Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trains, Planes, and Bicycles

The Boyfriend brought my recently serviced bicycle (annual check up) to me:

The BF: The bike guys said you need to ride more.
Me: They did not!
The BF: Yes, they said they could tell the bike was hardly used.
Me: I exercise!
The BF: Neither chewing food nor taking out the trash constitutes exercise.
Me: I swim!
The BF: Remind me again, ah yes, your pool is what, 12 feet long and you splash a bit.
Me: Listen Mister, what about ---
The BF: THAT does not count as exercise.
Me: Phooey.

Today, I joined 8 other ACTC cyclists for a wonderfully scenic route that began with us taking the train to the Bayshore station. The route included climbing San Bruno Mountain and then biking along paths that led us through San Francisco Airport, onto Coyote Point, past Oracle's buildings, Alameda de la Pulgas, and eventually back to Palo Alto where we had 4 minutes to spare to catch the train back home.

Above -- the top of San Bruno shrouded in mist. It was like Brigadoon. With a blink of the eye, the lovely scenery below unfolded and then disappeared. It was too chilly to stick around.

Descending San Bruno Mountain.

Descending San Bruno Mountain some more and taking in the view as we left the misty hilltop.

Above - the marine layer hanging. We were just there! S and P were our ride leaders and they did a good job of making sure I didn't take a wrong turn as I'm prone to do. C was also on the ride. We were wearing the same socks. I wish I had shot photos of our group as we made quite a nice show snaking along the path. My photos only capture a fraction of the beauty of this ride. Thank you S and P were dreaming this one up.

Above, sailboats at Coyote Point. We also witnessed a baptism. While on the path back to Palo Alto, hugging the water's edge, a bee collided with my lower lip and it proceeded to cling to me. OMG, it frigging hurt! P saved the day with her special healing ointment and I did not need a helicopter to transport me to the emergency room. Thank you P.

We watched planes on their descent to SFO. This is a wonderful ride that I plan to do again. A perfect 46 mile outing. Sunday, S and P plan another ACTC ride but I will not be able to join them as I'm taking The BF to the airport. While he's gone on his boy bonding mountain bike trip, I shall get plenty of "exercise." Oh oh, I'm probably in trouble, now.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Where's the Frigging Marine Layer?

Okay People, let's state the obvious -- it's hot. I'm tired of being hot. Well, that is to say, I'm tired of the physical symptoms of hotness .... :) Yesterday, I was ever so hot as I bowled in a tournament with my colleagues. My first bowl was a strike. Yeah, I'm hot. But I digress.

I swam last night in my pool. Swimming in the dark in a lighted pool is nice. Probably do it again this evening. Meanwhile, today, given the heat, I chose to take the hybrid to Alviso and then bike along the Bay. Smart decision as it was cooler. That's Shoreline Amphitheatre that you see in the above photo.

Supposedly, Sunday will be cooler. I do not hold my breath. Currently, at 6pm today, it's 82 in my home. You know I'm hot. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Showtime and Showdown in Tahoe

While The Boyfriend did the Death Ride (yeah yeah yeah, he did all 5 passes again and managed to miss the sudden rain storm that struck the Tahoe area late afternoon), I ventured out, exploring various routes, like Pioneer Trail, Pope Beach, Baldwin Beach and other scenic routes.

The contrast was spectacular -- to see the snow in the mountains, the sunbathers and these feathered creatures.

I was caught off guard, finding myself taking on neighborhood roads that involved some challenging climbs and fun descents. And then, the showdown, the confrontation with the squirrel. After dealing with butterflies close to the size of my hand (I kid you not), I came across a noisy obnoxious critter that at first I took to be a bird. I could hear its noisy chatter over my iPod Nano. I got off my bike and confronted what turned out to be a squirrel. I stared at him, her, it. And it, him, her, stared back. It was all rather silly.

Meanwhile, I garnered quite the attention even though The Boyfriend is the one with the reputation of recognition. Whistles and what not while out riding, walking, and in a restaurant. I suppose I ought to stop stepping out in provocative dress. :)

All in all, a fun weekend. I'm proud of The Boyfriend for his accomplishment. I also hope that Miss P. enjoyed herself.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Time Again

The BF: It's time again.
Me: Yeah yeah yeah.
The BF: It's time again for me to do the Death Ride for a 3rd time!
Me: Yeah, it's time again, alrighty, for me to go shopping and to hang out at the pool with one of those drinks that comes with a paper umbrella served by a boy toy in a spandex clad teenie weenie bathing suit.
The BF: You are incorrigible.
Me: Oooh, a compliment.

Yep, it's time again for The Tour of the California Alps or the Death Ride. I am very proud of The Boyfriend going for a third time. Last year, he was plagued briefly by a hail storm but he still finished all 5 passes! I was plagued briefly between purchasing this shoe or that shoe. I am very proud of him and also for P who will be doing it for the first time. Go Miss P!

We leave Thursday for South Lake Tahoe. I'll report back later.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Out with Ludwig

Today the plan was to bike Piedmont to Calaveras to the Wall and on to Sunol with Ludwig. Ludwig, you ask? No, no, not the real name of The Boyfriend. There I was charging up Calaveras to Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Ode to Joy) after a lovely Symphony No. 7 and before I knew it, I was at The Wall. You call that a Wall. Today it was a picket fence along with No. 5. And then, along the rolling hills, oh no, I realized that I forgot my water bottles! I'd already finished the water in my camelbak, wateraholic that I am. On the way back, I met some guys who were doing The Wall for the first time. Ah, my first time ....

I made my way to Downing and onward to Ed R. Levin Park where I knew there would be water. Check out the hill I climbed while in the park. And to my delight, I saw hang gliders dancing in the sky to the music of Mr. B. I stood for a time mesmerized.

I found a water spigot. I began to fill my camelbak. Eeeeek, the water turned brown. I found a water fountain but it was too difficult to fill the camelbak. So, I gulped as much as I could before carrying on.

Farewell pretty park. On the way back to the car, Sierra loomed and I said, "Hey why not." So, I climbed the first section. And a new alter ego appeared: Cheeky Cyclist. Why not do it again. Okey dokey. So, I did the first section again. And one more time. And then some more of Piedmont before the thirst kicked in and the winds picked up. 22 miles, 30 mph max, 9.8 average and a whole lot of fun. I hope Cheeky comes out again to play.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrating with the Club

Happy Independence Day Americans. I spent the 4th as I did last year doing a bike ride with ACTC members. The club has a nice tradition of starting the day with a pancake, fruit and sausage breakfast before heading off. I won the bouquet pictured above but if I had taken it home, Charlotte would have thought it a toy to bat around much the way she and her sister used to "play" with spiders. Sigh.

Our group of about 40 (some pictured above) rode the Los Gatos Trail from San Jose over to LG to climb Peach Hill, Ojai and Overlook. Onlookers in neighborhoods waved to us. A & P were on the ride, as well! What would a ride be without me taking a wrong turn .... too bad I didn't overlook Overlook. :) And I had a geek moment. I fixed a woman's sensor so her computer clock would work. At one point, A and I were cycling together:
Me: Hey, I know where we are. I once walked this road with a former boyfriend.
A: You may find yourself walking it again.
Me: Ooooh.
A: I couldn't help myself. You walked right into that one. Ha ha ha.

I managed to climb the short somewhat steep hills despite being a couch potato the last several days. Above -- the top of Overlook. We could see the white tips of Shoreline Amphitheatre. Good to be out with a fun bunch and a fabulous ride leader. We did 27 miles in 2.5 hours.
May our troops around the world be safe. Happy 4th of July to all.