Friday, January 18, 2008

"Just Can't Get Enough"

(no photo for the time being).

"Just Can't Get Enough, 2007." Let me count the ways. Don't even get me started. Last night at the Low Key Hill Climbs Awards Ceremony, we were informed of the 2008 slogan and the "menu of pain." Come out next October and be part of the "pain" -- I mean fun.

Pete Heller, Master of Ceremonies, kept us entertained, especially with the use of "modern" technology in which a cell phone speaking to a microphone allowed us to listen to Kevin Winterfield on the East Coast give us his Top 10 Excuses for not doing a climb -- the best being, "I lost my yellow dot." Those climbers who made the 100% Club (all 9 rides) received signed certificates from Kevin. Wow, what an honor! :)

Oh, how I hoped that I might win the Endurance Award or the Most Improved Award (though neither really is an honor but hey, I'll take any award) but now, it might be a goal to achieve for next year! Sad, I know. I still have dreams that I'll motor faster than a speeding snail but it'll take effort and training and well, my favorite exercise after .... well my favorite exercise after reading is splish splashing in a bath. Still, there is always hope. Meanwhile, I received the Best Blog Award. Oh the pressure to be witty. But heh, the road to fame is paved and I might just eclipse The Boyfriend.

Awards were also presented to Adam Tow, Kwan, Ron, Tim, Pat and others. We watched videos and a slideshow. Marie mentioned something about how the guys are able to stand and stand on their pedals when doing climbs. Yeah, well, I said, "But can they stand in high heels!" Dan informed us that the website is undergoing cosmetic surgery (thanks to Luke). Say it isn't so. I think we've grown fond of its "look."

Thanks to Pete, Dan, Kevin and anyone else (oh yeah, the cookie woman) for putting on an entertaining evening. 317 cyclists did the 2007 climbs and a lot of money was raised and donated to 3 organizations. Hope you come out again in October.

But meanwhile, there's the Mega Monster Enduro next month.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lush Green Valleys

We need the rain here in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in California. While it makes for a dreary day, it leads to lush green valleys. Once again, no outing today, and no new tale to tell. Back in September 2004, The Boyfriend and I spent a day biking in the Yorkshire Dales. I leave you with a few photos.

Beautiful, isn't it.

Lookey, he brakes for sheep.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Stormy Weather

"Keeps raining all the time." Won't be seeing much of the world this weekend due a severe weather alert for the Bay Area. I share a few photos taken in September 2006 of the climb up Mt. Ventoux also known as the Giant of Provence.

The photo above is the last stretch before you reach the top. A Frenchman on the road gave me a shove on my tushy and that was enough to motivate me for a stretch! A short while later, I heard the sounds of our touring group above cheering me on. It was an emotional moment.

The photo above captures the descent. The starkness at the top contrasts sharply with the start of the ride -- a flat dull beginning that gives way to lush woods leading eventually to a somewhat lunar scenery. Our Mt. Hamilton though has its own beauty and I look forward to seeing how the cyclists in the Amgen Tour of California handle it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Biking Mt. Hamilton - A New Year's Day Tradition

Once again, I found myself on New Year's Day facing a ride up Mt. Hamilton along with The Boyfriend and some other notable Silicon Valley people, and a bunch of Western Wheelers (including the super cyclist James Porter) as well as countless others.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw the shirtless man on a bike. There must be a story there! He wished me a Happy New Year.

The day was warmish but not warm enough for Weenie Woman. After mile 5, I turned around and explored the suburbs of Alum Rock. I don't know why Mt. Hamilton eludes me (though I did get up it once). I've made it up Mt. Ventoux (on a trip with The Boyfriend - Graham Baxter tours). Sitting atop The Boyfriend's batmobile (aka his car), listening to music on my iPod Nano, I cheered on cyclists as they returned to the parking area. Mostly men. I didn't mind. Lovely scenery.

Mt. Hamilton and Sierra Road are part of the Amgen Tour of California route (Stage 3). I watched last year on the sidelines in downtown San Jose with my budette Lorraine from the library. It was very exciting and we look forward to it again this year.

Perhaps in this new year, I will shed my weenie wings....

Note: Photo borrowed from Ron's flickr album, main photographer for Low Key Hillclimbs.