Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Then and Now San Jose

On the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association website, see a collection of photos of downtown San Jose in 1975 and 2006. Above is the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Pedro Square. If you have an interest in California historical materials (images, documents etc. from museums, libraries etc), then check out the Online Archive of California.

Monday, January 22, 2007

PeaFowl at Picchetti

Picchetti Winery in the Cupertino foothills offers hiking in its preserve in addition to wine tasting and picnics on the ranch. That's where I found myself Saturday, walking its beautiful land. Peafowls roam the area. By the way, it is wrong to refer to them as peacocks. Excuse me for making this error my entire life. The males are peacocks. The females are peahens. According to a wiki entry, "The term peafowl can refer to the two species of bird in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae." And they can fly albeit rather poorly. Up close, they are absolutely exquisite though their feet are scary, especially the nails. Their claws are as big as my hands. Time for a Peafowl pedicure, eh.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Excuses for not Biking

Here's one reason why I haven't been biking outdoors. This is a photo of Mt. Hamilton and Lick Observatory in the SJ Merc front page.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Mt. Hamilton

New Year's Day, 2007

Biking Mt. Hamilton New Year's Day is apparently a tradition, started by the guys at Chain Reaction Bicycles. Read their stories from prior years.

The boyfriend and I started at 10:30am. The sky was blue and the temperature coldish but the sun warm. On the highway, we saw the mountain range but not Lick Observatory because it was covered in a heavy mist. We were lucky that it cleared up and our ride was not hampered by any visibility issues. After a few miles of climbing, we parted and I was left on my own to smile and wave and wish Happy New Year to other cyclists.

Occasionally a gust of wind blew and frightened me as my bike swayed this way and that. I made it to mile 15 (of 19) before meeting up with The Boyfriend who was on his way down from Lick Observatory. At this point, I averaged 7.5 mph which is pretty good for me and 9.5 when I finished. A year and a half ago, on my Specialized Hybrid, it took me something like close to 2 hours to do 4 miles! I simply stunk and kinda still do when it comes to climbs. I was afraid to do this climb as part of the 2006 Low Key Hillclimbs back in November because I thought it'd take me all day to finish and they'd miss their Thanksgiving Day dinner on account of me. Oh by the way, I read somewhere that Gary Erickson who created Clif Bars was inspired to do so after cycling Mt. Hamilton. Couldn't verify that this is fact.

On the way down, at a bend, I saw a bunch of cyclists and some cars. A cyclist told me to stop. It was then that I heard the helicopter. I found The Boyfriend among the group and learned only that a cyclist had been injured and no one was permitted to bike or drive (cars) until the paramedics were finished. Despite the unfortunate situation, I met two women and enjoyed their company. One woman has a Bianchi Eros Donna baby blue, just like mine.

Eventually we were allowed to continue our descent. It was beautiful to watch the cyclists in front of me in their colorful clothes snake down.

Don't know when I will next write an entry unless you are inclined to be bored with indoor trainer stories. :)