Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tour of Southern Utah Itinerary

Friday, The Boyfriend and I are heading off for Planet Ultra's Tour of Southern Utah.
Below is the itinerary taken from the tour's webpage. Check out the tour's photoblog as well as the photo album. Above is a photo I took in 2005 while visiting Moab.
I wonder if I'll get lost like I tend to do and then, the Lone Ranger and Tonto will rescue me from the buffalo stampede! The BF is shaking his head. I bet that he is simply too excited knowing that he'll be in the car with me all the way to Bakersfield and beyond as we make our way to Utahland.

Day One - St. George to Mt. Carmel Junction, via Zion National Park: About 80 miles with over 5300' of elevation gain. And bonus miles - ride from Mt. Carmel Junction to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. The extra bit is about 28 miles.

Day Two - Mt. Carmel Junction to Bryce National Park:About 60 miles with over 3700' of gain.

Day Three - Bryce National Park to Escalante: Ride into Bryce and climb to Rainbow Point at 9100'. This is 38 miles with about 2,900' of climbing. The ride to Escalante is about 48 miles with 1,800' of gain.

Day Four - Escalante to Torrey: About 66 miles with over 6,100' of gain. And, bonus miles on Capital Reef Scenic Drive. The extra bit is about 36 miles with 2,500' of gain.

Day Five - Torrey to Panguitch: About 106 miles with about 3,400' of gain.

Day Six - Panguitch to Cedar City, via Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument: About 57 miles with about 5,300' of gain. We'll reach our highest point on this ride, at 10,500'.

Day Seven - Cedar City to St. George:About 83 miles with just over 2,500' of gain. Alas, the last day...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Out and About in South San Jose

Warning: Today's entry contains no flirting, no sexual innuendo, no snappy dialogue or witty remarks. You'll probably fall asleep while reading this. Occasionally, I take a holiday from said lifestyle. Of course, itll be a short stay.

Wonderful day spent with biking buddies C, P, S and T. We did a 41 mile loop that took us from Los Gatos to South San Jose and included Shannon/Kennedy, Bernal, Bailey, and a new test climb -- Country View, off McKean.

Above, a section of Bernal, a climb I've never done before. Being late summer, you see how dry the area is. Today was quite warm, the afternoon muggy and thankfully, by late afternoon, the weather broke and cooler temperatures returned.

Above, another section of Bernal. The gang waits under the trees for me.

Above, a shot of Calero Reservoir.

I was just about out of water by the time we got to Country View. I only climbed part of it while the gang did all of it! The climb itself is just shy of 2 miles, beginning with maybe an 8% grade, a descent and then the steeper bits of 10% or more, I'm guessing. It's harder than Metcalf. C said we climbed a 1000 feet. The views allow you to see Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Um., Hwy. 101, and Calero Reservoir. The photo I shot captures none of what makes it spectacular. The area is quite interesting -- a few mansions and then paved roads that lead nowhere but are fun for cyclists. When winter arrives and the hills turn green, it will be quite the sight.

If you're still awake .... next weekend, The Boyfriend and I are off to do a week long bike tour through Planet Ultra of Southern Utah. No doubt I'll come back a changed cyclist but what that means exactly, who knows.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy in Helena

Weekend spent in St. Helena with The Boyfriend to do some biking as well as the Tour of Napa. Several years ago, I discovered a small winery in St. Helena that also provides guest lodgings. Above, the place where we stayed. Friday night we tasted their wines and we each bought their port and enjoyed their Chardonnay Saturday evening.

The Napa Valley seemed especially beautiful this year. Saturday morning we set off to do a portion of the 100 mile route of Tour of Napa that includes Mt. Veeder. For 20 miles we biked on a road that parallels Rte. 29.

We stopped for refreshments and it was then that The BF noticed a large tear in his tire. A stranger stopped to admire The BF's bike and he told us that we were seconds away from a bike shop! Turns out that the bike shop was also the place where we could do early registration for the Tour of Napa. The BF had no money and no credit card but the bike shop said no problem and he got himself a new tire. So, off we went, happy as clams.

Coming down Mt. Veeder (a hot climb that gave me a back ache), The Boyfriend had a flat or so he thought. Upon careful inspection, he discovered a tear in the new tire he had just purchased. He tried to patch it. We biked some more and soon after, the tire and tube went. Our lovely excursion was turning into a disaster. His iPhone was dead from a GPS bike gadget thingy that he was experimenting with and the day was becoming hotter, and we were in the middle of nowhere. So, let's talk about what saved the day.... Yes, people, my Specialized Armadillo tank tires!!! The ones everyone pokes fun at but never fail .... I have campy gears and The BF has Shimano gears, so, he had to swap the rear tires (mind you this was like the fourth time he had to change a tire -- what a studmobile), having decided that he would bike back to our place using my tire, get the car and return for me.

The BF: I'll have to leave you here.
Me: In the middle of nowhere. There could be inbreeds that come out of the woods.
The BF: We're in Napa Valley, woman.

So off he went as you see above on the -- wait wait -- the Specialized Armadillo tire!

Me, waiting. People drove by and asked if I needed assistance. Nah, I behaved and sat quietly. Well, I did find some twigs and conducted a Beethoven symphony with my iPod Nano (about that time, people stopped offering assistance as they drove by). Before I knew it, The Boyfriend returned with the car to fetch me. One more time -- the Specialized Armadillo tank tires saved the day. Of course, I won't rub it in, on a regular basis, that is.....

We went back to the bike shop just in time to do our early registration and for him to get another tire. What a day! So, the Tour of Napa was almost anticlimatic. On the drive to the start, we saw lots of hot air balloons and okay, get ready for this -- because The Boyfriend decided to do the 100K, we didn't start until 7:30am. yay, yay, yay. We rode together for the first 14 miles. A lovely tour as usual and a wonderful weekend. The BF finished 1 hr. before me.

My stats:

66 miles
5 hrs. biking
13.3 mph avg (damn climbs slow me down)
34.5 max speed

Interestingly, 2 years ago, my avg. was 14.4 and I finished in 4 hrs. 38 min. Yet I felt as though I was going faster and stronger this time around. Perhaps more headwinds and heat this year.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Party at Mile 5

Coming around a corner, at mile 5, to my sheer delight, a lovely vision laid itself before me. There must have been at least 25 of them, cyclists of the male persuasion. Maybe they were Mighty Mice or Fremont Fellas but really, who pays attention to club names when there is so much more to notice. Naturally, I unzipped my pink jersey as far as it would go.

Cyclist: 3 Cheers for Femininity
Pelaton: Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!

Of course I had to take a break and hang out with the boys to relieve my tension of the impending climb up Mt. Hamilton. I can't believe I forgot to take a photo to show The Boyfriend that I don't make these things up.

The BF turned around and met me at mile 15. He's good for relieving my tension. Then again, so were the Mighty Men at mile 5. He was treated to my singing. Lucky him! I shivered with anticipation the last few miles up. Well, not really. The BF was impressed with my stamina. Me at the top. Check out my leg muscle.

The fake owl was a hoot. The weather was just down right perfect. Guess who I saw as I descended. Fellow LKHClimber Ron Brunner! At least I think it was him with his sweet smile.

The BF begins the descent. What a stud muffin. He did the climb up in 1 hr 50 min.

My stats:

37 miles
2 hrs 45 min to the top. I know -- not going to break any records but good for me.
1:15 for the descent
6.6 mph avg up
9 mph avg total
27.5 fastest speed descending

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coasting to the Coast

Sigh, time to get off the couch and leave the lair to do a bike ride. [photo taken at Happy Hollow Zoo, private tour]. I joined the semi secret society of cycling chickees (though we did allow some of the chickees' men folk to come along) for a ride to the coast. The route included: Mtn. Home from Pioneer Hotel in Woodside to Old La Honda East and West to Hwy 84, Haskins, Pescadero Road, Stage Rd., Hwy 1, Tunitas Creek and Kings Mtn.

The group (15 total) sped along at a pace a bit too much for me but they were a fantastic bunch who waited for me at various points along the way. A fun and funny bunch. I knew I would struggle when I started off at 17 mph on Mtn. Home and the group was barely in my sight line. Luckily, my ego is large enough (it swells on a regular basis) to accept being behind the entire trip. Our leader J was especially wonderful -- I had to walk for 10 minutes on Tunitas Creek due to a back ache and she came to fetch me, which motivated me to get it together and finish.
The highlight was stopping off at Pescadero Bakery for warm artichoke garlic bread. Delicious.
The Boyfriend planned to join us but he needed some down time after his boy bonding mtn. biking trip. He hit a pothole his first day out and split his lip (a plastic surgeon had to sew it up), got a black eye, chipped a tooth, and his body endured numerous scrapes and bruises. What a guy! Plus they had 100+ weather, which means bugs, bugs, bugs.
What a day! The stats:
51 miles
9.8 mph avg.
30 mph on a descent
5 hrs. 10 min.