Thursday, December 24, 2009
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:
10.9 avg mph
32 mph fastest speed
1 hr. 50 min.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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
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.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
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
Friday, November 27, 2009
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.
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
Sunday, November 15, 2009
(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)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
At 2110 feet, it’s very steep
The previous climbs now seem mild
Oh, but The LKHCers went wild
They went up, up, up and higher
Despite their lungs on fire,
Their legs on fire
Along with Norton, Kittridge, Quickert and on Orbit
One continuous climb of fire
That the LKHCers conquered
Saturday, October 31, 2009
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 ....
I wore my Amgen Tour of California shirt so that Levi could easily spot me. :)
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.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
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.
11.8 avg mph
23.5 max descending
Friday, September 18, 2009
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....
31 mph on a descent
10.3 avg mph
Saturday, September 12, 2009
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.
25.5 max speed
8.8 mph avg
1 hr 50 min.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
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.
13.1 mph avg
6 hrs. 26 min.
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!
10.6 mph avg
5 hrs 27 min