Saturday, April 23, 2011

Out with the GoatBusters

It was like Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None, in that we (an ACTC ride led by the fabulous SG and PP) started with 12 riders but as the ride progressed, one by one, some peeled away and disappeared. But we were a merry bunch, ready to tackle the hills and call ourselves GoatBusters. Here we are at the end of Stevens Canyon before making our way up Redwood Gulch and Highway 9. I, too, considered peeling away when a certain runner at a stoplight caught my eye .... oh, we rode over the suspension bridge, you know, the one you can see while on Hwy 280 and De Anza. Wonderful.

S&P appointed me "sweeper" which is a fancy term for riding in the back because I'm so slow.

When I got home, I discovered that my back brake no longer works. Hand it to Mike's Bikes who wanted me to come in right away to be serviced, I mean, the bike, but it can keep until tomorrow.

Just the Stats:

37.60 miles
24 mph max descending
10.6 mph avg
3 hrs. 30 min.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tierra Bella Volunteer

Guess what! The club let me be a volunteer for the 2011 Tierra Bella. My assignment, or should I say duty, was to escort male cyclists safely across an intersection and then to give them my telephone number for any support they may need. Oh alrighty, not exactly true. I was posted with Sandy at an intersection (about 10 miles into the ride for the 100 milers and 100Kers) to help cyclists cross the road safely and to alert traffic to the event. For almost 2 hours, waves and waves of riders passed us. It was a stunning scene. I saw friends from the club and from LKHC, including Lisa! At one point, a helicopter hovered over us. I was convinced it was the SWAT team, sent in by The Boyfriend (who was unable to attend this year) to make sure I behaved. I stayed beyond our alloted time and good thing I did because, as luck would have it, I met this man ... he was from Fresno. The TB was his first 100 miler a few years ago and the event means a lot to him but unfortunately, a spoke on his front wheel snapped. So, I said to him, "How may I service you, I mean how may I be of service?" :) I got out my handy dandy new cell phone and pressed the programmed number for SAG help. After the cold marine layer burned off, and gave way to a sunny blue sky, I rode the 60K route. I floored it, for me. The TB is a beautiful ride made special by a lot of volunteers. I hope cyclists had a great time. I know I did. Thank you Greg and Rita, our safety committee leaders who came around to each station offering us food and drink. I plan to volunteer again next year! Just the Stats: 34.50 miles 14.4 mph avg 30.5 mph descent 2 hrs. 23 min

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Knights Valley

Saturday April 9 Finally the weather pattern changed and we had a delightful biking day. We rode along Rt 128 (a great stretch much like biking in Morgan Hill territory) to JimTown (a general store with great coffees and a delicious ham and brie baguette for lunch). Levi apparently eats here, too. Mileage for me was 52 miles, and The BF did 60+. The perfect weather allowed us to climb Pine Flat. The first 7 miles include rollers and probably a 7% grade with a few steep pitches. The last few miles include stretches of 20% grades which of course the hunky BF did.

There he is, the hunky Boyfriend.

The BF left me in the dust on the way back on Rte. 128. Back at the motel --

Me: I met these guys.

The BF: Geez, go figure.

Me: They were in a pick up truck and they offered to provide SAG support.

The BF: I bet they did.

Me: And then when I arrived in Calistoga, I ran into some firemen.

The BF: Sigh.

The people of Calistoga were very friendly and there's a bike shop as well. It was nice to go to wine country off season and to see the orange poppies, lupine and yellow mustard in bloom. Our next mini vacation is next month in Solvang to watch the Amgen Tour of California time trial and get in some rides.

Alexander Valley

Friday April 8 We began today's ride in the town of Windsor. The plan was to do Pine Flat, a favorite climb of Levi Leipheimer (watch this video) in Sonoma County but once again, the weather was too unpredictable and we opted out. Still, we had a good 45 mile outing through Alexander Valley. We saw cows with enormous udders, so big that I thought it would be vulgar to post a photo. Rain drops fell just as we were ending our ride.

Would you believe that I got a flat despite my tank tires! Once again, The BF came to my rescue, fixing my flat in under 10 minutes. My hero. He has gone the way of tubeless tires. If you can afford it, go for it.

In the evening, we listened to Mariachi music at a Mexican restaurant and drank a nice cab called Irony. Ha ha.

Hail to the Chief

Thursday April 7 To our delight, we awoke to cold but clear skies. The weather people had predicted a rainy day. Our ride took us from Napa into Sonoma and up Trinity and Mt. Veeder, a 45 mile ride that proved hard mostly because of gusty wind conditions and temperatures in the upper 40s. Here I am at Domaine Carneros

Soon though the clouds came in and the temperature dropped. We encountered turkey vultures, valleys carpeted in flowers and naked vineyards. All breathtaking scenery. Atop Mt. Veeder, snow began to fall on me and then hail, the size of mini marshmellows. I whipped out my new cell phone to call The Boyfriend. I was a bit lost, shivering and not sure what to do.

You don't want to hear the message I left for The BF, other than it went something like: Where the @!!@ are you! Get me off this #@@!!! mountain!"

The BF, way ahead of me, was assaulted by marshmellow sized hail! He was very brave. Luckily, I missed that as I made my way down Mt. Veeder. I lost feeling in my hands and feet. Soon though, my knight in shining silver colored car came and rescued me. My hero. Whew, what an outing!

Spa Town

Wednesday, April 6 The Boyfriend: It's time you had a vacation! Me: Darn right, Mister. The BF: How about a stay in Calistoga? Me: Spa time! Seaweed wraps, mud bath treatments for two, facials .... The BF: Uh, I was thinking more along the lines of ... Me: Wine tasting! The BF: Better than a mineral bath, better than visiting wineries -- a biking holiday! Me: I don't suppose I can take the boy toy from Starbucks (who flirted with me) with us? Side note: You know you're in Sonoma when a rooster or was it a chicken walks about in a parking lot, clearly not lost and no one pays attention as though this is a perfectly normal every day occurrence.