Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some commentary from A "Less Speedy Rider"

This week's Low-Key Hillclimb took us from the San Gregorio store on Hwy 84 and up West Old La Honda for a total of 14 miles and a relatively easy climb. The sky was blue, the air warm, the road lined with redwoods and the fields dotted with pumpkins. Simply put, a beautiful route to ride. There were a number of mishaps which resulted in people having to drop out early on. One man forgot his shoes, another guy's cable snapped and some other man's tire blew.

Dan suggested that "less speedy riders" might want to start first. My cue to go to the front of the line for the time trial.... see me in photo above.

I shot off expecting everyone, and I mean everyone to pass me. I harbor no illusions of grandeur. Sure a few guys overtook me quite quickly and easily but there were stretches when I was alone and felt like I was in the lead! Dream on, I know. I sped along on the flats going between 15-20 mph with a cadence of 86. Grand illusions began to loom on the horizon. Mighty Mouse! Wonder Woman! Faster than a speeding bullet! Was there a chance I might not finish last? Did I dare to dream!
I met The Boyfriend who was coming back down at around mile 13. I think he said something like, "Oh you made it or oh there you are...." Very funny, Mister. When I arrived at the top, after taking in the pretty scenery and lovely smell of earth and wood, there were cyclists standing about -- a rare sight and treat for me. Alas, as I later learned, the thrill of victory (or in my case not placing last) was short lived.

My personal trainer (that would be me) came up with a few possible reasons (aka excuses) for being a "less speedy rider":

1. I don't eat red meat?
2. I lost time waving to other cyclists and cows?
3. If I had legs like men, I wouldn't look hot in high heels
4. I don't wear those helmets that make one look like one belongs on the set of the movie Alien

Once again, a well organized and fun event thanks to the volunteers and participants. Thank you Ron for taking fantastic photos and video of this climb.

If I may borrow the category name of one of the female Western Wheelers: Slow but I think I'M fast. Thank you. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mt. Diablo and the Beastie Boys

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

Bohlman On Orbit Busters

Weenie Woman decided not to participate in the Bohlman On Orbit climb (Week 3, Low Key Hillclimbs).

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.
Next up, Mt. Diablo. If interested, read my report from last year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kings Mountain

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 Escort - Low-Key HillClimbs Week 2

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
(Thanks Ron).

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!

Carmel by the Sea

A weekend ago, The Boyfriend and I found ourselves in Carmel by the Sea. We managed to do a bike ride along 17 mile drive.

Of course he woke me up at some silly hour to go biking.