Ride Recap: HCC Saturday Ride – 04/30/2016 – Dynamite A / B Group Ride

Last Saturday was our monthly Dynamite A/B ride. On a typical dynamite ride, the B group sticks together and regroups periodically, while the A group hammers it out and stops for no one. Although no formal groups were made and everyone stopped for regroups, a clear A group emerged throughout the ride. The morning started at Hercules Starbucks with a sizable group of 11 riders, a few of whom traveled across the bridge from Benicia and Vallejo to join us. After the usual pre-ride chat, Jonah snapped the group pic so we could get rolling.

The group stuck together and kept it somewhat casual up Hercules Hill and rolling along San Pablo. However, once we reached Cummings Skyway it was no more Mr. Nice Guy from Jerry Wickham. Jerry broke away from the group with a strong climb up Cummings. Mario then took no shame in dropping the group to go catch Jerry. Glenn wasn’t having it though and was hot on Mario’s trail. Still somewhat under the weather, Glenn peeled off at Crockett Blvd to head back home (a cold won’t stop this guy from hammering!).


After a quick stop at the top of Franklin Canyon, the group held a swift pace line heading towards Alhambra, with everyone trading pulls, ending with a customary sprint up the bump at the bottom of Franklin. Next, on to Alhambra Valley towards Pig Farm.

The group stayed together heading towards the Pig Farm climb, until Jerry and Mario once again cranked up the wattage and shot away from the group on Pig Farm Hill. Michael Raub followed suit and hammered it up the Pig. After conversing with Bochie and me up the climb, Jonah was next to say “peace!” and sprint up Pig Hill.


After the always-fun Pig Farm descent, everyone regrouped at Bear Creek. Jonah had to peel off at this point for daddy duties, while the group headed towards Mama Bear sans presidente. Once again, Jerry showed no mercy in hammering through the bears. Mario and Michael dug deep to bridge the gap, hammering up Mama and Papa just behind Jerry, but he is a hard guy to catch!

The group met up at the water refill spot near Baby Bear to top off. Not knowing this, when I pulled up to SPDR and didn’t see anyone, I kept rolling and unwittingly bypassed the group (I have a baby bear and mama bear of my own to get back to!). Due to the nice weather, SPDR was full of cyclists. It was also full of massive headwinds at certain stretches. While on SPDR, the group splintered once again as Michael, Jerry, and Mario (the de facto A group!) broke away, with Chris B also breaking away to chase them down.

The group headed together down Castro Ranch heading back to Hercules, with Jerry, Mario, and Michael continuing the hammer time on Pinole Valley Rd. Everyone returned home safely, ending another great HCC Dynamite ride. Join us this Saturday for a return to Happy Valley!



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