Sunday, May 1, 2011

Grizzly Peaked

Today I did my first big ride of the season -- the Grizzly Peak Century (though I did the 73 mile route). This is a spectacular ride, perhaps my favorite of all the bike tours I've done. The East Bay is beautiful, full of scenic quiet backroads, green hills, and vistas to blow your mind. 900+ cyclists participated, making the GB an intimate event. It was a challenging route, with almost 6,000 ft of climbing for my ride.

We began in Moraga with a route that took us into the Oakland Hills, Tilden, Briones, Pinole, Martinez, Orinda, many canyons, and on and on. Lots of climbing and lots of fantastic descents. Thank you to the organizers and volunteers.

The Boyfriend was away in Europe. I was on my own. What to do, what to do .... really I had no intention of meeting men, flirting with them, as is my custom. But alas, I seem to invite attention, anyway. I share two highlights. First, at the start in Moraga, taking out my bike from the car, a quite handsome cyclist who had parked behind me:

He: You're like Mary Poppins!
Me: Huh?
He: The way you took out your bike, as though you were flying. Quite magical.
Me: Sigh.

Next up, a stop at a vista called Inspiration Point. A male cyclist was looking at the view.

Me: What's so inspirational here?
He: Nothing until you came along.

Me at mile 61. I was peaked from all the male attention and I suppose the climbing as well in very warm weather began to wear me down. I was quite pleased with my performance given I don't do anything in particular in preparation, other than, show up.

Just the Stats:

73 miles

6 hrs. 28 min

11.2 avg mph

35.5 mph descent

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