Sunday, July 27, 2008

Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge

He: Time to wake up!
Me: It's 4:15am. I'm firing you as my boyfriend.
He: Okay but would you make me a cup of coffee first?
Me: For that Mister, I'm going to subject you to my music on the way to the event.

We arrived at the school in Scotts Valley in darkness. The Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge registration volunteers were still setting up! I went back to bed in The Boyfriend's car. The 100K route involved 7400 feet of climbing including Mt. Charlie (photo above), Jamison Creek, Skyline etc. and lots of fabulous descents (I clocked in at 34 mph on some). We started off at 6:30am with Mt. Charlie.

He: I'll stay with you for this climb.
Me: Really? Mumble mumble.
He: What's that you said?
Me: That's sweet of you. I won't fire you as my boyfriend.

The BF left me on Skyline. He planned to do the 100 mile. Oh lookey, there he is fixing a flat.
Yoo hoo, you know Mister, if we had slept in, chances are .... We rode to the rest stop together at Skyline and Hwy 9 and then we parted ways. Already, the day was becoming increasingly hot.

Above, somewhere in the woods as I climbed occasionally with others but mostly alone. There was a woman who I chatted with briefly and who has done the Death Ride (a lot of cyclists wore their Death Ride jerseys) and I believe that she is in her 70s. What an inspiration.

I can't remember where I was when I took the photo above. The climbs were definitely challenging and exhilarating. I must confess that I walked most of the last mile of Jamison Creek.

The last part of the ride involved Mt. Hermon (pictured above). 6 hours later I returned to the school, a sweaty but happy mess. The Boyfriend was waiting for me. He chose to shorten his route due to mechanical problems, the heat, and the time he spent being an escort for me in the beginning. What a man. We'll be back next year and I will do all of Jamison Creek. Thanks to the volunteers for a super ride.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Waiter There's a Fly in My ....

BF: How about we do Mt. Hamilton Saturday!
Me: How about we take a nap instead.
BF: Napping is not exercise.
Me: It could be. hint, hint.
BF: See you on the mountain.
Me: Sigh.

I started 30 minutes earlier than The Boyfriend but he caught up to me by mile 10. He darted ahead of me in his usual sporty manner while I continued to pant like a dog and crawl along like a garden slug. The photo above is around mile 17 which is when The Boyfriend came down from the mountain to fetch me. He escorted me to the top like the handsome gentleman that he is and bought me a soda, too. Enough of the mushy bits.

Me in my victory stance. This is only the second time that I have made it to the Lick Observatory, the top of Mt. Hamilton. I averaged 9.4 mph with 29 mph being my fastest speed for the 38 mile ride. The Boyfriend descended sections going 35 mph and 45 mph descents while doing The Death Ride earlier this month.

BF: Ready for the descent!
Me: Where's the limo?
[Motorcyclist eyeing me. Me eyeing motorcyclist]

At the parking lot on Alum Rock Road, The Boyfriend was waiting for me.

He: Let's do Sierra Road tomorrow!
Me: How about we take a nap instead ....
He: See you on the mountain.
Me: Sigh.

As to the title of this blog entry -- I found a fly in my tub while bathing after the ride. This site has some funny waiter fly jokes.

Me: BF, there's a dead fly in my tub!
BF: Not exactly a rubber ducky that makes bath time lots of fun, eh.
Me: Skip the duck and send me George Clooney. Love his 08 and 07 commercials.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Smell the Roses

Today we held our annual department retreat at the Rose Garden in San Jose.

It was lovely to be there though I like the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden more.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tahoe Haze

As The Boyfriend and I crossed the Bay Bridge Thursday on our way to South Lake Tahoe, the sky turned gray from the lingering fires. The heat was suffocating in the Sacramento area.

I'm amazed that the photos above look as good as they do. While on the way to the chateau (aka Motel 6), I was subjected to the BF's musical taste. And he to my fascinating chitchat.

Me: Stop the car! Stop the car! Listen Mister, I need to buy ear plugs. I can't take it anymore.
He: Okay Missy, while you're at it, buy some duct tape, too. I can't take it anymore.

Friday we drove around Lake Tahoe though sadly amidst a hazy sky that obscured views. We stopped in Markleeville so that he could register for The Death Ride (Tour of the California Alps). We ran into some of his biking buddies -- small world, then again, it's a small town.

Saturday, I spent the day on a leisurely bike ride of my own crossing the state line into Nevada and biking along Lake Tahoe on both the California and the Nevada sides.

Nevada above.

Ducks in California who agreed to pose for a shot.

By the way, Saturday the blue skies returned!

I wanted to join those bathing beauties!
Come 7pm The Boyfriend returned having completed all 5 passes, and having survived a sudden hail storm and 2 blow outs. My hero. I let him play his CDs all the way home.
Ah, home. Blue skies. Cooler temperatures finally. And poo poo left on my bed pillow, a gift from Charlotte. Ah, home sweet home.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Exploring the Other Side

Today I decided to explore the Guadalupe River Trail in the other direction, going towards downtown San Jose. Gentle pleasant ride after yesterday's climbs.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Nancy's cookies

Today's 43.5 mile ride with Western Wheelers took us up and down the hills of San Mateo County. Early into the ride, I proclaimed that Nancy, our ride leader, was the queen bee and we her workers protecting her stash of homemade sugar cookies that she shared during rest stops.

Stopping to take photos while trying to climb proved difficult but I managed to get in a few. Crystal Springs to Black Mountain, while tiring and hot, was lovely. That stretch in terms of challenge reminded me of Kings Mtn. or Hwy 9 in which it just goes on and on and your head feels like it's on a fire. (No photos taken during that section of the ride)

After a lunch stop, P and I took off together to finish the ride, finding ourselves riding a bit of Sawyer Camp, 92, onto Canada Road to Whiskey Hill, Sand Hill Road, through Stanford campus and a litle known path that took us back to the high school on Arastradero at Foothill. Thanks all for a nice time.

Friday, July 4, 2008


After the fireworks display, I rode my bike through the downtown section of the Guadalupe Trail in almost complete darkness -- an eerie and thrilling way to end the evening.

Pancakes with ACTC

I decided to join ACTC again and for the 4th of July, club members met at a church to have a pancake, sausage and fruit breakfast before doing a group ride. While enjoying blueberry as well as banana walnut pancakes, I mingled and met lots of interesting people. I also got a LiveStrong water bottle and pen handed out by nice looking LiveStrong coordinator. I admired a tandem having never really been up close to one but was soon given an earful by a cyclist who warned me of the perils of two riders bound together on a bike who have communication problems. Thank you cyclist with issues. Just what I needed to start the day.

I was ready for my nap but alas, it was time to set off. We were a colorful bunch of 40 decked out in red, white and blue. Our 32 mile route took us through the neighborhoods of San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga and Campbell. Along the way, I met boys to chat and flirt with, naturally. Soon into the ride, it was clear that our large group would split into smaller ones and I said to one man, "I'm sure we're going to break up along the way." It took him a few minutes but he got it and ta da, he serenaded me with, "You know they say that breaking up is hard to do ...." Just what I needed to start the day. What a guy. :)

At one point, I rode with just one man and one woman. Eventually we met up with others at Peet's where we took a short break. I found P and we finished the ride together along with Mr. Serenader and some others. I told her about the cute fella from Palo Alto Bicycles who serviced my bike the other day. He was clearly flirting with me. For a moment, I entertained the idea of a younger man which P found funny.
Thank you ACTC members for a lovely day that got me out and back in the saddle. Tomorrow another ride with P but this time with Western Wheelers.