Saturday, July 31, 2010

Out for a Climb

Ah, The Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge. Not for the faint hearted. The Boyfriend started before the stars faded. Me, I slept in, arrived in Scotts Valley, drove around convinced that the high school had been deliberately moved, but eventually I found my way to the start. A volunteer had me park right next to the school entrance and another volunteer took photos of me and my bike. What a way to start the day!

The start was a bit cold but as you see from the photo above taken on Mtn. Charlie, blue skies arrived quickly. I later learned from the tour director that about 680 of us participated.

So many men, so little time to discuss. What can I say. I don't even try anymore. Ah, the highway patrol man at Rest Stop #1 with his aviator glasses, the beige uniform, the motorcycle. My tongue fell out. I was tongue tied. I could not think of one reason to persuade him to handcuff me. Me, at the top of Jamison Creek, which I managed to climb for the most part. At one point on Jamison, it was just a bunch of us chicks and we let out a mighty roar together.

Lots of cheering from strangers during the ride. A little boy not even 4 on his balcony shouting, "Go rider babe." Made my day. A group sitting in their camper clapping as cyclists rode by. Oh, a bobcat darted across Bonny Doon as I was descending. I also ran into club friends, too. Well, not literally.

After climbing and descending the redwoods, coming into Santa Cruz on W. Cliff Drive was just stunning. I'm sorry not to have shot a pic of Santa Cruz and the boardwalk but, get this, I was in a peleton, oh alrighty, I was in the back, but, I just didn't want to stop.

Ah, yes, the spot, you know, the one that eludes many men. But I digress.

What a ride. Perfect weather. Climbs for the 100K included Mtn. Charlie, Empire Grade, Riva Ridge, Smith Grade among others. Bear Creek was fabulous to descend.

Just as I was coming back to the start, I saw The BF leaving. I waved to him. He did the 100 mile in 7 hours! I don't think he noticed the two men (they were a hoot) escorting me back to the school. Back at the school, I ran into AC! Great way to end the day.

Thanks to the volunteers and club members who put on this great tour.

Just the Stats:

62 miles
6,470 elevation gain
10 mph avg
32 mph max
6 hours biking time

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Me on Montebello

The Boyfriend was unable to bike with me today. We had planned to join an ACTC ride, one involving many difficult climbs. Like I was going to do any of them....

What to do, what to do with him out of the picture for the day? Go back to bed? Tempting. No, no, no, I tossed the bon bons aside, put on my best Billy Idol snarl and tackled Montebello.

I had to stop a few times because of over heating. Go Menopause. Wait, me pause from men? And then, this really good looking guy came whizzing by.

Me: I'm soooo hot.
He: You can do it. Why don't you follow me?
Me: Well, if you insist, (licking my sticky lips).

Just yesterday, I told The BF I am a leader. Sometimes though, it's best to be a follower.... Of course, he was soon out of eyesight but it was fun while it lasted.

Ah, what a view on the way down. A cyclist stopped and asked if I wanted my picture taken. Hmm, what cyclist stops on a great descent? Clearly, he wanted to flirt with me. The BF is shaking his head as he reads this post.

Biking back on Foothill Expressway and Stevens Canyon was refreshing after baking in the sun on the climb. Somewhere on the ride, I managed to do 29 mph max but my average was 9.4 mph for the 21 mile ride.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday in San Benancio Canyon

Reporting to The Boyfriend who is holed up in some rainy European locale --

Me: I drove to Salinas to meet P and M for a super ACTC ride.
He: Where did you go?
Me: We rode San Benancio Canyon and Corral de Tierra off Hwy 68.
He: I spent the day watching rain.
Me: The rodeo was in town!
He: You don't say.
Me: Time to lasso in a cowboy!
He: I thought you were into firemen.
Me: Didn't anyone ever tell you that variety spices up one's life?
He: I'm a nice varietal.
Me: Yes, but you're there, and I'm here ... speaking of which ....
He: How many men did you meet this time?
Me: Well, you see, P and I were on the side of the road and this good looking guy stopped.
He: No doubt to check you out.
Me: He thought we had a flat. Of course that's code for yes he stopped to check us out.
He: Sigh.

Fun to do a ride where I've never been before. Thanks to M for this treat.
Just the stats:
22 miles
25.5 mph descending
9.5 mph avg
2 hr 15 min.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

To the Wall and Beyond

While AC and The Boyfriend cycled at warp speed, I went my usual weenie pace as we climbed Old Calaveras, The Wall, Calaveras, Welch Creek, into Sunol and back to Felter and Piedmont.

Along the rollers of Calaveras, we saw lots of other cyclists. I belted out show tunes no doubt to the delight of all who crossed my path. The Boyfriend no doubt was delighted to have missed the show.

While AC and The BF climbed Welch Creek, I shot photos of flowers. I, however, was not a complete pansy. Drum roll --- no laughing but I finally got up the steep part of Old Calaveras, well, 99% of it. Making progress!

AC descending the last bit of Welch Creek! The BF noted that that the road has been repaved. Good thing since it's included in this year's Low Key Hillclimbs.

AC and The BF heading back. We planned on biking to Sierra (summit) as well but the heat finally caught up to us. They did 53 miles in 4 1/2 hours to my 43 in shorter time. Sigh.

Just the stats:

43 miles
29 mph descent
11 mph avg
3 hr 53 min

Monday, July 5, 2010

All is Not Lost

The BF: Whatcha doing today?
Me: I think I'll go for a swim.
The BF: Ah yes, in the bathtub, right, where it takes 50 laps to do 1/4 mile.
Me: It's called a pool, Mister.
The BF: Ah yes, a pool built for the weenie people of the world.
Me: Grrr. But it comes with a pool boy decked out in tight lycra.
The BF: I come decked out in tight lycra.
Me: Yes, but do you serve coconut infused alcoholic drinks with those cute paper umbrellas?
The BF: Oh, I'll serve you up something good Missy.
Me: Yeah, like what?
The BF: Not fit for your blog. Be ready at 9am.
Me: Oooooh. I might forget about the pool boy.

The Boyfriend, who's been out of the picture recently due to a heavy travel schedule, took me in his chariot over to Santa Cruz where we planned to bike along Hwy 1 over to Pine Flat and Empire Grade. Alas, the coastal fog zapped our cycling plans no matter how far we traveled north.

But, all was not lost as The Boyfriend brought me a bouquet of flowers. Like he said, that's about all I can write because the rest is not fit for this blog entry. :)
Now, about that pool boy.....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sweaty in Sveadal

Once a year, I eat pancakes and sausages -- at the ACTC 4th of July breakfast -- and with our bellies full, club members, decked out in red, white and blue, set off to do various rides. I chose to go with S & P, the host and hostess with the most and mostess.
Our cool group of 14 riders sweated it out over to Sveadal, a Swedish American community tucked away on Croy Road in Morgan Hill, near Uvas Canyon County Park. Who knew!
Alas, I do not flirt in hot weather. Oh alrighty, just a little bit on Uvas as a number of SJBC cyclists flew by. Can't exactly say I was Susan Sarandon with the ice cube melting down her chest in Atlantic City or Kathleen Turner turning William Hurt's head in Body Heat. Then again ....
A good ride with fun people. I finally feel comfortable on the bike again as the memory of the bike accident recedes.
Just the stats:
54 miles
12.2 mph avg.
29.5 mph on descent
4 hrs 23 min.