Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wacky Weather

The weather this weekend has been strange but The Boyfriend and I were determined to do a favorite club ride of ours, a climb I actually like -- Fremont Peak State Park in San Juan Batista.  A climb of 3,169 feet over 11 miles.  We left San Jose with blue skies.  As I drove us through Morgan Hill and garlicky Gilroy (seriously you could smell the garlic) on Hwy 101, the sky turned dark, threatening rain at any minute. Well, The BF, asleep in the car, missed all the drama.  We hit dense fog approaching our destination.  We contemplated abandoning the ride.  And then all was swell again as we started the ride with 5 other club members.  The sun started to shine through the clouds.  5 miles into the ride, we hit dripping fog again.

And then poof, all was swell once again.  Dramatic clouds greeted us for the rest of the climb.  Well, I suppose that cloud is not that extraordinary but it was still neat to look at.  The wacky weather meant we had the road to ourselves; only a few cars passed us.

Up and up I went, enjoying the ever changing scenery. The BF and the others had long left me in the clouds.

It was like being in an airplane.  We were nervous about the descent with the wet road, sand, and gravel but it wasn't as scary as imagined.  Our bikes though got pretty dirty.  We had a great ride and decided to leave once back down.  We skipped doing the last leg of the ride - the cute town of Aromas.  It was quite warm in San Juan Batista.  Once back in San Jose, the weather had changed with light rain and winds.  22 miles altogether.  A nice way to spend the day -- relaxed and happy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weekend Getaway

Sunday, Oct 9th and Monday, Oct 10th

So, I said to The Boyfriend, "Listen Mister, if we have to drive in separate cars to Napa Valley for a mini vacation, then you better make it worth my time."  I like to keep him on his toes.  After smooth sailing on Hwy 680 (well, some drivers irritated me to no end), we met at the Wine Valley Lodge, one of the few remaining affordable places in Napa.  The sun was hot, the day warm.

The BF swept me away, well actually I drove us to St. Helena to see a movie at the Cameo Theatre. 

Next, he wined and dined me at Market Restaurant in St. Helena.  We looked at a number of places but geez Louis, I am not paying $90 for steak.  I don't eat red meat, but heck if I did, I would have butchered the beast myself at those prices.  So far, on his report card, The BF is passing.  

Fast forward to the next morning.  We decided to do a 30 mile loop that took us from Mt Veeder (a climb in the woods) and onward into Napa Valley. The scenery was lovely, soothing and challenging.

A scene from Mt. Veeder before the descent.

Descending Oak Grade.

A quiet country road near Oakville Grocery.

Approaching the Silverado Trail.  It was a beautiful day weather wise.  Never been to Napa Valley in October.  Vines were dying while others still bore fruit, perhaps for a late harvest.  Too short a trip but definitely memorable thanks to The Boyfriend.  One of these days I may be kind to him.... We hope to return soon.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Low Key Hill Climb Highway 9 - What Can I Say

Saturday, Oct 9th

Well, yeah, there I am in the background, looking like I'm taking an oath, something like,  I swear to place last for the Low Key Hillclimb Highway 9 challenge.  Can I just say right now, these women were not only super sweet, but, they rocked out there on the climb.

Thank you Bill Bushnell for trying to make me look good.  Seriously, I just wanted to try to match my time from the LKHC event back in 2011.  Everyone on today's ride struck me as really nice.

This woman was fabulous.  She was sweeping to see who was left (that would be me); she was truly encouraging.  This year, my cycling has been pretty much recreational and so, the LKHC series is my only opportunity to push myself.  I'm not sure I've even done Highway 9 this year.  In 2011, I did Hwy 9 in 59 minutes.  Today, I did it in 62 minutes.  Way back in 2006, I did it in 61 minutes.  What can I say.  I'm pleased.  I pushed myself and had a good time.  More impressive, the women and men times and the variety of people who turned out today.  This is a great series.