Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Oh, on the way to London, The Boyfriend sat in business while I flirted in economy. Come fly with me. At Charles de Gaulle airport, there was a suspicious package and the army guys came with their AK47s along with the bomb squad. They blew it up. Boy what a loud noise. At Heathrow, a pretty young thing was frisked much to the delight of male passengers in line, including The Boyfriend. On the way home, we had one of those captains who takes long pauses while he speaks. He came on the air and said in a baritone voice, "This is your Captain. [pregnant pause]. I need to tell you something [pregnant pause while I'm thinking, "Oh my God, we're going down"]. And then he'd said something innocuous. Aghhhh.
We'll always have Paris and coffee on par with that we had in Italy along with darn fine curry at the Indian restaurant near Heathrow.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Ah, what do you think the first thing my office buds said, "What, no biking! Is he going through cyclopause or bikeopause? Is he okay? Did he fall off his bike and hit his head?"
We're leaving this Sunday. We'll be staying at a family run hotel in Montmartre, you know, Toulouse Lautrec, Moulin Rouge, Lapin Agile. C'est tout pour maintenant.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Did the Earth move for you, honey? If you were in San Jose on October 30, it sure did! After the 5.6 Earthquake, doing Week 6 Low-Key Hillclimb Welch Creek Road seemed almost anti-climatic. :)
Lots of banter on the LKHC listserv about gears and schmears, compacts, triples, cranksets, aftershocks, ratios, cadence, cows, and road surface. Speaking of bikes and gears, The Boyfriend informed me that my 2005 Bianchi Eros Donna was designed with me in mind. Somehow I don't think that's a compliment.
The weather today was absolutely delightful. My assignment as volunteer was to stand at the intersection of Welch Creek Road and Calaveras. I know, tough going but someone's gotta do it. As I waited on the side of the road, I met lots of male cyclists wondering what I was doing. I often wonder what I'm doing, too. There were numerous offers of assistance. Ah, chivalry. Keep it up. In the nearby field, I watched two cows get on their hind legs and lock heads and shove each other. All this entertainment and the event hadn't even begun.
Eventually, the gang sauntered over from the school in Sunol to the start. What a brave lot! When Adam honked his horn, some of them shot off at a furious pace (Hello Tim Clark). Made me feel small. Wait, I am small. I was impressed that the tandem couple was doing the ride today.
I wasn't able to watch the gang do the climb nor arrive at the top due to logistics. I hope a good time was had by all. Thanks to the photographers Kwan and Pat.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Once again, I found myself in the back of the line as we assembled into small groups to take on Mt. Diablo (Week 4, Low Key Hillclimbs). I invited people to join our exclusive club (we're part of that slow movement -- check out the World Institute of Slowness). We had some takers. Never mind that I went 80 mph to get to the event on time....
This year we tackled the south side (3170 vertical feet in 11.7 miles) and it afforded spectacular shots of the valley as we climbed and snaked our way to the top. You know when you go slowly, you have a chance to see the world. I met some men working in a garden. I spoke with some man training for the Solvang Century. There were rock climbers out and about. Amy and I duked it out for awhile before she got the upperhand.
The weather was a bit chilly and a wind kicked in now and again making the ride a bit scary at times. I was going about 7 weenie average miles per hour. At about mile 6, I was quite alone. There was no one to play in the sandbox with me. La dee da. I thought about the first bike I ever owned, around age 5, a red tricycle that I rode while in Libya. La dee da I thought some more. Then at mile 8, my legs began to feel like cement (picture Lot's wife turning to stone). Hmm, I thought, this really isn't good, is it. I took a gel and started on my weenie way once more.
At around mile 10 (those last few miles are challenging), Low Key climbers passed me by on their way down. Some waved, no doubt recognizing Weenie Woman. One group said, "You go Girl." I'm trying, people! I ran into (well not literally) The Boyfriend who said something about it being too cold at the top to wait for me. Hmm, I don't recall seeing icycles growing out of his nostrils but I do know what it is like to become chilled during a bike ride. Next, I saw Adam the photographer leaving as well. Who was going to take my photo when I zipped across the finish line!
I came upon it, the last little nasty bit of challenge. The Beastie Boys began playing on my iPod Nano. Perfect timing. And yes, I got up that 150-yard stretch of straight 16% grade just as I did on last year's climb, thanks to inspiration from the Beastie Boys. Altering their lyrics a bit -- "You gotta fight for your right to come in last." I was so happy to see Amy, Pat, Marie, Dan and the volunteers waiting (and waiting) at the top as I crossed the finish line!
I flew down the mountain at around 27-30 mph. Okay, the slow movement does not apply on descents. I ran into those guys working in the garden. One of them said, "Hey, we remember you!" I said, "Of course you do, Mister."
Results and photos available here.
Next week, another climb, another challenge, another chance to perfect my slowness.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I waited on the side of the road, not far from the start, for the gang to appear. What a sight! It was friggin' cool to see the group come up together. I was thrilled to see a number of women taking on the challenge.
I turned all girly when I saw The Boyfriend amid the wave.
I have no idea what it was like for the Bohlman Busters but I do know that it was sweet to see them at the start. Check out the photos from Clark, Joey, Calvin and Ron.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Another post about last week's Low-Key Hillclimbs
(read last week's entry if interested).
Funny but I don't remember smiling while climbing
Kings Mountain for the Low-Key Hillclimbs. For this
event, we set out in small groups. I was in the last group
(a fabulous group I might add) and so I didn't have the
opportunity to check out the men. That would have been
cause for smiling, believe me. It's not about the bike.
It's about eye candy. Okay, dreadful, I know.
See more photos from John's Flickr album and video from
Ron Brunner. The Boyfriend's in the video. Now that's
reason to smile.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The 2007 Low Key Hillclimbs began a week ago.
The Boyfriend and I showed up for this week's ride
up Kings Mountain. Here are the results and photos
That's me on the right next to Marie. It was
wonderful to see women I met from last year's
Yes, we (women) were awash in a sea of testosterone.
I had a cold and it was painful to do the ride. As I
approached the last mile, I threw up! Who knew
that I had the skill to be sick and stay on the bike.
Shortly after, this male cyclist came out
of nowhere and escorted me for about half a mile.
He told me that I only had a little ways to go and
that I'd make it and then he turned around and left.
I thought he was off to help Amy who was somewhere
behind me. She never saw him. And he wasn't part
of the group. Weird, huh! Thank you whoever you
are and wherever you are.
Of course I finished near the bottom. It's a given, okay.
But hey, I made the Team rankings!
Til the next time!
Monday, September 24, 2007
Weekend plans with The Boyfriend to Lake Tahoe for the Tahoe Sierra century were cancelled due to inclement weather. Spent Sunday biking along Calavaras Road to investigate Welsh Creek Road which is one of the planned Low Key Hillclimbs. Guess what, I don't plan to do it.
Saw cows, skinny brown tarantulas, a few
wild turkeys and a few cyclists. A cow wandered
away from its pasture and decided to hang out in
the middle of the road and stare at cyclists
passing by. Weird, huh.
Then again, I thought about hanging out on the
side of the road to stare at the male cyclists
speeding by ....
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Delightful weather finally. I fired up the Hybrid and rode along the Guadalupe River trail.
Along the way, I came across a dozen or so construction workers with their Catapillars. I stopped to thank them for the work they are doing on the trail. I tried ever so hard to convince them to take me on a ride on a Catapillar to no avail. Sigh. Still, men in uniform, what more can I say.
Next, I came across a shirtless runner who looked remarkably like Mr. Big from Sex in the City. Sweet. Men not in uniform, a good thing, too.
I splashed through a wet and muddy part of the trail and had a ball. While I was on the upper trail, I saw cyclists on the lower. They waved to me. I waved back.
The trail is almost finished. This is the first time that I didn't have to get off the bike and walk through a rough unfinished section and I was able to loop back home as well. It was a blast. I finished by coming into downtown San Jose.
Tomorrow, another adventure I hope, perhaps on the coast.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
I couldn't resist taking a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.
I panicked on the descent that leads to Point Bonita Lighthouse and had to walk some of it. Too steep for me. Of course this afforded me the opportunity to meet three male cyclists who asked if they could be of service. Hmmm.... The Boyfriend is probably rolling his eyes and shaking his head.
Too hot to continue this blog entry. Til next time....
Monday, August 27, 2007
The most exciting part of the ride besides admiring The Boyfriend was the tarantula I spotted in the road. You know it's coming -- yes, the spider probably crawled along Hicks faster than I did. Sigh.
Monday, August 20, 2007
The Boyfriend and I spent the weekend biking in the Napa Valley. Saturday we biked along Big Canyon Road which is in Middletown, Lake Country. We drove through Calistoga to get there. Beautiful country. The 30 mile route we rode is one done by Gary Erickson, Clif Bar founder. I learned about this ride in Weekend Sherpa.
Back at our cottage in St. Helena, The Boyfriend discovered a snake in the bathroom. Between the two of us, we managed to sweep it up with a broom into a brown paper bag and toss it into the vineyard. See, no snakes were harmed in the making of this blog....
Sunday, we left early (as in we watched the sunrise) to drive to Yountville for the Tour of Napa which begins at the Veterans Home.
On the way there, we saw lots and lots of hot air balloons either already in the sky or just about to leave the ground. What a magnificant sight! This year, we both did the Metric ride. We started off together riding through vineyards and gentle rolling hills but he left me after the first rest stop. This is a lovely tour with its lake views, the stretch along the Silverado trail and its wineries, and the awesome descent. The tour takes you past Litto's Hubcap Ranch, right before Aetna Springs Road. I surprised The Boyfriend when we ran into one another at the second rest stop. He didn't expect to see me again until the end. The food is wonderful too -- chunks of grilled tofu! Last year, I joked a lot with men and women but this year, much like Marin, the flirting and fun conversation didn't happen. So I had many conversations with myself because you know, I'm so fascinating. :)
Last year, while I did have a cold and I almost froze my buns off for the first 25 miles (it was a cold foggy start), I finished the 65 mile tour in 5 hours with 12.8 mph average speed. This year, my stats were considerably better with a finish time of 4 hr 38 m and 14.1 mph average speed. Descents were the same at 35 mph. The Boyfriend finished an hour earlier with an avg. speed of 17 mph. He amazed me more so when he drove to the Napa Valley Roasting Company Saturday morning to get me a cup of coffee while I slept in.