Monday, May 27, 2013

Wonderful Wunderlich

The entrance to Wunderlich Park in Woodside.  I was waiting for The Man to join me when a guy in a pick up truck with a horse trailer drove by and said, "Wanna ride my horsey."  The BF galloped across the road and took me away from said dirty minded man and into the park for our 5 mile hike.  He likes to be gallant.

What a tree!  We had a little bit of everything from madrones to redwood forests and meadows.  But no wildlife unless of course we consider The Man

Oh lookey, wildlife in the meadow. 

He wouldn't let me run naked through the meadow.  I mean really, what kind of boyfriend is he! Girls just wanna, they just wanna, have fun.... you said it Cyndi Lauper.

We didn't stick around for the Slime Ness Monster to appear. 

Another spectacular sight.  This park is a jewel with wide footpaths and benches.  When we were at elevation 1284 feet, we saw nothing but forest and it was hard to imagine that below us was the hustle and bustle of Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, VCs, and so forth.  We did get rained upon but we had enough canopy to keep us from getting wet.  On this Memorial Day, I thank those who made it possible for me to feel safe and to enjoy this splendor.  Even if I didn't get to run naked through the meadow....

Saturday, May 25, 2013

King of the Mountain

We banged up Sierra Road (okay, I sort of banged up Sierra Road in the beginning, then took a 10 minute nap) and then I was, wait, wait for it, in my mind at least, King of the Mountain!  Bit on the chilly side today as we made our way over to Calaveras and Sunol.  I must say that I certainly banged up The Wall.  We encountered little traffic (that was nice) and we saw fellow ACTCers out on a ride.   47 miles later, I'm a bit banged out.  But banging happy. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Amgen TOC -- Diablo

I tell ya people, it's exhausting being me.  I smiled and waved at the police boys, the fire boys, the team cars, and of course, they waved back.  Fellow cyclists and others waved and said hello as well.  The Man witnessed firsthand all this attention.  Hee hee, he can no longer claim that I make it up.  No need to, Mister.

Hard to see, but the pelaton was on its way up Mt. Diablo.  The Man planned our journey perfectly.  As we climbed, we met up with Mr. Bill, Dan of LKHC fame (I recognized his socks), and also, Ron and James P. shouted out my name.  How wonderful to see friends.

Back to The Man.  We had barely finished our lunch when we learned the Pros were already on the mountain.  Thank you to The Man for positioning us in a nice spot and for the salami sandwich. 

Here they come!  I marveled at the way the crowd spread itself out along the mountain and cheered.  A few of the cyclists made eye contact with me.  I realize they probably saw a blurb, or a raving fan, but, still, for me, it was a thrill.

There's the Man!  We thought descending would be a nightmare but you know what, it was fine.  Everyone was spread out and mostly, everyone just took it easy going down.  What an experience, better than when we watched the climb last year on Mt. Baldy.   I feel blessed to have the opportunity to watch the Amgen TOC.  And to ride up Mt. Diablo with lots of other cyclists and little traffic.  Weather cooperated, too.  You know what, it was just fun to participate in something that is good and peaceful and brings people together, to be involved in something larger than yourself.   Oh, and just like yesterday,  I saw a few butterflies.  Lovely.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Amgen TOC TT in San Jose

Been out of town taking care of family stuff.  Back in time to watch the Amgen Tour of California Time Trial in San Jose.  Previously attended the TT in Solvang on a few occasions.  Nice to be on home turf.  We positioned ourselves at Bailey and McKean along with a small crowd that cheered each rider as he came flying by; well, taking the corner was difficult and the winds were certainly in play.  We also cheered the police and team vehicles.  I found it interesting to watch the beginning of a time trial because you have no idea what happened along the way, only the hope and joy and fun that you glimpsed in your remote corner of the route.  How did they fare on Metcalf?   It was a serene day for us, clear blue skies, quiet, an eagle flying above, a helicopter passing by now and then and a chance to forget the unpleasantness of stuff.  Of course I'll review the video highlights and see what transpired, but, for now, everyone was a winner, as they certainly deserved.  Thank you for cycling through San Jose.  Tomorrow, we're off to watch Stage 7.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Singing Cyclist

Time again to do the Grizzly Peak Century (well, I did the 75 mile ride). 

"The 75 mile route (5750 ft. climb) consists of the North (or morning) Loop. It climbs the east side of the Oakland-Berkeley hills via Pinehurst Road, then follows the ridge up and over Grizzly Peak and into Tilden Park. It then drops down alongside San Pablo Reservoir and heads north to the edge of the Bay and the Carquinez Strait. From there it climbs McEwen Road for a run down into Franklin Canyon and Alhambra Valley, then over Pig Farm Hill and through the hills around Briones Regional Park and Reservoir."

The Boyfriend and I started at 7am in cloudy and cold conditions, which by the way, did not really improve the entire ride.  The sun broke through briefly and it warmed up somewhat and it sprinkled a bit, too.  Not enough to spoil the ride, though.

Naturally, The BF could not focus with me in front of him, so, after the first climb, he shot off, leaving me alone.  I am a major distraction....

Define "alone."  Well....  first, not one but two firetrucks full of fire boys swung by.  Then there was the shirtless guy in the parking lot and my antennae shot up, plus, my tongue shot out just like the way a lizard does when it catches its prey. 

Alas, I began to feel sorry for myself with no one to play with, when out of the blue, club members Guy and Linda came up from behind and rode with me on and off the rest of the route.  I was delighted to have their company.  One does wonder how Guy knew it was me from the behind ....

Soon, I was surrounded by a pack of men, at least 20, who I managed to stay with, on and off the entire ride.  We had a blast.  Occasionally a woman joined us; the more, the merrier.  We played tag quite a bit, sometimes I was ahead, sometimes behind.

One of the male cyclists said, "What will you sing for us now?   We love your singing."  I practically melted on the spot.  They listened to me sing along with Echo and the Bunnymen's Nocturnal Me and Do it Clean on McEwen Road.  I gave them an earful I suppose. 

A highlight:  the flying wild turkeys.  Get out of town.  Who knew they could fly.

Whew what a ride.  A lot of climbing.  I appreciated the Peet's coffee and orange juice at the first rest stop.  The BF decided to cut his ride short, doing the 75 mile route.  He waited for me, a full two hours to finish after him.  I practically melted on the spot. 

As for my stats.  I frigging blew away last year's numbers (2012 -- finished in 6 hr 35 min)

Just the Stats:

76 miles
6 hr 5 min
12.4 avg mph
36 mph on a descent