Saturday, August 25, 2012

Who Ya Gonna Call - Goat Busters

Love 'em.  Goats on Coyote Creek Trail. I'm assuming they are there to eat the grasses and prevent wildfires. 

Today's club ride started with chilly temperatures.  It was swell to see familiar faces as well as to meet some new people.  It was swell meeting the goats, too.   Time to set off for our 2 goat busters (Thomas Grade and Henry Coe).

I dropped my chain early on and watched the gang become tiny dots on the horizon.  I didn't expect to ever catch up to them.  I did meet up with a lovely fit 61 year old woman who had a hip replacement.  She's still going strong, just slow, and we yakked away.  Every once in awhile, her husband would back track to check up on her but at some point, he didn't, and I decided to be her companion.  I know what it's like to bike alone.  We eventually got to Henry Coe.

The last time I did Henry Coe was back in November.  I think I've actually only got up it once.  This time, I thought to myself, no big deal, not that I went any faster.  I caught up to Miss P. and watched the rest of the gang descend.  It was swell to ride with Miss P. the last few miles.  I always feel calm and happy riding with her.  In the distance, the fog. 

On the return, a photo capturing summer in the South Bay.   I was ever so pleased to get up Henry Coe.  And to also descend much faster than I've done before.  I did hit a bump and I almost went over the handle bars and my private parts hit the saddle in a most painful way.

Just the Stats:

4253 feet of climbing
52.34 miles
10.5 avg mph
34.5 mph descending (can't seem to go beyond that number)
4 hr 59 min.

Monday, August 20, 2012

No Guys in Geyserville

 Friday, August 17th.

The BF:  I'm taking you to Geyserville where we'll continue onward to do the Geysers.
Me:  I'm going to do some guys. Oh Goody.
The BF:  Uh, not exactly.

You got that right, Mister.  Not a man in sight for me to enjoy.  Instead, like last year's trip, 47 miles of mostly climbing.  Hmm, you call this a vacation?

Whew, hard work.  And you know what.  I wasn't aware until this bridge that I was in the wrong gear --- I was in the big ring. No wonder my legs felt tired and my heart hurt.  I thought it was my weenie blood pressure issues.  The BF promised to buy me something for my incredible effort.  I plan to send him a list of my demands but I should have demanded his credit card on the spot .... 

The BF beginning a descent. 

I recently had my bike tuned at Mike's Bikes.  Hunkomobile mechanics.  I had my handle bars re-taped with black tape.  I loved my white tape handle bars but honestly, not practical. 

As we left the Geysers, we entered wine country again.  Lovely.  And the best part of the trip was the stop at the Jim Town store for the melted brie and ham sandwich.  I don't even like ham.  I'm mostly a vegetarian but damn if it didn't make me happy!  An oasis even if there were no men.... boy that sandwich hit the spot after a grueling ride. 

In Napa on the Tour Again

Sunday, August 19th

Almost every year, The Boyfriend and I have done the Tour of Napa.  Why?  Because it's a beautiful ride with just the right mix of rollers, incredible descents and climbs, and top notch food/support.  The weather was most agreeable this time, too.  Sigh, this year, no one wanted to play with me or talk to me, despite being adorable in purple clothing.  I tell you people, they missed out on me singing Led Zeppelin songs on Ink Grade.  I was so full of myself, even if no one else noticed, that I didn't need to stop at the last rest stop before the finish.  I arrived back at the start 1 hour after The BF (he also did the 100K) and my stats are similar to previous years which pleases me.  I checked my blood pressure and pulse and they were very low.  Yay.  Sadly, my BP numbers returned to bad readings later.  Oh well, such is life.  I would like to thank my chauffeur (aka The BF) for all the driving involved.

Just the stats:

67.71 miles
13.2 mph avg
34.5 mph descent
5 hr. 6 min

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Second ride in Cambria

Today, we set off to Cayucos via Hwy 1.  Great descent in which I reached 34.5 mph which is huge for me.

In Cayucos, the fog had yet to burn off.  Interesting range of temperatures from 67 degrees and perhaps a bit less along the coast to 109 in Paso Robles.   We also passed a town called Harmony of which the population was 11. 

In 2008, The Boyfriend and I did the Lighthouse Century -- my blog entry  but our views were completely obscured by fog and so, on today's ride, we had virtually no recollection and everything was new and fresh, much like a first date.   This is Whale Rock Reservoir, which we missed seeing during the Lighthouse Century.

We climbed Old Creek Road and sure, it was only 8 percent but it was frigging hot and there was one pitch that was clearly much more than 8%.  We had a short but sweet biking holiday.

Santa Rosa Creek Road

Here I am posing at the start of Santa Rosa Creek Road off Main Street in Cambria.   Yeah, I'm bad.  Particularly on flat stretches ....  The first part of this climb is maybe 4 percent or so.  Here's Kirby James pictorial blog.   Lovely green compared to our hot summer wheat colored rolling hills.

 I think I'll take a break and shoot photos of The BF from the behind ....

 I think I'll take another break and shoot photos of The BF from the behind ....

 Give you some idea of this climb.  While we hit some short steep pitches (20%?), it doesn't hold up against something like Sierra Road, which is much much harder.  But it's a wonderful ride, quiet, in the middle of nowhere.

Then again, look at me, about to keel over.  Yeah, I'm bad.  Not.  After climbing Santa Rosa Creek Road, we had a wonderful descent on Hwy 46. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Redwood Estates to Boulder Creek

 I'm writing out of sequence.  Will write about Cambria biking trip later.  Today, I and The BF joined Donny's club ride to Boulder Creek.  I've never done Redwood Estates off Old Santa Cruz Hwy.  Whew, tough.  I skipped 2 climbs because my heart simply couldn't handle it.  And everyone on the ride was feeling the heat even at 9am.  Above is somewhere in Big Basin State Park.  The route involved a lot of climbing, a similar route to the Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge.

 I was mostly by myself on the ride though at times, I met up with some of the club riders -- hello Christopher, it's been awhile.  And John was great, riding with me from time to time.  Oh lookey, setting up a wedding on Zayante.  I thought what the heck, why not be a wedding crasher.  They gave me some water though the champagne was tempting.

It came from outer space.  Somewhere on Zayante.  Haven't a clue but I'd like one for Christmas.  I caught up to 2 cyclists towards the end.  They were out of water and exhausted.  A lot of people have helped me along the way the last few years and so it was my turn to help them get back to the start.    The heat certainly took its toll.  We found a hose at the school and sprayed one another.  Wonderful.

Just the Stats:

62 miles
6511 feet of climbing
9.6 avg mph
32.5 mph on descent
6 hr 25 min

A Room with a View

Tuesday, August 7

Me:  We're staying up there?
The BF:  Well, uh, not ....

 Me:  We're staying at La Cuesta Encantada!
The BF:  Well, uh, um ...

 Me:  Will there be boy toys to serve me those drinks that come with little pink umbrellas?
The BF:   Look here Missy ...
 What a view!

This view was just as nice from our bedroom window in Cambria.  We're here for, you guessed it, a short biking holiday.  But first, we played tourists, visiting Hearst Castle.  It was scorching hot on The Enchanted Hill.  Easily 100 degrees.  The temperature in nearby Pasa Robles along Highway 46 hit 104 but here at the coast, it's only 67 degrees.  Whew.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Marin Time

Time again to do the Marin Century.  Well, in my case, the 100k.  The BF and I have done this ride many times.  This will probably be our last for awhile.  Time to do other rides and see other parts of the world.  The weather today was odd, dark heavy clouds, wind, and a feeling that at any moment the heavens might open up with a stormy outburst.  This year, there were course marshalls out riding with us and plenty of SAG and good signage.  Very impressive and reassuring.

A month or so ago, I had minor surgery which kept me off the bike.  Additionally, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 hypertension despite a healthy lifestyle.  After many tests and one kidney ultrasound, all of which were normal (yay), my doctors concluded that I have extreme high blood pressure due to family history/genetics.  As one of my wonderful doctors says, "Sh*t happens."  Yep.  I'm on drugs and responding well.  I have headaches, I fall asleep at work and sometimes I can feel my heart racing.  You know what, I think the hot flashes and night sweats are ten times worse than having high blood pressure!  But, if I'm going to blow, I'm going to go out having a good time.

Thus, today, I gave it my all and I did better than last year but not quite as good as a few years ago.  Still, I'm pleased as punch even though no flirting took place on today's ride...I can see The BF smiling.  He had a good ride, too.

Just the stats:

59 miles with 3,830 feet of climbing (piece of cake compared to climbing in the South Bay)
12.7 avg mph (last year 12.5)
31 mph fastest (last year 31.5)
4 hr. 34 min (last year 4 hr 43 min)