Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Metcalf

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it was to get out of the house
and go for a bike ride today

Despite an early morning frost, the weather turned out to be fabulous for our bike ride. We did a route that included climbing Metcalf. And let me tell you, I was mighty and merry as I jingled all the way up it. 10.4% plus grade, 1.8 miles. I watched A as she climbed ahead of me, quite a bit ahead of me, and I had Don as well to motivate me. My legs were so relaxed as though I was simply stepping on pillows.

We had wonderful views given that we did nearly 2,000 feet of climbing. Above, downtown San Jose in the distance.

Two members from our group sped past me on a downhill, going 50 mph. I practically toppled over from the wind they generated as they passed me.

Today's outing, spent with a swell bunch of cyclists, was the best Christmas Eve I've had in a long time.

Just the stats, Ma'am:

20.28 miles
10.9 avg mph
32 mph fastest speed
1 hr. 50 min.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ...

Yeah, so, like the East Coast and the Midwest had their share of snow storms this week, but were their snowflakes as big as ours here in Northern California, eh?

Look what the cat dragged in! Oh alrighty, it's the tree from Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose.

Me next to a life size gingerbread house and sugar cookie tree with gingerbread ornaments at the Fairmont Hotel. After all this elaborate confectionery concoction, they forgot the milk! We also attended a celtic harpists concert at Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. Thanks to A and R for a great night out on the town.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Warm Me Baby

I love presents. I get really girly when I receive gifts. Shower me, Mister. And last night, they arrived! The leg warmers I won from the recent LKHC awards ceremony. Tiny, aren't they. But, a marvelous fit as I discovered today on my weenie woman training ride.

I wasn't sure if they'd stay put. I wondered if I should get one of my garter belts to keep them in place. In fact, as I contemplated this image on my ride, as I began to design dirty naughty cycling clothing for us real women, I had an accident. Oh shucks, clumsy me. Alas, I obviously lived to write yet another blog.
And of course I met a male cyclist on my ride ... at first I was all alone, surprised not to see others out because once the fog lifted, it was a rather nice day. But he magically appeared, giving me the boost I needed after the accident. I only managed to do 15 miles, some climbing and some descending and a little race with the stranger. But sometimes, that's all it takes.
15 miles
32.5 mph racing with the stranger
4-10 mph for the climbing part

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A day with Henry and Thomas

Joined the gang to do Thomas Grade and Henry Coe in 45 degree weather. What the heck I was thinking? Oh yeah, the plan, the plan -- Weenie Woman in Training. S acted as my chaperone getting me up. He and I kept waiting for some excitement, say, like extraterrestrials in a mod looking UFO (preferrably heated with hot cocoa and marshmellows) to swoop down and take us away. I stopped to take the photo above and then S was gone around a bend.

About a mile to the summit, they came from nowhere, about 25 of them. Sure, you think you're looking at turkeys. I'm telling you they were aliens who abducted me before I reached the top of Henry Coe. I ask you, if they're not going to look like little green men, why can't they look like Chippendale Men? As Frank says, "That's life, baby."

Well Frank, "I thought about quitting and cutting out but thanks to S, I picked myself up and got back in the race."

We did about 28 miles total from our start in Morgan Hill. I forgot to record my time for this ride. Oh darn.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Break on Through to the Other Side

The light bulb came on. Weenie Woman is in training.
I returned to Mt. Hamilton. The goal was not to slug it out and get to the top but to climb strategically and practice technique. Like I said, uh the light bulb finally came on.
Not many cyclists out. It was a bit windy (but not like yesterday's gusts) and chillier than the LKHC event last Thursday. No one to play with but that'll have to wait for another day.
In any case, I had too much fun playing with gears and taking corners. This little gear will get me up, this little gear is tough going, this little gear will cause me to topple over, this little gear feels just right. Cut off point was mile 9 to give me some numbers to play with for all the next times. And I'll keep at it until I break on through to the other side.
Meanwhile, please keep your giggles to yourself. :)
18 miles, climbing 7.3 mph avg.
1 hr. 12 m (next time I will shoot for a faster time) to reach mile 9
24.5 max one way, 30 mph max the other way on descents

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mt. Hamilton -- The Final Frontier

(photo by Josh Hadley)
Mt.Hamilton, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Low Key Hillclimbs. Its 9 week mission: to explore strange new climbs, to seek out new roads and new gradients, to boldly go where no cyclist has gone before....

I took it as a sign when Captain K told us to “haul our ass” up the mountain. And that I did along with 171 other LKHClimbers on a warm sunny Thanksgiving Day.
I met a guy around mile 9 who decided to push me up for 5 minutes or so. And now I know what it feels like to go 12 mph up an incline. Beam me up, Scotty, the rest of the way, please.

As I closed in on the finish line, I shouted, “Eh, Mister, here comes my ass!” Of course hardly a soul was around by the time I reached the top. Sigh.

Thank you P and D for encouraging me to do this climb and for being there at the top waiting. Thanks also to my other teammate R for turning around at mile 17 and climbing with me for a few minutes. Thank you Captain K for waiting for me to finish and for a wonderful line: We know it’s over because you’re here. And to H for recording times. And to M for riding down the mountain with me.

I finished 172 out of 172, climbing 18.4 miles (4300+ feet). Second highest turnout in the history of the LKHC! And yes, last again but my mom is still proud of me.

And so our 9 week mission comes to a close. Until the Mega Monster Enduro in February. See you there. Maybe I’ll come in second to the last….

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Anyone for Alba?

Apparently so, since 82 of you were gungho to climb Alba Road in Ben Lomond in 39 - 44 degree weather! Amazing. Me, I was gungho to stay in my bed, under the covers. Instead, I climbed, I mean, I drove up and down Bear Creek Road to the start with my ears popping and the car windows steaming up.
Before we could see the first batch of riders come across the finish line, we could hear them breathing and panting hard. It was an incredible sound.
As our other photographer quipped to someone, "Wait, let me get a photo of you puking." It was a funny line at the time. Our humor is shameful!
We had an impressive turnout given the location and the temperature. You were fantastic! One more climb to go -- Thanksgiving Day -- Mt. Hamilton and once again, our swell series will come to an end.
Anyone for Alba? You betcha.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Doing the Diablo

(photo by Brenda and Ron Brunner)

Low Key Hillclimbs, Week 7, Mt. Diablo, North Gate.

You know that you've arrived too early when you spot the ride coordinator having a coffee at Peet's. No no no, I shan't whine about how The Boyfriend forced me to get up at some unheard of morning hour, thus, not allowing me to dream of men, I mean sheep. No, no, no, I won't whine about the lost beauty sleep, nor being so tired I had no desire to flirt or snap photos of fellow LKHCers during registration. Our drive from the South Bay began with a light rain, forcing us to cover our saddles with grocery bags. As we came into Walnut Creek, the sky turned blue, the sun appeared but the cold November day remained.

(photo by Carl Butler)
Today though was memorable because slower riders got to go first for the time trial up Mt. Diablo. Yes, for once, I was out in front, ahead of everyone else, Leader of the Pack, smelling the thrill of victory, for, wait, wait for it, all of 2 minutes before being overtaken by other cyclists. It was sweet while it lasted.
I had the rare opportunity to see everyone in action and that was truly enjoyable and something I will treasure. As people passed, they talked to me, some briefly, some for a few minutes. Then of course, there were the drivers who flirted with me. I swear, I do nothing to instigate these things. "The girl can't help it." In fact, with all these people vying for my attention, and the interference it causes, why, it's no wonder that I tend to finish last. :)
In 2006, my LKHC time was 116.44. Today's finish was 113.55. Perhaps a mass start vs. a time trial explains the difference. This year, I had to get off the bike to finish. Sigh. Note to The BF: I would like a boytoy, I mean, personal trainer for Christmas. A special thank you to my teammate for cheering me on to cross the finish line.
Ah, the piece de resistance: of the 137 riders who rode today, I placed 137th. Please, please, I don't think I'm up for autographs....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bohlman Busters

On the way up, in the car, we volunteers looked out the window to be greeted by sweeping views of the valley, so incredibly high above that it was like being in airplane taking off at SFO, and that prompted P to quip, "Duck for airplanes." Need I say more?
Borrowing from Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, a tribute:
Climbing Is a Burning Thing
And It Makes A Fiery Ring
Bound by a crazy desire
LKHCers fell into the BNKQOOB Of Fire
LKHCers fell into a Burning Switchback Of Fire
They went up, up, up as the road went higher
And Bohlman Burns, Burns, Burns
Their lungs on fire
Their legs on fire
The Taste of Bohlman is Sweet
At 2110 feet, it’s very steep
The previous climbs now seem mild
As BNKQOOB becomes more and more wild

Oh, but The LKHCers went wild
They went up, up, up and higher
Despite their lungs on fire,
Their legs on fire
And Bohlman burns burns burns
Along with Norton, Kittridge, Quickert and on Orbit
One continuous climb of fire
That the LKHCers conquered
Through sheer determinism and desire
Amazing how fast they all came across the finish line! Wow is about all that I am able to say.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Processor, a Winery, or a Climb?

I'd rather have spent today sipping a glass of wine at the Montevina Winery in Amador County or typing up a blog entry on an Intel Montevina processor but no, no, no, time for another climb, this being Week 5, Low Key Hill climb up, you guessed it, Montevina! 9% grade and more for 3.32 miles. Okey dokey, no problem for the slow pokey. Though singing up this climb was a wee bit dificult. Nevertheless, I came up with my own lyrics to Cole Porter's Night and Day.

Like the click click of my shoes
as they clip into my pedals
Like the drip drip drip of the fall fog layer
Yay the sun finally peeps through
So a voice within me keeps repeating you, you, you

Night and day, Day and night, why is it so
That this longing to climb you follows wherever I go
as I spin on my trainer (not really but go with it)
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you, night and day, day and night (not really but go with it)

(the last steep bit of Montevina)

Like the spin spin spin of my tires
on the surface of the road, I hope not to fall
while in my granny gear
Night and day, Montevina, you are the one
Only you beneath my 44cm frame or under my crank
Whether near to me, or far
Its no matter where you are
I think of you Montevina

(Lexington Reservoir)

Night and day
Under my derailleur
There’s an oh such a hungry yearning burning inside of me
And this torment won’t be through (not really but go with it)
Until you let me spend today climbing you

Okay, so 2 or 3 guys after repairing their flats managed to pass me. But darn it if I'd let the kids on mtn. bikes get past me! And I had to run with the bike 50 feet or so up the last steep bit of the climb. But it was fun! And now I think I'll have that glass of wine ....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Putting some Spring in my Soda

A few hours after the Low Key Hill Climb series, week 4, Soda Springs:

(via email with The Boyfriend who is in another country)

Me: Guess What!
The BF: Do I dare?
Me: They picked me to be a volunteer!
The BF: They must be hard up.
Me: Listen Mister, I was the Hostess with the Mostess.
The BF: Sigh.
Me: I got to be the bank manager. I took their fees. I took their phone numbers.....
The BF: Sigh.
Me: I didn't flirt, truly.
The BF: You wore a tight jersey, didn't you.
Me: Maybe.
The BF: Sigh.

Me: Guess what else!
The BF: Do I dare?
Me: I sang on the climb. Want to know what I sang?
The BF: Please tell me it wasn't The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music.
Me: No, because I was doing so well that I didn't get to that song. I'll save it for Montevina!
The BF: Sigh. And you wonder why I'm in another country.....
Me: Here goes ---

I get no kick from champagne
Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all
but I'm getting a kick out of doing this climb!
and well ...
I get a kick out you, Mister.

We had a fabulous turn out. The weather was wonderful. I positioned myself a short distance before Soda Springs to take photos of everyone before the start. Unfortunately, when the horn honked, I was not prepared to go, so, I started late and then, my chain slipped. But these mishaps fired me up, putting some spring in my soda, and I climbed on, alone, but eventually, all the handsome male cyclists descended, and as they passed me, they sang out, "Good Job." That was sweet. But the sweetest yodel came from Ms. J. Martinez, our star female cyclist. Thank you.

The ride wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Of course, when you bike as slowly as I do....

Just the stats, Ma'am

5.35 miles

8.4 grade

1 hr 4 min (I think my official time will actually be 1 hr. 6 min). I expected to do 1 hr. 15 min. so I'm pleased.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taking on Tunitas Creek

Earlier in the week, before Week 3, Low Key Hillclimb Tunitas Creek/Star/Swet:

The BF: I won't be there for the LKHC ride Saturday.
Me: Oh darn. What to do, what to do? [eyebrow arches]. Hmm. Flirt!
The BF: Not! Focus on the biking, on the climbing!
Me: So demanding. Bike NOT flirt. A boolean operator. I'm getting excited.
The BF: Stop! Focus.
Me: Yes, Sir.
The BF: You got that right, Missy. Sometimes a man has to put his pedal down!

Come Saturday morning, I had to tear myself away from chapter 3 of the book Stiff by Mary Roach -- she was at the body farm in Tennessee. Oh how I miss those days at university as an anthropology major lass -- well I only got to study Peruvian skulls at the Smithsonian. To study, to observe, to share knowledge. I digress. Back to the climb.

I descended Swet and Star and ran into men but alas, I had a charter, a boolean operator commanding me to behave. Naturally, having never biked either Swet or Star I felt compelled to catalog each road, giving them meta tags to prepare me on the return.

I met up with a friend who asked where The Boyfriend was. Well, I explained he was on a business trip and I was supposed to, you know, not flirt. She looked at me. Wait, wait for it -- an explosion of laughter from both of us. Then I ran into a team mate and well ....

[insert music to The Twist]

C'mon baby, let's do the climb
C'mon baby, let's do the climb
Take me by my little hands and go like this
Climb, climb, climb, oooooh, yeah, just like this,
C'mon on little miss, and do the climb.
My Boyfriend ain't around, he ain't around
We're going to climb and climb and climb
Until we tear Tunitas down

92 men. 16 women (well one was about 5 years old -- Thank God I beat her). Perfect weather. Another fun filled event led by a great team of volunteers. Being in the back, I missed all the action. Sigh. I was pleased with my time of 67:09 though when compared to everyone else's -- well, let's not go there. Next week, I'll try not to shake it up, nor twist nor shout on Soda Springs but well, you know, I'm me, what can I say....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Making the Grade Up Old La Honda

Earlier in the week, before Week 2, Low Key Hill Climb, Old La Honda:

Me: Our ring leader, Dan the Man, needs someone to organize cyclists into groups for OLH. I wanna volunteer, pick me, pick me! Imagine the groups I might put together!
The BF: I am trying not to imagine...
Me: You've seen my closet! Clothes organized first by color, then by item type, then by material, then by season.
The BF: Sigh, you librarians.
Me: I could have a field day, I could write a referred paper!
The BF: I think that they just want the groups to be organized by speed.
Me: Oh you men, with your need for speed.
The BF: Well, Old La Honda sets the bar for measurement.
Me: Listen Mister, the only measure that means anything is whether a man measures up to me!
The BF: Am I going to make the grade?
Me: To be determined .... alas, I hear that they have enough volunteers.
The BF: Thank God for small miracles.

Oh my Gosh, oh my gosh, my first Low Key Hill Climb of the season. Old La Honda! A name by any other name -- Old La Civic, Old La Corvette, Old La Chrysler -- just not the same ring to it.

As I made my way to start at Windy Hill parking lot, I met a male cyclist. I know, I know, what can I say, I have a knack for meeting men.....

He: What's your goal?
Me: Do you want the 5 yr plan or just today's?
He: Uh, for OLH.
Me: Well, I believe I met today's objectives: wake up (check), do 5 push ups (check), do 3 sit ups (check), watch Dexter (check), read up on faceted searching (check), paint nails. Oh my God, I forgot to paint my nails!
He: Uh, for OLH?
Me: Oh, you know, get up it.

The biking, woman, the biking, The Boyfriend is saying to me. Focus on the biking. Oh alrighty. I was in the last group to climb OLH, along with my biking babes P and C and some nice people I met, along with some people I haven't seen in awhile -- Hello K. Okay, suppress your giggles, get out your pompoms -- I got up in I believe 33 minutes (unofficial until results are posted), shaving off 5 minutes from the last time I did OLH. When I got to the top, I expected The Boyfriend to be waiting with limo, chocolates, red roses, and champagne. Not. I think I will have to send him to remedial boyfriend school. Nah, he's a honey.

Results and photos are posted here. Thank you volunteers and everyone else for making this a swell event. Thank you P and C for riding with me.

This year's slogan: Make the Grade. And that we did.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Levi's Gran Fondo

Saturday, October 3, 2009
After staying the night before in a romantic B&B (aka Best Western in Rohnart Park), The Boyfriend and I arrived for Levi's Gran Fondo in Santa Rosa. The proceeds from this sold out first time event benefited the City of the Santa Rosa for a stage at next year's Tour of California as well as the Sonoma County Humane Society's Forget me not Farm. The media and pro cyclists were also in attendance.

3500 cyclists, including biking budette A and a guy we met on the Tour of Southern Utah shot off in waves at 8:15am. I got to be part of a pelaton for 10 miles or so, going at a fast pace, too fast for lazy me. Police officers were at intersections making our journey smooth and safe. I wanted to take them home with me. My friend A said I had a one track mind. Oh alrighty, today I was going to focus on my biking and not give in to distractions.... But it was hard with all the fine looking police officers and firefighters.

The 61 mile and 100 mile route took us through farms, redwood forests, Russian River and the coast. The 100 mile included Kings Ridge, a long long climb. The scenery was ever changing and lovely. The male cyclists were ever changing and lovely. Okay, I snuck a peek now and then. Several of them told me how much they liked my colorful leggings. Hmm, since when do men comment on your clothing? The BF said it was code for something else that I shall not include in this blog entry ....

We didn't have route sheets with mileage. Instead, we were directed by giant green arrows as well as by volunteers.

Ah the coast.

I wore my Amgen Tour of California shirt so that Levi could easily spot me. :)

The biggest challenge for the 61 milers was Coleman Valley Road. Quite a few cyclists had to walk it. Several of us stood around looking at the steepest part of the climb. I took the lead and prayed I wouldn't topple over. It was swell when the group cheered me. I caught up to a guy:
Me: Say, feel like racing?
Guy: Don't make me laugh! I need my air.
Me: I know. I can't believe how hard I'm breathing.
Guy: Pant pant pant. [heavy breathing]
Me: Say, do you breathe like that during sex?
Guy: Stop it, you're killing me with the jokes!
Me: Say, when we get to the top, wanna do it all over again because you know, once is never enough. Hee hee hee.
Guy: I'm giving it all I got. Nothing left over for more.
Me: Yeah, I've heard that before, Mister.... hee hee hee.
Nearing the top, suddenly 3 male cyclists whizzed by us in a blur. Whoa. They had to be pros. It was amazing. Kind of took the hot air out of me and made me feel small! At the top, the wind was so fierce that it blew me across the road and into the field. I nearly fell over. Definitely took the hot air out me! I proceeded with caution.

A shot of Occidental. At the rest stop, I met a woman who said she loved my voice and thought I sounded like someone on NPR. The people I meet....

Oh lookey who showed up at mile 45! He arrived with no fanfare and quietly proceeded to the food table to thank the volunteers. Levi then posed with cyclists for a round of photos. What a sweet fella.

Lookey who showed up at the finish with no fanfare, only 55 minutes after me and he did the Gran Fondo to my Medio. Yep, The Boyfriend. Thank you to the people of Santa Rosa for letting us descend upon your city and for being out there on the roads cheering us. That was unexpected and much appreciated. Thank you to the volunteers, firefighters and police department for working the event. And of course, thank you Levi L. We had a wonderful time.
61 miles
33 mph on a descent
12.9 mph avg
4 hrs 42 min.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mighty Not on Montebello

Starting from The Boyfriend's bachelor pad, the two of us headed towards Foothill Expressway and onwards to Montebello. I wanted to time myself once again on Montebello since I won't be there for next Saturday's first Low Key Hillclimb. I'll be in Sonoma somewhere on a date with Levi L. doing his GranFondo ride. I say date because the man keeps sending me emails about the ride so clearly he wants me there with him....
The day was not as hot as yesterday (poor P suffered in the heat on her ride down south Saturday) but it was still too hot for me. I got through 4 bottles of water by the time I arrived at the top of Montebello (21 miles from start of ride) but no hottie flashes! There is a God ....
Last year this time, doing the LKHC, we were being rained upon and freezing on the way down. This time, I had to stop three times to cool off and I knew that I'd blow the attempt to do better than last year's LKHC results. And well, there were the usual attractions, I mean distractions.... Men, men, men, must they soar down the road looking mighty fine while I try not to look. Such games they play, in their tight spandex shorts and jerseys unzippered. And then there was the woman who wanted to chat with me about Dr. Seuss and how if I ever felt a need for shelter, I could go to her home on Peacock. The BF, too, distracted me, looking quite handsome and hence, the photo of him, an oversaturated exposure to keep him out of my thoughts and increasingly lame attempt up Montebello.
About a half mile to the top, I came across more men. Sigh. Well, not really.
Men: He's waiting for you at the top.
Me: Clive Owen!
Men: No, The Boyfriend and we should have waited for you, too, hot sweaty babe!
Me: I know, I know, men, they seek me here, they seek me there, they seek me everywhere....
Well, needless to say, I blew it in terms of beating last year's LKHC time of 55 minutes. 1 hr 9 minutes. I actually felt strong doing the climb but the heat blew it for me as well as my overall stats.
40.27 miles
31 max
11.3 avg mph
3 hrs 33 min.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hiccup on Hicks

Get this -- The Boyfriend and I began today's ride around 10am! No crack of dawn start today! I got to sleep in and I got to watch a t.v. episode of Julia Child roasting a chicken.

Certainly, the weather was more agreeable today than yesterday. We did the easier Hicks loop. "Easier" just means I probably won't topple over.

I so wanted to get up Hicks without getting off the bike. Halfway up, those horribly annoying buzzing flies descended upon me, no doubt I was an easy target given that I was only going 3 mph at the point when the climb becomes difficult. Buzz buzz buzz in my face, my ears, my mouth. I couldn't take it anymore and had to walk part of Hicks. A cyclist stopped to ask me if I was okay. Boy, I must have looked pathetic!

The BF also did Mt. Um (photo above). What a climber. I tried, I didn't conquer, I'll try again.


23 miles
11.8 avg mph
23.5 max descending
1.57 hrs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

As the Wheel Turns

Resisting the temptation to lounge about in my boudoir, I decided to behave, be disciplined, and go for a bike ride on my furlough day. The Low Key Hillclimbs are starting soon and golly geez, Dan and Ron still want me to be part of their team and that just made me want to get out and train. Sort of.

The plan was to do the Metcalf loop in both directions. I climbed in gears other than Granny, forcing myself to endure the strain, the pain, the flies, and the cries of Weenie Woman, remembering, as my wheels turned rather slowly, that I don't want to come in last for any of the LKHC that I do this year.

The day heated up much quicker than expected and after descending Metcalf, I didn't have it in me to continue the reverse loop, back up Metcalf to San Felipe and beyond. I simply wilted after feeling so good about my progress. Even the 4 male cyclists coming my way, with their damn fine bodies, couldn't persuade me to get my act together and carry on....


21 miles

31 mph on a descent

10.3 avg mph

2 hrs

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weenie Woman does Wacky Weather

This morning, The Boyfriend called to cancel our ride to the coast. A business trip left him feeling a bit under the weather. Ah, the life of a world renowned whatchamacallit.

For one brief moment, I thought, I'm off the hook, I can spend the day lounging by the pool, sipping an alcoholic fruit filled concoction topped off with a pink flowered umbrella, watching strapping young men clean the pool. Alas, the fantasy faded as duty compelled me to go out on my own. Afterall, I had played the lounge lizard all week long ....

As I ate a bowl of Kashi cereal (which The BF refers to as twigs), I decided to meander up Felter Road and monitor the rather strange weather. You see the threatening clouds in the above photo. The BF mentioned rain and thunder and lightening up his way.

Gotta love that Felter Road. As I climbed, I noticed the air was dead calm. I thought I felt rain drops only to realize that it was me, sweating profusely. Gotta love those hormones. I think maybe I was having a hottie flash. It was muggy but one has to wonder if one thinks it is raining ... and it's just you swimming in big drops of sweat. I just know that right about now, The BF is realizing how my prose is downright romantic and seductive.

Oh, which road to take -- the one less traveled -- eenie meenie mynee moe, I'll go straight on Felter rather than turning on Calaveras. I began to feel like the swan in Swan Lake, dying as I climbed. Not. Oh my Golly, while I was still in weenie gears, I felt stronger than I have felt doing this climb in the past. Though I did have this odd ache in my right tushy that irritated me beyond belief. There she goes again, The BF is thinking, ever so romantic with her writing.

I reached Sierra Road to be greeted by clouds hanging in the valley. What a sight. And the men at the top. But they were just the icing. Let me tell you about the real sight.....

But first, San Jose, looms in the mist. Neato peato.

As I descended Sierra Road, men appeared, one after another, climbing up. Did I make the right decision in my choice of which road to take earlier in the day? You bet your sweet touchie I did. There must have been 75 of them waving, smiling, saying hello to me, and ha ha, asking me about getting to the summit. Oh the advice I gave, having nothing to do with biking....

Strange weather. It never did rain and the temperature went from chilly to muggy to sunny. I'm glad I kept it short and sweet.


16.5 miles
25.5 max speed
8.8 mph avg
1 hr 50 min.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 7 - The Last Day

Saturday, Sept 5
Cedar City to St. George
2580' feet of climbing

Sigh, the trip is coming to an end. But on an incredible high -- Snow Canyon.

There was some concern that the controlled fire that was actually no longer controlled would prevent us from cycling the last day. But rain and wind the night before cleared the way!

The BF snakes along. Notice how small he is in the first photo. Ah, the landscape.

More of the park. The day was becoming increasingly hot as we made our way back to St. George but apparently, below normal temps.

As we left the incredible Snow Canyon (believe me, the photos do not do justice), we entered the burbs and it was a beautiful way to end the trip.

What I learned:

I'll get there eventually.

Thank you Deb and Brian of Planet Ultra for organizing this tour. Thank you The BF for supporting Weenie Woman. Next year, we may do the Planet Ultra Northern Rim tour that includes the Grand Canyon.


84.5 miles
30.5 max
13.1 mph avg
6 hrs. 26 min.

Day 6 - It's All About Altitude, Baby

Friday, Sept 4th
Panguitch to Cedar City with Planet Ultra
4710' feet of climbing

Get out the oxygen masks! No not really. My cycling budette A asked about altitude sickness. Not a problem for Weenie Woman. Probably because in general, I am one dizzy woman (according to others) so the altitude did not faze me. :) Our climb was gradual. There was a point where my legs felt heavy but that was the extent of it. Far more important is that the last few hotels did not have clocks nor conditioner. Hello, how do you expect me to continue without proper hair conditioning?

Me at a high point. A bit cold and windy and clearly there had been some rain. But, you know what, I survived the 30 something degree weather of the Cinderella tour in Livermore, California, with my regular cycling budette P and so, this part of the ride was nothing. The Boyfriend and I were joined by S, a real hero, in my book. S, once weighed a great deal but he took it off, and then, unfortunately, was struck down twice by cars; he gained some of the weight back, but he is still out there, going strong. What a man.

Oh my, the view.

Cedar Breaks Summit. We made it to the top!

Another summit as we descend. It was an incredible descent, and not too technical. By the way, many of our routes ended with great descents to our lodgings. Super!

I stop along the way to capture the beauty of the descent. I felt like we were in Tahoe Country.

Oh my God people, my left ear got sunburned. What a day!


58 miles
32 max
10.6 mph avg
5 hrs 27 min