We finally had an Orinda Pool Party that had heat in spades. Although SF denizens may think Contra Costa is a solar furnace all summer, it is actually quite temperate most of the time. But during heat waves it can become blast oven uncomfortable. Every year Roger and I hope for at least some heat so that splashing in the pool provides relief rather than goosebumps. A couple of years we had marginally warm weather and were wondering if anyone would get in the pool. But between the sunshine and our somewhat protected back deck where the heat gets concentrated, people didn’t freeze and got their annual dose of real sunshine and water follies. This year the Orinda Pool Party coincided with a bona fide heat wave. The forecast was for the temp to exceed 100 degrees, no wind, and full sun. And that turned out to be the case.
Seventeen folks showed up including our President and First Lady, Sal & Jim; our Vice President David Gaus; and Secretary Roger Sayre. We were also graced by the presence of former President Phil Bokovoy, former Ride Coordinator David Goldsmith and his husband Chris. None other than the club’s oldest member (in age as well as tenure) Derek Liecty also attended. We had just one new member participate, Greg, who must have had a good time as he promises to return (don’t they all say that?) Greg, we have your number so expect harassing phone calls and to be stalked!
Originally we had two new routes planned due to the closure of the Canyon bridge, which prevents riding up Pinehurst. Despite my promise to keep making the long route harder and harder until no one chooses to ride it, it was just a tad harder than the short route this year (and a lot easier than last year’s long route, I might add). In the end due to the burgeoning heat, by executive fiat I told Maurizio and Greg, who were the only crazies willing to do the long route, that I was “gently encouraging” them to do the short route. So we all did the short one into Lafayette and Walnut Creek and back with just the icky hill up to the manse. That decision turned out for the better: despite taking it easy and having essentially no climbs we were pretty worn down by the heat. We did an unannounced stop at a minimart to down junk food and sugared water despite having hit several water stops beforehand. Then we stopped in Moraga for water and it turned into a long interlude, everyone bristling from the heat and steeling themselves for what was to come. By the time we hit the bottom of El Toyonal it was looking like a death march. Poor Maurizio was walking and said to me, “If I try to ride this, I’ll faint!” It was only a mile uphill but at the top Greg exclaimed, “If I lived up here, I’d move!” David Goldsmith, ghastly pale and wan, looked like death warmed over. David Gaus and Jacob wisely took my advice and went to their car at Orinda BART and drove up to the house thus avoiding Calvary. Well folks, next year we will back to doing the backdoor route and avoiding the climb. (And yes, Roger and I ride up that friggin’ hill every time we do a ride.)
I didn’t check the thermometer at the house but it was surely 100 F or more—you could feel the heat pulsating. Folks were huddling in the house—the air conditioning was on—rather than lounging (frying?) on the back deck. Only by putting food outside did people relent and brave the heat. Fortunately the grub was good and the pool inviting and refreshing, and eventually all but a few were al fresco. And yes, the pool was well used!