, Ted, Xton, Theo, and Space with encouragement from a few others
rushed to fix it.  It was an impressive scenewith tire levers, pumps
and tubes flying everywhere and I felt like a Very Important Person
with a harem of flat fixers.  I was informed that my tires are crap
and told to get new ones pronto.

Anyway, we continued down El Camino stopping and starting about every
75 meters and with a few stares of wonder and comments of
encouragement or alternatively explicatives from drivers on their way
to work.  Soon after we hit the side streets that Parallel El Camino,
my tire went flat again.  Everyone very dutifully and politefully
waited and I was very grateful.  Xton and Space again fixed the flat,
with Xton transferring a metal splinter from the tire to his finger.
After that I was really paranoid that my tire was flat and kept
touching it to check at every stop sign.  I thought for sure I would
be relegated to the caltrain and 5 days 5 ways would be over before it

The ride continued in the same vein... stopping and starting and
stopping and starting with us hitting about every possible red light.
We rode through the old race track- a wider space with no cars where
the fixies decided to race each other.  Not surprisngly, Xton won that
little sprint.  When the construction noise did not drown it out, I
noticed the impressive noises Mike's bike was making.  The sun was
shining and it was pretty warm, and despite our very late rollout and
my 2 flats, breakfast at No Name remained within reach.

After turning off of Middlefield in PA, we re-grouped to wait for the
folding bike and Yoyo, and debated invoking the 4-k rule on Bayway.
The invocation was overruled and we continued on at a civil pace.
Brett Lider was particularly dilligent in calling out all of the turns
and the moment at which we needed to down shift to make it up the
pedestrian bridge on 101.  The bridge was slippery as hell and I
almost bit it, but I made sure to be  behind everyone so that I could
hide any evidence.  With breakfast in sight and miracle of miracles, no
lights, we cruised at 23ish mph down bayshore, with Shoumen spinning
so fast on the folding bike that he looked like a wind-up toy, but
managing to mostly hang on to Scott/Mike's wheels,  and were rewarded
with victuals and sun at Google.

Having been told repeatedly what crap my tires were, I plotted my
immanent trip to SB to get new ones (done!).  Aside from a couple of
tubes, no casualties that I know of on this ride, and an entertaining
and light hearted start to 5 days 5 ways.


No comments: