Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sick in Solvang

Aliens decided to take up residency in our bodies, and thus, our biking holiday in Solvang was cut short including doing the Wildflower Century. Sigh.

Before hanging up our helmets, we got in 2 days of biking that took us past wineries and flower farms. The Boyfriend did the Amgen Tour time trial as well. I blogged about our previous Solvang holiday last September.

Me, before I got really sick. Now I'm sick in San Jose but hoping soon to be in the saddle again.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tierra Bella 2009

Me: How about we just wake up whenever we feel like it Saturday, watch the sun rise, have a cup of coffee, twiddle our thumbs, wiggle our toes, and start the Tierra Bella whenever.
The BF: Yes, yes, yes, we'll wake up when we do. I will most likely wake up soon after 5 am and we'll be on the road around 5:45.
Me: Sigh....

The Boyfriend shot off soon after we arrived at the college since he was doing the 100 mile. Eventually, I got on the bike to do the 100k route, half asleep and promptly taking a wrong turn 5 miles in with several other cyclists.

The ACTC Tierra Bella is a lovely tour with wonderful support and great food at the rest stops. California poppies and other pretty flowers dotted the green landscape along with vineyards and various farm animals, much of which I barely noticed in my sleep deprived state. Around mile 31, I noticed that my average speed was only 12 mph. Time to wake up! Time to flirt! Time to get over to the Uvas rest stop (above, mile 42) and eat turkey wraps, the secret weapon! Time to floor the pedals.

So how did I fare in the end? First, I realized that I missed riding with a group of people, like the girl gang I joined for the Cinderella tour. However, I did run into some ACTC friends who were working the tour as volunteers and that brightened my day. Last year, I did 65 miles in 5 hours, averaging 13 mph. The stats this year despite the sluggish start: 65 miles, 4 hr. 35 min, averaging 14.1 mph. Go turkey wraps! I took a photo of The BF as he entered the college, having done the 100 mile (including a climb up Henry Coe) with an average speed of 15 mph. Go BF!

The BF: I'm going to go mountain biking tomorrow! What are you going to do?
Me: Wake up when I feel like it.

Next up, another biking holiday in Solvang and the SLO Wildflower bike tour.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Whine and Dine

Me: I'm going to do an ACTC ride with the Whine and Dine group!
The BF: You mean to say that there are more like you out there?
Me: Isn't it wonderful!
The BF: Heaven help us.
Me: You might want to stay indoors today.

Saturday, I joined 9 others to do a metric century that covered parts of the ICare Classic and the Tierra Bella routes in reverse. This group knows how to party, I mean ride. My kinda of people. The day began with breakfast at S's place. I skipped out on that because I would have just gone back to bed afterwards. The ride was scheduled for 10am, again, my kind of people but we didn't get going until 10:30am or so. Can we say mellow, laid back, fun!

We were supposed to bike along Almaden Expressway but that part of the route was changed to accomodate us whiners. Super! We watched a duck flap its wings and fly off before we started. Along the way to Morgan Hill, we saw fellow ACTC members preparing the roads for the Tierra Bella ride next weekend. We stopped at the Jason Stephens winery to say hello to the winemakers. I love the shot I took of our bikes lined up against the winery's tasting room. My bike's on the end.
Eventually we got somewhat serious and actually cycled until of course we had to stop for lunch at Erik's deli. What a fun and silly time we had until we hit the afternoon headwinds. Three of us rode together, taking turns drafting, for over 25 miles to battle the wind. We ended up doing 55 miles. My average speed dropped from 13.9 to 12.9 mph by the time we finished. We plan to do another metric in three weeks. Oh goody, more whining and dining to come!
Next up, if the weather holds, the Tierra Bella.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cinderella 2009

Saturday, April 4

Mighty Me materialized today to make a guest appearance at her first Cinderella, a women only bike tour. Wearing a costume (fairy, Cinderella, tutus, boa feathers, wings, flowers, ribbons) is part of the fun; so, I did my part by decorating my helmet - clearly not a second career for me.

The tour began at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds. Our group shot off at 7:30am in 40 degree weather. Ooh, that was fun.... We were fortunate though to have only mild winds the entire time. The route included Livermore/Diablo/San Ramon/Danville/Amador Valleys.

Above is near the area where one decides to do the Classic or the Challenge. Mighty Me decided to join 3 other women to do the 85 mile route that includes Patterson Pass, Altamont Pass and 3665 feet of climbing.

Thanks to P for the photo of me before we descended Patterson Pass, the highlight of the tour.

The descent was fantastic and breathtaking. Biking 85 miles was a first for me.

Driving forces that kept me going:

1. My encouraging and funny cycling buddies
2. An overwhelming desire to sink my teeth into something meaty (never happened)
3. The shirtless runner at mile 72. A damn fine looking man
4. 4 gels, 8 bottles of water, and nibbles at the rest stops

Towards the end, I was with a bunch of strangers and they were nervous about having to bike past an on ramp to 580 so I took charge like Mother Goose protecting her young ones and ordered them into a single file and made traffic take notice of my little flock as we made our way.... one of the chickies said I was so brave. I kid you not. Sweet, eh.


85 miles
6 hrs. 38 min.
12.8 mph avg.