Descenders Ride for Sat, Jan 4 (RSF, Del Dios, HVR, Mussey, SPP)

Descenders, we had our official first Saturday ride of 2014 yesterday.
There were a total of 20 descenders riding – 16 descenders showed up at the start, including Bob Raibert with his 8-year old daughter Elle (?) on a tandem. Now we know how Bob scores those KOM segments – he has a secret mini-human motor in the back! She should be worth at least extra 50Watts!
We picked up Proulx (I believe his first outing with descenders since his crash) and Eric while we were riding by Santaluz. Jeff and Eileen try to catch up with us at the Stud loop but were a bit too late. It was a bit chilly at the start but warmed up eventually.

Eric, Larry and Rick were clearly the strongest on all the climbs (even though they were taking it easy, chatting together while climbing), with Tony, Steve, Geoff and I chasing them. Janet was also consistent on all climbs, easily catching me and Geoff at the very top of HVR.

Descending towards Del Dios Rick introduced us to a new bike trick – he bunny-hopped over a dead skunk by the side of the road, a.k.a. "skunk-hop". Don’t try this at home, Rick is a pro!

On the way down Mussey fearless Claus tried to escape early on, but he was brought back. Then he tried again towards the bottom. This time Guido was able to go with him. I couldn’t see it from the distance, but I think Claus got the best of Guido in the final downhill sprint. Either way, it was close.
On the way back up, Larry and Eric raced each other to score top 10 in steep Mussey strava segment, while german national team of Rick and Claus teamed up against the rest of us to launch Claus into yet another breakaway. We caught 2 lady riders who knew Janet on our way down 67. They were pretty fast but decided to ride with me and Larry as we turned on Pomerado, despite protests from Hodges who encouraged them to follow him and the rest of descenders who continued straight up SPP.
Larry and I rode back home, ending up with 95 and 94 miles respectively, but Claus, who added some serious miles before and after the ride, ended up with 104 miles for the day!

Selected photos below, while more photos are at:
https://picasaweb.google.com/109410926478548321411/20140104?authkey=Gv1sRgCNXChPrPns3fPQ

You should have come!
Oleg.

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