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

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