Ride Recap: HCC Saturday Ride – 04/02/2016

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Ride recap by Brian Hurley

Photos by Jonah

Last Saturday was scheduled to be a ride out to Danville and back. However, we had a small group, and several folks had time constraints, so we opted to instead improvise a route that would allow people to peel off as needed. The morning started at Hercules Starbucks with Jonah, Mario, Ken M, and myself…everyone looking sharp in the new green kits. Glenn and his son Jacob were also at Starbucks, but Jacob left his kit at home, so they weren’t riding that morning. Lucky for us, Jacob would have dropped us all! After a bit of socializing, Glenn snapped the group photo for us, and we began our route.

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The group headed down San Pablo toward Pinole, where Bochie joined in and upgraded us from a quartet to a quintet. We continued at a somewhat casual pace, chatting along the way toward Bear Creek. Once on Bear Creek, Mario and Jonah turned it up to 11 and hammered up Mama Bear. After cresting Mama, Jonah had to turn around and return home. We were once again a quartet.

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Mario, Ken, Bochie and I continued through the Bears before taking a break for snacks and laughter at the SPDR intersection. While stopped, fellow HCC’er Lito “The Young One” rolled by on his secret training ride and stopped long enough for selfies before continuing on his way. At this point, Ken peeled off, and our quartet became a trio. Mario, Bochie, and I were considering where to go, as we hadn’t planned anything past the Bears. Mario had a taste for climbing, and was evangelizing this preference to us. El Toyonal, South Park, Pinehurst, and several other options were thrown around. There was some hesitance to follow Mario’s path of suffering, but he can be convincing. In the end, we settled for Wildcat Canyon to South Park to Grizzly Peak and back to Hercules via Arlington Blvd.

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It was a nice climb up Wildcat Canyon as usual. The group stuck together all the way up to Inspiration Point. Along the way up Wildcat, we saw a familiar blur barreling downhill, which turned out to be none other than Andy Man tackling the Nifty Ten Fifty. Kudos to Andy and Jerry Wickham for crushing the Nifty! After refilling the water bottles, we started the climb up South Park (or as I like to call it, “Ouch Park”). It was a challenging climb, but we dared not let on as the effort paled in comparison to what the Nifty riders were enduring! After catching our breath at the top of South Park, we headed at a brisk pace down Grizzly Peak with its amazing views of the bay. We then wound through Arlington Blvd, finding our way back to Hercules.

Another weekend, another great ride! And everyone made it home safely.

Hope you can join us this Saturday for the Happy Valley ride!

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