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.

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