Orinda Pool Party Recap

Pool Party 2Twelve came for the ride and five more for the après-ride festivities for a total of 17 this year. I’ll admit that after last year I was ready to put the OPP on hiatus—we’ve been doing it for several years. But Roger insisted that we do it—not only does he like to throw a party but it is, after all, about giving back and making a contribution to the club. So on it was. Months ago we figured that August would be the best time to host the party, that month typically being quite warm. However last year it was coolish and windy, and this year lightning almost struck twice. Luckily this year the overcast broke up at the beginning of the ride and it warmed up enough that the San Francisco contingent actually got to experience near ‘tropical’ (by their standards) heat—it must have been 75!! In any case the pool was 90 degrees and lounging was the order of the day rather than swimming laps. With the repaving of Wildcat Canyon we reverted to the original 30-mile loop: up Pinehurst, north on Skyline and Grizzly Peak and back on Wildcat. Pinehurst, a beautiful climb through the redwoods that culminates in a lung-sapping 14% grade, wasn’t enough. So for extra credit most of us did Manzanita, a very short 16% grunter that immediately starts at the top of Pinehurst. The ride along Grizzly Peak and Wildcat, both recently repaved, was gloriously smooth. Then we took the back way on El Toyonal and did a little cyclocross to arrive at the house. Most everyone jumped into the pool after the ride and enjoyed the sun. There was plenty of food and drink, including a host of chocolate and sweets. Unfortunately it had to end and folks then had to complete the ride by descending down to BART to catch the train back to chilly SF. Next year!