Sunday, June 28, 2009


I like to believe that I'm hot and not because of the weather....

Saturday, the plan was to charge up Mt. Hamilton as I always struggle with this climb. I haven't done this ride since I had the bike fit awhile ago. I was proud of myself for biking faster than I have and for being in gears other than Missy Granny but when I reached Grant Ranch (8 or 9 miles in), I realized the folly of such a ride during a severe weather alert. With sadness (yeah, right), I turned around. However, I did enjoy exploring side roads like Clayton, practicing descending and biking the Alum Rock neighborhood.

Sunday, the plan was to .... well, another day of extreme heat and I'm just too hot, you know.....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Put on Your Biking Clothes

"May I have your attention, please. Please observe me if you will. I'm Professor Howard Hill. Oh we got trouble." We got trouble right here in Silicon Valley. Ah, showtunes! - (no Led Zeppelin today) -- music to sing along to on a bike ride and when times are kinda rough. Today, I learned that my cat Charlotte has early stage renal failure. Her sister Cabbage died a year ago. So, the two of us are going to make the most of it while we can, you know. So, let's start. All aboard.

Put on your biking clothes. There's a lot of world out there. We're going to find adventure. Put on your biking clothes when you feel down and out .... Beneath your helmet, the world's all a smile ... there's no Blue Monday in your biking clothes.... [Hello Dolly modified]

Today's ride included Montebello above. Lovely vineyards -- Ridge, I think.

Later, a conversation with The Boyfriend:

Me: Listen, Mister
The BF: I feel a whopper coming
Me: You got that right, Mister.
The BF: I suppose you want a drum roll
Me: Listen, Mister, sure, you can do all 5 passes of the Death Ride, but, and it's big But, can you yodel and sing the Lonely GoatHerd from the Sound of Music while climbing Montebello - Odl lay ee, old lay lee, Odl lay hee hee, odl lay, Odl lay odl lay, odl lay odl lee, odl lay odl
The BF: Oh oh, help me.
Me: You got that right Mister. Once more. Odl lay ee, old lay lee, Odl lay hee hee, odl lay, Odl lay odl lay, odl lay odl lee, odl lay odl.
The BF: Help, help. Don't we have an 8th amendment?
Me: Too late, Mister. All the men climbing with me enjoyed my yodeling!
The BF: Sigh.
Me: Especially when I told them about my favorite things ...
The BF: Sigh.
Me: By the way Mister. Just as I was leaving, I heard a roar. I looked to the sky. And there they were. The Blue Angels soaring above me.
The BF: Top Gun! The Blue Angels!
Me: You got that right, Mister. I do believe they gave me the thumbs up as I winked at them.

The plan was to do Foothill to Montebello, swing around to Redwood Gulch to Highway 9 and Skyline, down Page Mill and so forth but as you can see from the photo above, the weather turned. The marine layer came in fast, the wind picked up, and I began to shiver. So, my ride was greatly shortened.

Lovely, isn't it, the color of the water. I achieved one of my goals today by doing Montebello. Last year, at the LKHC, I did it in 55:58. This year, without a whole lot of gungho and with the extra weight of a camelbak, I climbed Montebello in 53 minutes. Must have been that yodeling. My max on Foothill was 32 mph.

Now and then, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad or so sad.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sequoia Mountainous Metric

According to the Western Wheelers Sequoia Century descriptions of its rides, the 100K route that I did today is considered mountainous with 6,000 feet of climbing whereas the 100 mile and 9,000 feet of climbing that The Boyfriend did is only "scenic." :)

Given that I was doing a mountainous not a scenic bike challenge, I decided to get a good night's sleep and start at 8:30am from the Palo Alto VA parking lot. The Boyfriend started at 6:30am in order to handle the "scenic" route. Oh oh, I'm going to be in trouble....

As I left the parking lot, a volunteer began waving his orange flag wildly at me. Ah, I thought, my first flirter of the day. Well, apparently, he was waving me down to let me know that I was headed in the wrong direction. Back on track, I began the ride. The climbs included Redwood Gulch, parts of Highway 9 and Skyline, Stage and Tunitas Creek.

Along Skyline, I stopped to put on my jacket. We were blessed with mostly good weather except for a patch on Skyline where I thought I'd turn into a popsicle. Some guy whizzed past me calling out my name in an English accent. Ooh, my second flirting opportunity. It was The Boyfriend! He'd already done 40 miles to my 16! Photo of him at my first rest stop-- now that's what I call scenic. I saw him once more as I entered the lunch stop and he was just leaving.

My reflection at the San Gregorio store. While I didn't do the steepest part of Redwood Gulch, I did climb all of Tunitas Creek without stopping. A sign along the way said to proceed slow so I called out to all the men around me, "Hey, make sure you're going slowly, you got that Mister." Lots of laughs amidst heaving breathing. I also sang to them, "I'm a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" in my best Daffy Duck imitation. I had quite a following! Oh, alrighty, they were following me because they were behind me but I tell ya, several men called out my number (pinned on my back) to flirt, I mean, talk to me during the ride. The Boyfriend is probably shaking his head and sighing. I am very proud of The Boyfriend who did the 100 mile challenge in 7 hours. What a cyclist. Mushy alert, Mushy alert: He gave me a bouquet of pink and red roses for my effort. What a man.
Thank you Western Wheelers volunteers for a great ride and a tasty lunch.
Just the stats:
67 miles
11 avg mph
34.5 max
6 hrs (my goal!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bike Exhibit in Downtown San Jose

Me: I thought I'd dress like the poster above for this Sunday's Western Wheelers' Sequoia Century.
The BF: Sigh.
Me: What time do you plan to start?
The BF: 6am or so.
Me: Oh my God. I'll still be sleeping and dreaming of male cyclists, I mean sheep.
The BF: Sigh.

The poster is of Marilyn Monroe (1950s) and part of a wonderful exhibit called Bike Show: A Celebration of Cycle Art and Culture.

Stop by and check it out. It's on 4th Street between Santa Clara Street and E. San Fernando in downtown SJ. There's a parking garage on 4th street that is free on weekends before 6pm. Sunday, meters are free. The photo above is courtesy of Alex LaRieviere, Faber's Cyclery. There's lots to see and read in this free exhibit. Who knew that mountain biking had some of its roots in San Jose not Marin.

This photo is of S. First Street (1890) and courtesy of Sourisseau Academy, SJSU. See the show at San Jose City Hall’s City Windows Gallery on 4th Street. It's all behind glass and about a block long.