Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Scenic Views

A few more photos from the Mt. Diablo ride done recently. Today is Earth Day. I hope you too appreciate the beauty of your surroundings.

On a related note, the peregrine falcons over at San Jose City Hall are quite the buzz since Clara gave birth to three wee ones yesterday while a fourth egg remains unhatched. The little ones may be tucked under Mom if you are wondering why you don't see them. Earlier this morning, she fed them bits of a pigeon. You should have seen their little beaks. Clara, by the way, is on her second stud bird in a year. My kind of chick. No one knows what happened to Clara's last beau. He probably asked for freshly brewed coffee one too many times and she bopped him off. Click here or here for the live webcam views.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tierra Bella 2008

Bike Tour season begins for me with the Tierra Bella, a great event hosted by ACTC. The Boyfriend and I didn't do it last year due to rainy conditions. This year, while there was no rain, it was a mix of gray clouds, sunshine, winds and chilly temperatures.
Picture a dark morning, as in even the sky is still sleeping, that's how early it is ....
He: Rise and shine!
Me: mumbling obscenities under my breath
He: What's that you said -- you're looking forward to making me freshly brewed coffee.
Me: mumbling, "There must be 50 ways to bop off your lover" but one will do.
It was a cold windy start at Gavilan College in Gilroy. The Boyfriend and I soon went our separate ways as this year, the 100K was in reverse from previous years and the 100 mile also was a different route. Within minutes, my hands went numb. Throughout the course, my feet fell asleep and I had to stop and shake them to wake up. Of course it provided opportunity to flirt with men who found it amusing to see me wiggling my toes.
The photo above is me about an hour into the ride or 15 miles at Gilroy Hot Springs. Don't I look glamorous. At least I'm not blue. Some guy noticed the cat on my panties (Trashy Cat shorts) which meant he was looking at my tushy. I made sure The Boyfriend heard about that story.
At one point, my chain fell off and out of nowhere, SAG people showed up to wash my hands. They let me know they offered full service. I made sure The Boyfriend heard about that story. I tried to ride hard and fast for most of the day because I was cold and wanted to get it over with despite it being a lovely tour. Morgan Hill and Gilroy are scenic. There were lots of purple flowers en route along with cows, llamas and goats. I biked 65 miles in 5 hours with an average of 13 mph though I certainly hit close to 30mph on downhills and biked between 15-20 mph on flats. Iwas lucky to finish before the wind really picked up as it was pretty hard for the people doing the 100 mile.
Apple pie and icecream awaited us at the end and the food at the rest stops was good as well. Thank you ACTC volunteers for another great event. 31 years of it.
Leaving in separate cars, driving along the road where riders come in for the home stretch, The Boyfriend pulled over on the side of road.
Me: Why are we stopping?
He: You keep waving at me so I thought something was wrong.
Me: I'm waving and flirting at the boy cyclists finishing up.
He: Shaking his head and sighing. I want some coffee.
Me: Sure Mister, only if you're buying.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Poppies in Bloom

Saturday telephone conversation between The Boyfriend and me:

He: Fancy biking Mt. Diablo tomorrow?
Me: I'll tell you what I fancy, Mister -- those two shirtless guys I passed on the trail this morning at my place 6pm for cocktails.
He [ignoring me]: What time do you want to come to my place Sunday?
Me: Midnight.
He [ignoring me - he does that a lot]: Great, 9am it is.
Me: I plan to whine.
He: Click.
Me: See how much he adores me.

We began at the North Gate entrance. We did this ride two years ago with the Low Key Hillclimb series and I wrote a blog entry about that experience.

Me: I'm ready to turn around now.
He: We haven't even started.

If you click on the photo above, you will see poppies and hangliders.

Me: Are we there yet?
He: Sigh.
Me: [two minutes later] Are we there yet, huh huh huh?
He: [shaking his head] Remind me next time to bring duct tape.

Notice in the photo below how I look like a lump as I climb. The Boyfriend glided up with ease, leaving me after mile 3 or so. More poppies to view as well.

It was much too warm for me to bother whining. I fared better than I expected, doing 6-7 mph though by mile 9, my back ached and it was a struggle to reach the top. At the ranger station, I passed a look-alike Sean Connery shirtless runner who told me I was beautiful. Ah, my kind of man. Then again, he was probably delirious and suffering from heatstroke. It was very hot on the mountain.

At the top, I met up with The Boyfriend:

He: That was fun!
Me: I'll tell you what's fun, Mister -- those two shirtless guys from yesterday's ride, my place, 6pm for cocktails.

Naturally he ignored me once again, kissed me atop the mountain and promised me french fries later. My kind of man.

We stopped a few times during the descent to take photos. Below, he's looking at more poppies in bloom.

Next weekend, it's the Tierra Bella.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

In Bloom

As I biked around the bay near Alviso, I found myself swallowed up by yellow flowers along the trail. The photo is by Erin Malone whose photography came to my attention through the KQED Quest blog.

As for the rest of the 28 mile ride in the dusty, dry hot day, well, naturally I was distracted by other forms of stunning nature. Need I say more. :)

The Boyfriend wants me to do Mt. Diablo with him on Sunday. Be prepared for a weanie woman whine tomorrow as I haven't done a climb in a while nor whined enough of late.