Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Girl in the Pigtails

"I know you! You're the girl in the pigtails who I saw yesterday on Sand Hill Road." And that is how today's bike ride turned into something quite unexpected.

The plan (I always have a plan that I generally ignore) was to bike Piedmont to Old Calaveras (pictured above) over to The Wall and Calaveras and then back to Felter and down Sierra.

I ended up walking the hardest part of Old Calaveras (the beginning). My calf muscles apparently were dead and I was already drenched in sweat.

Lookey what I saw on Old Calaveras -- these two rodents who thought they'd go after the big bird. It was hysterical watching the scene. I made it up the rest of the climb.

At Downing and Felter, I met these two guys ... and that's when the adventure began. Small world eh to run into someone who saw you biking the day before. They invited me to explore Marsh Road with them. It's on Felter, the next left after passing The Wall exit. Wow, what a fun road that leads nowhere. 2 miles mostly descending that leads you closer to the reservoir. The breeze felt wonderful. Of course the climb back didn't. The guys were swell and I may have recruited them to join the 2010 Low Key Hill Climbs!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Back in the Saddle

A week or so ago, my friend P said I was brave to get back on the bike (after my crash on Mt. Hamilton). Today, I really got back in the sack, I mean saddle.

I biked Sand Hill Road, Whiskey Hill, Kings Mountain and down Kings Mtn, down Whiskey Hill and up Sand Hill back to the car. Test drive basically. And a brief stop at the Pioneer Hotel -- I love the pockets of western themes that dot the California landscape.

It was a day to rebuild my confidence so no flirting, no fun and games. The other day, I explained to my work friends that hot flashes are nothing compared to climbing a hill and really feeling the heat. :)

Just the Stats:

25.13 miles
29 mph max
9.5 mph avg.
50 min. up Kings (have done better...)
2 hrs. 38 min.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Amgen TOC Stage 4

When I finally got to the top of Sierra Road, drenched in sweat (bike time 57 minutes; sigh), there was my friend PP and The Boyfriend, a truly welcoming sight. Damn fine looking stud.

Me: On the way up, I met all these guys!
The BF: I thought you were going into menopause, you know, the pause from men.
Me: You tickle me pink with your humor, Mister! I'm just getting hornier as I get hotter!
He: Sigh.
Me: And to think, I'm only in the early stages.
He: Truly frightening.
Me: Oh by the way, you may want to start taking a mega vitamin.

Lookey, it's Sharkie. He patted me on the head. That's probably code for something. The BF is shaking his head. Sharkie was super. Okay, enough about me because today, like the previous stages, and the upcoming stages of the Amgen Tour of California is all about the fabulous cyclists participating in this wonderful cycling event.

They're coming! They're coming!

It was truly exciting as a sea of cyclists swarmed past us. I simply can not fathom how cyclists are able to bike so close to one another. I can't fathom a lot of things but that's another story.

A close up of them, their arms glistening. Being so near to them, being able to watch this short leg of today's stage was indeed a wonderful experience. Here's to the rest of the tour! Thanks to Adobe Tracker (for whom I once worked) for allowing those of us who don't have cable to watch it on the computer.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Before the Crash

On the telephone, the night before:

Me: I'm having hot flashes and night sweats.
BF: I bought another bike!
Me: To cool off, I stand naked on my balcony, in broad daylight.
BF: You know, the folding kind. No additional cost when I travel.
Me: At night, I walk the neighborhood in a see through negligee.
BF: I'll be able to bike when I go abroad on business trips!
Me: I hear there are extra police cars now, patroling the neighborhood -- I wonder why.
BF: I should get the bike in 10 days. I can't wait.
Me: Have you heard anything I've said? I'm hot.
BF: Hot? I know you're hot hot hot! You hot babe, you.
Me: Sigh.

Today, I joined a bunch of ACTC cyclists for a jaunt to Mt. Hamilton and part of the backside (though I only planned to do Mt. Ham). We began in fog and cold temperature. At mile 6, I was just about set to turn around, depressed by the weather, when upon a bend, the sky turned blue and it became increasingly warm! Green jackets, arm warmers and leggings removed.

Once past the fog, I have never felt so strong and energized going up the mountain. We had to skirt catapillars crawling in the road! Ah, Lick, a pretty sight. Donny and Joan, bless them, lugged up a trailer attached to their bikes (a bungee cord kept the two together) with our lunch. Incroyable. I met some wonderful people on this ride. Naturally I met some men, too.

Me at the top in my spanking 2010 Tierra Bella jersey. Going back down, just three miles shy of Mt Ham and Alum Rock Avenue, I crashed. I misjudged a corner and was surprised by a sudden burst of wind. I applied the brakes incorrectly. Total human error. It was either go over the hillside/cliff or crash into the shoulder. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which option I chose. I skidded on the road and smashed into the shoulder. At first, I thought I broke my leg. But here's how you know you're okay. You get up and scream obscenities. I had road rash on my hands and hematomas on my knee and ankle. Here's the positive aspect of psoriasis -- a bath removed all the skin and bloody stuff in one well swoop. Here's the positive aspect of being a dancer and gymnast when I was younger -- you know how to crash. Here's the positive thing about being a platelet donor (because you produce excessive platelets) -- you don't bleed. You simply clot.

Ah The Boyfriend. Bless his heart. Before his journey to Watsonville for the Strawberry Fields Forever tour tomorrow, he stopped by to assess me and any damage. I was hoping he would do a full body search. I guess I smelled. :)

Just the stats:

2 hrs 50 min to get up to the top from Kirk Avenue
1 hour and then some to get down (I crawled the last few miles)
26 mph max
8.7 mph avg.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Birthday Babes in Monterey

I was working on the computer
just the other day
When before my eyes, an email lay
2 birthday babes with an invitation
to bike in Monterey Bay
We (19 of us) did the bash
We did the Birthday Bash
It was a fun filled smash!

We biked here.
We biked there.
We biked everywhere.

Cannery Row. The bike trail in Monterey. Several incredible canyons. 17 mile drive. At the start of the ride, we were bombarded by a parade of dogs. It was walk your dog day or something. Hundreds and hundreds of them. I’m telling you they were sedated. No barking. No peeing. No humping legs. Amazing.

The view from my car. We had a lot of wind in some parts. If I wanted wind, I would have stayed home and turned on the frigging fan! The gang, too fast for me, but still a super lot. At one point, we sort of got lost but out whipped the GPS and we were on track again, taking a super secret short cut that had us parallel to Hwy 1. Fabulous. I suggested calling for a helicopter or a limo but alas not with this wonderfully strong cycling bunch. Earlier I asked one of the birthday babes if she had gone out the day before and painted yellow arrows for us… hee hee.
Super time with super people.
Just the Stats:

45 miles (the gang did 55; I took a short cut)
31 mph descent
10.7 mph avg
4 hrs 9 min