Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunbathing on Sierra Road

It was so hot climbing Sierra Road today that I should have worn my bikini. I had to unzip my jersey to my belly button. Did I mention the number of male cyclists who stopped to take in "the view?"

I discovered that listening to classical music while doing a difficult climb is wonderful. I struggled but I did not feel the usual frustration.

Oh dear, even the Moo Moos were faster than me.

Oh dear, even the turkeys moved faster than me.

Oh dear, even the lone turkey who took the road less traveled was faster than me.

At the top, documenting a red and sweaty face. Alas I needed to stop several times as I climbed but I could tell that my miniscule muscles are gathering strength.

One last view before the descent. Despite the haze, I could see Lick Observatory atop Mt. Hamilton though I didn't take a photo. Flying down Calaveras, sometimes at 33 mph (no doubt others would go even faster) is worth the pain of Sierra! I misjudged a corner, badly, but you should have seen the tank tires in action. I could feel them gripping the road and self correcting what might have been a rather horrible mishap. I fell in love with them.
The 17 mile loop took 2 hours. I know. Sigh.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mickey at the Airport

I didn't have anyone to play with as I rode along the Guadalupe Trail to Alviso until I came across Mickey at the San Jose airport! Alas, nothing else to share except some pretty photos.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Rides

Thanksgiving Day. Mt. Hamilton (photo shot by Stephen Fong), the last ride in the Low-Key Hillclimb series. Oh, I got up the mountain alright -- in a car. A lingering cold prevented me from participating as a rider but not as a volunteer. Next up is the LKHC series party. As I told the event organizer, "Yeah, so, you can climb, but eh, can you party!" For sure, I will take first place. What is always funny each year is whether we are able to recognize one another without our helmets and biking clothes.

Come Friday I was better so I joined friends for an ACTC ride in the Los Gatos hills. It was rather cold with a heavy fog layer. We rode 17 miles including: University --> Shannon -->Hicks West --> Reynolds --> Shannon --> Kennedy --> parking lot.

Above: A short stop on Shannon in Los Gatos vicinity.

Documenting the pain of riding up Reynolds (off Hicks West), a short but steep climb. A good ride to ease me back into cycling after 2 weeks of fighting a cold.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Metcalf Loop

The telephone rings. It's The Boyfriend skyping me from another continent.

BF: Whatcha doing?
Me: Reading.
BF: Proust? Hegel? Aristotle?
Me: Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave. They forgot to include me.
BF: Sigh.
Me: I'm going to do a bike ride today and then it's "Men in tights, men in tights!"
BF: Try to behave at the ballet.
Me: Oh, I'll behave alright. I'll be on my best bad behavior.
BF: I'm hanging up now.

I did a 20 mile loop beginning at Metcalf but not up Metcalf. I biked on roads that were uphill or undulating for the most part, starting with Basking Ridge/Hellyer. Exact route: Hellyer -> Silver Creek -> Farnsworth -> San Felipe -> Metcalf and some other road as well.

Silver Creek above and below.

Quite a pretty ride. Below is Metcalf.

And Metcalf again.

Took me 1 hr 56 minutes with an average speed of 10 mph and max. speed of 28 mph. I know, not exactly going to break any records. I'm going to enjoy the Spanish bullfighter tonight but I do miss my knight in shining spandex and wish that he could have gone on this ride with me.
Up next, the last of the LKHC for this year-- Mt. Hamilton on Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Metcalf Low-Key Hillclimbs Week 7

Metcalf Mission (otherwise known as Week 7 of the Low Key Hillclimbs series)
Opening Scene: Covert Ops
Tuesday was spent doing recon about the climb. While only 1.8 miles, I stopped 3 times to do: 1) intelligence gathering (would I or would I not get up Metcalf?) and 2) to contemplate life (whine, cry, rant, rave, sweat). Having accomplished #2, I would say the mission was successful.
Saturday morning: The Boyfriend skypes me from another continent.
He: Bear Gulch was the last time for me to score for this year's series.
Me: But not for me!
He: You're not talking about biking, are you.
Me: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me.
He: Sigh. Listen Missy, your mission should you accept it, is to get up the hill without stopping.
Me: Yes Sir!
Showtime: Mission (Im)possible
Volunteer: Name?
Me: Agent 99.
Volunteer: Let's try it again.
Me: Holmes, Christine Holmes.
Volunteer: Number?
Me: Double 0 27 and remember Mister, I like my gatorade stirred not shaken.
Volunteer: I bet your boyfriend sighs a lot, doesn't he.
Me at the top. Mission accomplished. Yes, I got up Metcalf without stopping by staring at the asphalt almost the entire time and let me tell you what a picnic that was.... Several of us continued on Metcalf, descending into beautiful countryside. I think I may do this ride again tomorrow but in reverse making it even tougher because you know, I just can't get enough.
I wish The Boyfriend had been with me on the ride.