Ride Recap: HCC Saturday Ride 02/06/2016 – Moraga – Pinehurst – Grizzly Peak

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Ride recap by Sgt at Arms: Joey aka JOE BRO

What’s up HCC!

We couldn’t wish for better weather this past Saturday for riding, being its still the middle of winter. With a forecast high of 17° we had a huge turn out today! Rolling out from our usual star at Starbucks the group kept it easy till the first effort on Castro Ranch to which Mario, Ken and Chris turned the screws on the group.

They continued to hold this pace on up SPDR and we all know how going Southeast on SPDR can be such a suffer fest. It wasn’t long after, that the lead group began to crack under Mario’s relentless regime. Soon it was just Super Mario on his own to reach Bear Creek while the rest of us attempted to maintain some composure as we started to crest SPDR.

As we made our way through Orinda and up Moraga Rd you would think that Mario and Ken would show some mercy to the rest of us by dialing it back a few hundred watts but you would be wrong. This dynamic duo kept the pressure on and didn’t let up till our mid way point at Si SI Caffe.

The mid ride café stop was welcomed by all as it allowed us to catch up with one another as for some of us it had been months since our last group ride. Mid way through our drinks, both Ken and Lito had prior commitments and headed back.

The group thought with Ken going back perhaps the pace would easy up a bit, boy where we wrong!

With most of the group still socializing on Canyon Rd, Mario, Richard, Stephan, Francisco and Jeff pushed the pace as they disappeared as the road started to point towards the sky. Man they need to ease up on the caffeine!

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The last few hundred meters of Pinehurst is a grinder and everyone gave it their all to make this final push. Unbeknownst to us, a few members of BBC where right behind us so at the top high fives where thrown around. At this point Kenny, Jeff and James broke from the group to continue onwards down Skyline but not before our now very large group belted out a verse of Happy Birthday to James.

The group then continued to ascend Skyline to make their way up Grizzly Peak. By this time the clouds had all but disappeared and made way for a breathtaking view of the Bay Bridge and San Francisco. However, if you spent time checking out the view you would had been quickly dropped as Mario and Francisco went full gas up Grizzly Peak almost making it appear as the road was flat.

At the Steam Trains the group debated on descending South Park but with the road closure gates and its near 20% grade the group elected to go around on Golf Course Drive. As the group past South Park, Richard took it upon himself to take on the hair raising descent on his disc equipped road bike.

The group not wanting to give it up to Richard that easy, didn’t let up one bit and went at it on Golf Course as well as Wildcat to catch up to Richard on the Wildcat descent. As they say, you can run but you can never hide.

Back on SPDR, Chris, who had mostly been chilling must have wanted to take vengeance on his prior effort on SPDR in the morning and turned up the gas and let it rip on SPDR taking the group by surprise.

In a few short moments, Chris had a sizable gap showing the results of all his pain cave training. Mario and Jonah soon broke from the group and attempted to bridge the gap to join Chris. But Chris’ time gap, combined with his pain cave training appeared too much for the both of them to handled.

On the descent towards Castro Rancho, it looked like Chris had it in the bag but Mario and Jonah hadn’t thrown in the towel and kept at it, chipping away at Chris’ time and with ~700m to go both blew past Chris who just about blew up going solo the entire length of SPDR.

At that point, the hounds where called off and everyone turned off the afterburners and coasted back into Hercules. The way the group road today, you swore most were suffering from an acute case of cabin fever!

Hope you can join us next week when we take it easy with a loop out to Lafayette.

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