way too early on saturday i woke up and took bart to the east bay on one of its last destinations: dublin-pleasanton. i was meeting a couple of friends for the short drive from bart to the alameda county fairgrounds where the ride started.
the above shot was taken around 6:30am just before some guy rounded the corner to talk to me. he then determined i must be in law enforcement and walked away from me quickly.
at the fairgrounds it was rather empowering to see all these women of all ages and sizes ready to go on a ride. this event sells out every year at 2500 people, which is an indication that more rides like this are needed elsewhere.
some women were spandex queens ready to go fast. some were ready to have fun with tutus. one woman had one of those fake plastic butts with a diamond encrusted thong over her shorts. (how that was to ride in i don't know....)
some were the enforcers of the rules of the road and constantly shouted at people to PLEASE say on your left when you are passing or SLOWING when you are slowing. nothing wrong with doing those things, but perhaps it was her law enforcement tone. that guy on bart would have certainly changed his mind about me after that.
and more than a fair share of women brought their kids with them. one particular memorable mother had a kid on the back of her bike on a rack supported car seat. she was passing people up hills with that rather heavy load on her back. very impressive. other young girls were on their bikes riding in small packs of moms and kids. adorable and we cheered for them as we saw them.
as you can see, i brought the 1980s sequoia along for the ride. my thought with this bike is that it is going to replace my blue entry-level road bike that i feel i have outgrown. although it has a lot of gears on it, i don't particularly care for the gearing that it has. so i tested out the sequoia. i think it's a strong contender for the replacement. it has less gears than the blue bike, but it is smarter gearing. i push down on the pedals and this bike is ready to GOOOO. vroomvroom. nice.
i was able, for the most part, to keep up with my friend and her modern-day bianchi. for my first ride, i say we did a pretty good job. my little 1980s era avocet bike computer said we were going anywhere from 14-22mph. i'll have to confirm with her garmin. i'll have to figure out how to use the old school one more. or just upgrade, but i like that little thing. it looks identical to the one below.
for the ride itself, it was mostly flat with a few climbs. the 2nd leg was my favorite as far as just pure riding. the third leg included soul crushing winds that were combined with the most climbing. more like marin and SF "speed bumps," but with the wind, i was working more than a little bit. you could tell who was from SF, east bay hills or marin (other than the marin century / marin cyclist jerseys), because they kicked butt in the hills. i have joanie to thank for that since i didn't get a chance to train as much as i wanted to for this ride. she's a good training partner.
overall it was a fun ride. i was pleased with the sequoia's performance. time to take her out more in marin. i would like to do the ride again next year, and hopefully can have some more friends. my friend and i were already planning who we could ask and what our outfits would look like since we were horribly under-costumed for this event. less pink, more black. woot! but of course, whatever the look, they will have to match our bikes!
now that my knee seems to be better...2013 cycling season has begun!