Holiday Party

Despite the rainy Saturday and cancellation of the Jersey Ride, the weather had no effect on the great time had by all at the annual Holiday Party last night. Hosted this year by Chris Contos, the party was in full swing well before 6pm. Members and guests arrived throughout the evening, food and beverages were in abundance with catering by Fete Catering.

Carlos, Scott, Michael

The raffle was held for a $50 Sports Basement gift card, those ride leaders entered for leading five or more rides during the year were: Joseph Collins, Doug O’Neill, Chris Thomas. Will pulled the name and the gift card went to Joseph (who lead a dozen rides during the year!)

Thanks all for coming, see you on the road in 2010!

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World AIDS Day Ride

The Positive Pedalers invited DSSF to participate with them on the the 3rd Annual World AIDS Day Ride, an event designed to bring awareness to the Pandemic, now 29 years.

Dale Leininger, Ben Marks, Maurizio Franzini and Wanderson Carlos and myself joined the group for the 29 mile ride to Mill Valley and back. t was a gorgeous day for the ride, and we were greeted with fierce headwinds on our northbound crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Maurizio, Wanderson, David, Ben in Mill Valley

On the way back we stopped at the National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park.

Woodside to Pescadero

September 26 was a warm day as Scott Steffens, Nancy Levin, and Maurizio Franzini joined me in Woodside, where we started our ride to Pescadero. Climbing Old La Honda, I was regretting the missed opportunity to wear a sleeveless jersey. However, descending into La Honda, we met the the Bay Area’s natural air conditioning. As we regrouped in La Honda, the club’s former ride coordinator, Bill Bushnell, passed us. He was taking advantage of the still longish days for a ride from Sunnyvale to Santa Cruz and back.

Nancy started out ahead of us from the regroup. Her day hadn’t started too well: She woke to find a flat tire and had gone to a bike store thinking she needed to buy a replacement tire. In her haste to get to the ride start on time, she had forgotten to pack her bike shorts. But without a second thought, she decided to do the ride in some loose-fitting gym shorts. I think those loose-fitting shorts acted like wings because the rest of us didn’t see her again until we arrived at the bakery in Pescadero for lunch.

Maurizio purchased a delicious-looking raspberry pastry twist for lunch. Some yellow jackets found it appealing, too. After changing tables and hopping about, he finally lured the yellow jackets with a nectar-flavored Snapple drink and salvaged the pastry to fuel the ride back along the rollers on Stage Road and the climb on Tunitas Creek. Turns out that the insect species had the last laugh: Riding down Kings Mountain I felt something bite me. Of course, I wasn’t going to let a little insect bite ruin this fun descent. But at the bottom I found a stinger in my Tibialis Anterior. I removed it and applied some Sting Eze, but over the next few days my foot and lower leg swelled up. Still, insects or no, this remains my favorite ride.

Three Bears

Today new member Peter from the Easy Bay joined Topher and Doug O for a ride up tunnel, over the three bears and finally up Pinehurst. Tunnel Rd challenged Doug’s confidence and he urged us to continue on without him, but with a gentle and friendly push he stayed with Topher and Peter, ultimately putting in a strong ride from then until the end, but we’ll come back to that in a bit. In the first descent, along Grizzly Peak Blvd, Peter went into a corner blazingly fast and found himself sliding across the road. He was a little shaken and suffered some abrasion, but this was not going to deter him. Peter picked himself up, dusted himself off and rode on. Yay! Peter hung in there through Three Bears, up San Pablo Dam Rd and partly up Pinehurst. At that point he decided to ease off the pace and take a short cut home for needed recovery—don’t overdue it Peter, we want to see you back!

Doug, who was doubting his climbing earlier, now urged Topher to make a route change. On the return, where we originally planned to descend Tunnel Rd the way we came, he suggested we instead head up Grizzly Peak again to descend Claremont, which adds a couple miles and some more ascent. Subtracting some time that we assisted Peter with his injury, Topher and Doug completed the 60 mile 4930 up-feet ride in 4:31. Peter gets credit for keeping that kind of pace too, since he did so until Pinehurst, and on a sore leg even. Brute.

Tour de Heat (aka South Bay Reservoirs loop)

Fortunately “de Heat” was not a full furnace blast mode for the riders who joined me today: Chris Contos, Doug Dexter, Jeffrey Kongslie, Cameron Ross, Jerome Thomere, and my friend Doug Flora.

It’s a quick jaunt down Santa Theresa Boulevard and up Bailey Avenue, past IBM, and we’re at the eastern edge of Calero Reservoir. Heading down to Chesbro Reservoir and back down to the valley floor we head over to Coyote River Park at the base of Anderson Lake and our first rest stop.

The return from Gilroy takes us up Watsonville Road to Uvas Road, where Doug F got a flat, I stopped and helped with the tube change, and then we were on our way again. The climb back up to Chesbro work. A while later Doug Doug F called, “I’m at the top of Bailey Road (huh?), but Jerome had a blow out and his front tire is trashed.” So from plan A, I’m on to plan B, rescuing Jerome on Uvas Road. This was his second blow out on the Specialized Pro tires on the new bike (the first was on the rear tire on Day 2 of ALC on River Road.) At least both tires are new now!

Half Moon Bay – Pescadero Loop

We had a great turnout on Saturday for our ride from Half Moon Bay down the coast to Pigeon Point and around to Pescadero and San Gregorio. Fourteen riders joined me (the most I can remember for a non-Jersey ride in years!) for this beautiful roller coaster of a ride. The weather was chilly and breezy, as exemplified by the photos. We all felt like Cat 3 racers heading down Cabrillo Highway, but paid our dues heading back north into strong headwinds.

The group at ride out from HMB

Veteran DSSF riders, David Gaus, Wanderson, Jeff, Steph, Roger, Cameron, Rob, Tia, Doug O, Scott, Nancy and I were joined by Joel (on loan from Chicagoland for some ALC training) and new DSSF riders Shane and Carl. Everyone did great, despite the strong headwinds on the return trip north, and we were rewarded with a tasty picnic lunch at the Pescadero General Store and Bakery.

David G had a few flats, and one member had to bow out of the ride for lack of shoes (sadly, she could not borrow Cam’s shiny white shoes). Other than that, a grand outing was had by all!!

Inaugural Monthly East Bay Ride

This past Sunday, two veterans and three new riders met at the Claremont Peet’s and began what will hopefully be a new monthly ride in the East Bay to cater more to club members and enthusiasts who live on that side of the bay.

Alfred S and I were joined by Ge, Jean and Vanessa on a beautiful Sunday am ride up Tunnel Road, south on Skyline and around the picturesque Pinehurst loop for a ride that finished around noon and clocked in at 26 miles and just under 3,000 feet of climbing.

While my goal was to post this ride on the 4th Sunday of each month, the next several months present challenges to this…Memorial Day, Gay Pride and our July outing to Calistoga. So check the ride calendar for more information about