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In need of sock puppet
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sometimes you get turned on to the greatest routes. It starts out like an invite to a ride that doesn't fit the plan, not enough climbing maybe, or too far a drive, or in a part of the local area that doesn't call to you... but you roll the dice and go along with the suggestion.


Today's ride was that route. A fantastic treat. A great surprise. The ride? Starting in Hollister at Off the Chains bike shop, to Fremont Peak, outside San Juan Bautista, followed by Lone Tree on the outskirts of Hollister. Both are 3000' peaks, on opposite sides of the San Andreas faultline. The two out and back loops are ~70 miles in combination.


The crew


Heading to Fremont Peak


11 miles of climbing and 2700' later...


One of the few flat sections of the ascent


300' more feet to go to the official peak (20%+ grade)


Climbing the 20% grade, while taking a picture looking backwards, with a cliff to my left.


Care to execute a 4mph bunny hop over cattle grate?


A sweet frequent flier reward benefit from Fremont Air.


Overlooking Monterey Bay and the Monterey Peninsula


James graciously takes a shot of yours truly, Scott and Tom (our host)


Media Mecca


The only descent pic
 

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In need of sock puppet
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9,451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Back at Off the Chain, owner Brian (former Specialized R&D guy) shares a new secret project bike he's developing for **************

PVC. Twine. Gorilla Glue. Coke Bottle.


Calfee, eat your heart out.


The lightest saddle from Italy can't compete with this pressurized coke bottle.


A smaller group of four, we water up, refuel, and head out for the second climb of the day. Lone Tree. BTW, it's now about 90, and no shade in sight.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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9,451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lone Tree is an out and back. The road looks like something from a war zone. Cratered and deadly. Just the kind of road that I dig. Mighty glad too that I'm running 32 spoke, three cross wheels with 25mm Conti Gatorskins. A little later on, I'd lust for a compact, but thank Goddess for my 12/27 cassette.



He's smiling. For now. :thumbsup:


Robbie and Tom look happy too...


The road is still in one piece. So is the group.


Strangely anatomical


This view didn't change, for miles...


The road just keeps winding, and turning, and crumbling


At the 1800' mark, the road meanders through a neat wooded section, with, gasp, shade...


Can you say false summit?


~2800 feet, a spot of shade, and about twelve minutes later, Tom makes it to the dead end that is Lone Tree (he was the only other climber to summit - bonk and heat took their toll)


A pause on the descent.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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9,451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cooper, nice pictures, but what about the squirrel?

Good question.

Crazy things happen on a ride. Most of the time you just hear about them, second hand. We all have our own wacked stories, and from my perspective, this one takes the cake.

Tom left James in a shady spot, suffering from the heat. Robbie had already decided the sensible thing to do was to head home and call it a day. So after Tom met me at the summit, we hightailed it downhill to hook up with James and wrap up our day.

We threaded the snaking descent through potholes, cracks, rocks, sand, weed patches and parched golden hill after hill. Arriving at the shady spot, there was no James. Worried he was in a worse state than previously described, we booked down.

As I made it over the burma road portion of the drop that fed us onto a relatively smooth portion of road, a ground squirrel from the right decided to attempt fate by charging directly at my front wheel. He was scorching fast, and just before the inevitable collision was to occur, I looked up to be sure the road was clear, in case the squirrel's body under my front wheel launched me.

Bump!

Oh ****. I didn't want that to happen, but it must've, cause I heard it.

I scanned the ground looking for a dead squirrel. Nothing.

Then I looked at my bike. Specifically at the bottom bracket down tube junction, below my water bottles. My fuzzy old guy eyes were shocked. There was the squirrel. A live, panicked squirrel. Nervously looking back and forth for a way off this crazy contraption.

The chain ring side clearly wasn't a good exit strategy. Instead, the squirrel looked to be timing my left crank's cadence. His head moved a little, watching the rotating arm. Then he jumped ship.

Perfect clearance. And he hit the ground running. All the way to the other side of the road.

Too quick for a camera, but just long enough to live on in this thread.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,062 Posts
Looks awesome Coop.

I did about 6000ft of climbing in 80 miles yesterday. NO CRAMPS.

Will be posting a report sometime this week.
 

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Bacon!
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That was the best squirrel story I've ever heard. Awesome.

As for the ride, heat or not, it sounds terrific. I've MTB'ed up to the top of Fremont before but never knew you could roadbike it up. That's great. I should come down to ride the southbay and S.C. areas more often. I love the reports you guys post out of there.
 

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In need of sock puppet
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9,451 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cruzer2424 said:
coop that ride looks AWESOME.
I still need to ride up Diablo with you - that'd be awesome as well...

teh moreon said:
Nice stuff, for sure. I wanna ride that.
Come on out - anytime. Like as a stop over to India.

DrRoebuck said:
Looks awesome Coop.

I did about 6000ft of climbing in 80 miles yesterday. NO CRAMPS.

Will be posting a report sometime this week.
Looking forward to seeing your images. Mine are downright crude in comparison. It's good to hear your getting strong miles into your legs. Are you training for anything particular? Glad the cramps were a one-time thing.

MB1 said:
It is hard to beat bad roads, nasty climbs and good friends.

Not to mention a crazed squirrel.
Yep!

abiciriderback said:
Great pictures didn't see one car in your report non that is sweet. Can you please send us some of that nice warm dry weather June and its in the low to mid 50's here in Seattle with constant rain.

Ray Still
This is kinda freaky weather for us - one the coast it should be socked in fog, but it's been clear and sunny. And very dry. A little spooky.


Ridgetop said:
That was the best squirrel story I've ever heard. Awesome.

As for the ride, heat or not, it sounds terrific. I've MTB'ed up to the top of Fremont before but never knew you could roadbike it up. That's great. I should come down to ride the southbay and S.C. areas more often. I love the reports you guys post out of there.
Anytime you want to link up, just say the word.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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27,062 Posts
thinkcooper said:
It's good to hear your getting strong miles into your legs. Are you training for anything particular? Glad the cramps were a one-time thing.
Not training for anything. Just got some good momentum and have been pretty disciplined in keeping it up. (Wait, what?)
 
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