Sunday, April 25, 2010

Doing the Diablo Century

The Boyfriend and I spent Saturday night in Walnut Creek before Sunday's Diablo Century, in its second year. The BF booked the Motel 6. He knows how to treat his woman special. Speaking of special -- last week when I checked in for the Tierra Bella, the volunteer told me I was special. What can I say -- I know. When I checked in for the Diablo Century (I actually signed up for the Metric and The BF did the 100 mile), the volunteer told me to have a fabulous ride. What can I say -- okay! The above photo is not the Motel 6 but an interesting building we saw as we walked into downtown Walnut Creek for dinner.

It's been a long time since we decided to do a new ride. I'm glad we did. The Diablo Century is a lovely ride and well supported. The only ding I'll give it is the food is not on par with other rides like the Tierra Bella or Marin Century or Tour of Napa Valley. The BF and I rode together for the first 17 miles. There he is in the above photo at the first rest stop. Simply put -- I adore him.

The advantage of being a 5'2 weenie woman is having fun with playground equipment. Next up was the climb and of course The Boyfriend left me in the dust. Lots of men told me how they liked my 30th anniversary Tierra Bella jersey. The BF thinks that this is "code" for something else. I noticed several riders wearing this year's Tierra Bella jersey. It is a nice design - The BF and I both bought it.

Before the Morgan Territory descent (spectacular; above photo), and after the climb, at a rest stop, I met these wonderful guys who also hail from San Jose and had done the Tierra Bella last weekend. They looked like characters out of the movie Easy Rider. They knew about Country View, a steep hill off McKean in San Jose (this is for PP who introduced us to this road).

Parts of the route reminded me of the Cinderella ride. And we were blessed with green hills and lots of flowers plus miles of horse ranches, farms and well to do neighborhoods (another universe unaffected by the current economic situation). I met a cyclist, just like last week at the Tierra Bella, who wanted me to break from the route, and travel with him. Hmm..

When I met up with The Boyfriend at the end, I said to him, "Want to hear about all the men I met!" "Not again," he sighed. What can I say.

Super ride and recommended. The 100 mile includes more climbing according to The BF but either route is a great way to start off your riding season. P.S. The meandering through neighborhoods will affect your overall time.

Just the Stats:

63 miles
11.8 mph avg (man, I thought I was banging it out!)
32 mph on descent
5 hr 19 min.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Going the Distance

When am I going to be fed next? This is all I think about during a bike tour. Well, besides flirting. Oh lookey, a feed station, I mean a rest stop at mile 35. Hip hip hooray!

At around mile 39 -- Not even the firemen at Hill and E. Dunne could distract me from thinking: when am I going to be fed next! Oh no, cutting out Henry Coe meant no lunch stop. And then I saw the tall, dark handsome cyclist who appeared to be waiting for me across the street.

He: You have that look on your face.
Me: Oh, and what look would that be [take your pick: where's the next feed station or naughty thoughts....]
He: You look lost. You can ride with me. [he was doing his own thing not sticking to the route]
Me: Miss out on the turkey wraps for you? I don't think so, Mister!

Well, I figured out where to go next, having cut out the hardest part of the Tierra Bella 100 mile route - the 20 mile Henry Coe loop. I usually do the 100K but I wanted to push myself and go further. Last year, I did 85 miles for the Cinderella tour. But I generally just do 100K tours.

At the mile 75 rest stop (55 miles for me), I got my long awaited prize -- the turkey wraps! And an unexpected surprise -- The Boyfriend! He was going the full distance (the 100 mile) and yet caught up to me.
Me: Guess how many men I met on the ride!
He: You're so supposed to be biking not flirting.
Me: I have to tell you one story. The farmer on the tractor with the cactus garden. That big round sucker was planted in 1962! He wants me to come back in my car so I can take some succulents home with me.
He: You're supposed to be biking not meeting succulent farmers.
Me: I can't help myself.
He: Sigh.
Some highlights of this year's Tierra Bella:
Seeing my friends AC, PP, and SG who volunteered for the event
All the other volunteers who make the Tierra Bella a wonderful ride
The ride itself -- lovely especially Llages Rd.
Little wind for once and great weather
The Boyfriend hitting 54 mph somewhere on the route
Riding the last 35 miles with a 62 yr. old woman from Lodi. She was fabulous.
Not yet posted but the free photos of the event
Riding some of the route with The Boyfriend
81 miles
12.7 mph avg.
31 mph on a descent
6 hrs 22 min

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hollister Here We Come

Earlier in the week, I sat in an electric massage chair getting a rub down, eating biscotti and a chocolate bar while waiting for my eye doctor to escort me to the laboratory with the experimental machines that test our eyeballs. Mind you, I declined the Jelly Belly jelly beans. Time though to exercise. Sigh.

Today, I sat on my bicycle, seeing the sights of Hollister and beyond with 14 other ACTC riders including A, S and P. The fun lovin' ever so sweet DA led the troops. Above you can just make out part of Cienega, the one sustained climb of the day. The rest of the route included rollers, flats and downhills.

We stopped to see the buffalo! There's a baby buffalo behind Mom Buf in the upper right top. Parts of the ride reminded me of biking in Solvang.

The Hole (booze and food as the sign says) in Tres Pinos. Bet it's a happening joint. In the distance is SG. Being rebels, SG and I broke away from the other cowboys and cowgirls and went our merry way. Okay, I was cold and having a slow day though it was not obvious to anyone that it was any slower than any other day for me. The weather began to change, turning grey and somewhat windy. We did half the ride. Still, a good workout.
Just the Stats:
32.17 miles
2 hr 30 min
28.5 mph on a descent
12.7 mph avg

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Slacking Off

Sigh, I was into serious slacking off during my forced time off (furloughs) this week. I didn't intend to be a slacker. I planned to bike every day in preparation for the Tierra Bella and The Diablo Century later this month. And to motivate myself, I read "how to get ready for the race season" by the Fat Cyclist. Alas, the weather was too unstable for Her Weenieness.
But guess what I got to do! Something I've wanted to do for ages. Thanks to my super scientist friend, I went to SLAC for lunch! I want to go back for a tour. I want to go back and take the guard at the guard post home with me.
If Saturday's weather is better, there are some great ACTC riding opportunities to consider. Maybe the SLAC scientists can whip me up some high energy cosmic rays and turn me into a stellar cyclist. Reach for the stars!