Saturday, October 25, 2008

LKHC Bear Gulch

See the beams of sunlight in the photo above? When I was little, I would walk into the light believing it was God showing me Heaven on Earth. Bear Gulch is a beautiful ride and a slice of Heaven.

Well, I charged up the hill in the last wave, all gung ho, passing several cyclists, and prepared for the strain. (The Boyfriend gave me a debriefing earlier in the week about what to expect). And then the little engine that could (that would be me) overheated.

I had to clip out and walk a bit all the while thinking that you'd read about me in some magazine while waiting in line at the supermarket, you know, "Cyclist spontaneously combusts." If this is what I can expect when I get hot flashes some day in the not too distant future, then please, just shoot me now.

Once in the shade of the woods, the rest of the ride was a piece of cake. By then though, it was too late to catch up to anyone. Still, a lovely ride made even nicer by hanging out with the LKHC gang. See results and photos.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quimby Road LKHC Week 3

Weenie Woman (that would be me) decided to be a volunteer for the 3rd LKHC ride. A good sized crowd of nonweenies of both sexes showed up for the Quimby Road climb. Of course there was some drama (the weather being the case for the last 2 rides), this time in the form of not having the roster of everyone’s numbers. So we improvised with letters and whatnot.
Scene 1: Show me the Money
Me: Forgot your number, eh?
Cyclist: Yeah.
Me: That’ll cost you an extra $10 payable to me. You’ll be contributing to my financial bailout!
Scene 2: The Bag
Volunteer: Here’s the large trash bag to take clothing to the top.
Me: Uh um, you sure it's not a body bag to collect those poor souls .... oh I know, I'm dreadful.
Scene 3: The photos
We positioned ourselves on Quimby to take photos, aka different angles of pain. Nah, everyone looked fantastic as they came up the last leg of the climb. Wow, the first several riders to finish were breathing heavily. What a sound.
Me: Say Mr. Cyclist, do you suppose if I practiced some heavy breathing exercises, I might improve?
Cyclist: Is it a feeling of oxygen deprivation or am I speaking with a nut case?
Me: Hmm, let me think about that and get back to you.
Scene 4: The Tarantula
Volunteer: Look, a tarantula.
Me: The bugger keeps crossing the road back and forth, again and again. Too much EPO?
[Cyclists coming]
Me: Brake brake, don’t run over the spider!
[The cyclists who encountered the little fella deftly maneuvered around it. Amazing.]
Me: Do you think he or she is in search of its lover or perhaps it wants to join in on the fun?
Cyclist: Is it a feeling of oxygen deprivation or am I speaking with a nut case?
Me: Show stopper! Scene stealer! We should make it an honorary LKHC member!
Scene 5: My Car
Me: Those extra bike wheels in the passenger seat are getting in the way of the gear shift. Guess I’ll have to put it in neutral on the drive down Quimby.
Volunteer: Um, is that safe?
Me: Got me a backseat driver, eh? Wait, you are in the backseat. Buckle up Mister, you’re in for a ride. [as I hit the gas pedal]. Oh by the way, I only brake for tarantulas ....
I bow to all that rode today. It was a joy to watch and to take photos. Fantastic job.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

West Alpine LKHC Week 2

Last week we were caught in rain for the Montebello ride. This week, an icy wind greeted us for the West Alpine ride. I, along with 75 men and 19 women, decided to grin and bear it but more importantly “get over it.”

I made my way down Alpine from the Russian Ridge parking lot to the starting point at Sam MacDonald Park. Naturally, I missed the entrance.
The BF: How could you miss the big brown wooded sign?
Me: Socializing is such a distraction.

Truth is, I was zipping up the hill, going 6 mph (that’s racing for me) when a blur of white and black soared past me - Tim C. out for a stroll. Sigh.
I started in the back of the pack. Would I continue my streak of not finishing last? Having never done this ride, I had no idea how I would perform. Oh the pressure. But, I had a goal for this ride: to do it under 60 minutes. Within minutes, more like seconds, I wondered, “Hey, where did everyone go?”
Ah, the joy of cold air in one’s lungs for 6.5 miles. With less than a half mile to the finish line, I wondered, “Where are those frigging orange cones that James P. said to look for?” (a thought I imagine others had as well). Like the week before, I was the last to start but not to finish. And, I met my goal coming in at 59.25. Get results and photos.

Motivating factor during the ride: Bath time afterwards with my bath toys.
Thanks to the volunteers and for another LKHC adventure.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Montebello LKHC

As some of you know, what I see during a cycling event bears little resemblance to what others experience.
Thank you Dan, volunteers, and photographers. Also, great to see both regulars and new faces attend. Lastly, I'd like to thank myself for showing up.
Oh the drama -- would we be able to embark upon the first climb (results and photos) of the 2008 Low Key Hill Climb series? Would we "Get over It" if we didn't?
In the Beginning:
Woman: What's your name?
Me: Christine, aka the weenie woman who has the distinct honor of always finishing last.
Woman: Oh, I know who you are!
Me: Sigh.
Volunteer: Oh, a librarian! Will you be reading a book on the way up?
Me: Probably get through an entire 800 page Russian epic given the speeds of years past....
Joke of the Day:
Volunteer: You know, we can take your saddle bag to the top for you.
Me: Yes, that's sure to make all the difference. [nearby people laughing hysterically].
At the start:
Man: I like starting at the back of the pack.
Me: We get to look at everyone's tushies!
Man: Best seat in the house.
Panting like a German shephard though not with my tongue hanging out, I climbed, mostly alone, until I came upon the cute AT&T guy repairing a line. Naturally, I had to stop for a moment to admire the view. The Boyfriend, also on this ride, is probably shaking his head as he reads this. Focus woman, focus to which I'd reply, "It's not about the bike, it's about me, me, and me flirting, I mean, socializing.
With about a mile or so to go, a steady rain began to fall covering the hairs on my arms in a glistening mist, much like fine droplets of dew settling on flowers. At the same time, I said to myself, "What is this -- a wet t-shirt contest? Cyclists began to descend saying nice things to me. Thank you.
I was the last to start but not to finish, thanks to the boot camp (I mean biking holiday with The BF) from the previous week. OMG.
"Get over it." That we surely did. Until next time....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2008 Lighthouse Century

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Boyfriend did the Lighthouse Hilly Century and I did the Lighthouse Hilly Metric, a ride organized by the San Luis Obispo Bike Club.

The photo above and below were taken in his car yesterday. Our weather for the Lighthouse Century was mostly fog fog and more fog with peeks of sunshine occasionally. When I started the ride at some ridiculous hour (Thank you Mr. Boyfriend), my body was covered in fine dew from the fog along with a constant drip from my helmet for the first hour or so. But it wasn't really cold.

The route took us on Hwy 1, an incredible 9 mile descent on 46 (I think), a bit of a climb on Old Creek Road, Whale Rock Reservoir (no view due to the fog) and past the towns of Cayucos, Morro Bay, Harmony and Cambria. The 100 milers went onwards to San Simeon/Hearst Castle and of course, the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, none of which were visible to The BF, again due to the weather. Of course the fog did not obscure visibility of all the boys who I noticed, talked to or flirted with. Nothing like having a hand made license plate (with my name) on the back of my bike to get attention.

Self portrait on Hwy. 1 around mile 50 or so. I believe I was having the following thought, "If one more frigging insect hits my face, I'm gonna ...." They felt like pellets when cycling at high speeds.

Both of us steamed through this particular tour. Though The Boyfriend did 30 miles more than me, he managed to catch me at the last rest stop around mile 52 or so. Wow! Someone took our photo and some chicks said we looked so adorable together. Gag me.

My time was 4h 45 min. with 13.6 mph avg. The BF finished before me! Amazing. I sped into the parking lot at the end, calling out to the BF, "Yoo Hoo." Cyclists turned their heads. The BF tried to hide but I just yelled louder, "Yoo Hoo." Teasing him is so much fun.

Thanks to the event organizers, volunteers and fine food at rest stops.

Next up, another season of the Low Key Hillclimbs with this year's theme being Get Over It.

in Morro Bay

Friday, September 26, 2008

Morro Bay and its rock.

BF: We won't do any biking today.
Me: Get out of town! Did I hear right? Are you ill?

Today in Morro Bay, it was sunny and warm. In the afternoon, we went to Cuesta College to sign in for the Lighthouse Century tour.

About Pismo Beach where we stayed the night before:

Me: I like Pismo Beach!
BF: Too many guys in wetsuits probably named Brad.
Me: Hmm, let's see, I wonder why I like Pismo Beach.

Zaca Foxen Canyon

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BF: Wake up Missy, time for another 60 mile training ride! You know you don't get enough of it.
Me: You got that right, Mister. I know I don't get enough of it. [oh oh, I'm in trouble now ... maybe he'll fire me as his girlfriend and then I can go back to sleep.]
BF: Get your tushy out of bed and haul it out the door, Missy.
Me: He's so romantic, isn't he.

We passed through Los Olivos, Lompoc, Buellton, and other little towns in the Santa Ynez Valley. We stopped at Firestone Winery.

I bought figs at the Solvang Farmers market and we stopped for coffee at the Bulldog Cafe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008.

50 mile Santa Maria Loop. No photos to share from this ride. Interesting day. We met a cyclist from the Toyota United team at a Starbucks in Santa Maria. We also came across a bunch of cyclists doing a benefit ride for arthritis. Later in the day, while taking a break, both of my tires flatted. The electrical tape didn't hold up in the heat.

We said goodbye to Solvang and made our way to Pismo Beach. I bought rim tape from a bike shop in Grover Beach and the BF kindly fixed my tires. Tomorrow, we make our way towards Morro Bay.