Saturday, August 31, 2013

Just Call Me Cyclist to the Flies

Atop Fremont Peak, a climb I really enjoy.  Photos from past trips can be seen here and here.  Today, Miss P and Dr. G. and I chose to climb it before the heat settled in, thus, we didn't stay with club members who chose to do a 60 mile loop.

A sweaty mess!  I felt strong today and got up in 1 hr 30 min.  I wasn't racing (am I ever?), but, certainly, the climb was not as daunting as it has been on previous rides.  The flies enjoyed their lunch (me).  Boy, they were out in force.

 After Fremont Peak, we climbed San Juan Grade (Salinas Road).  The road surface is poor and there was a lot of traffic as well.  But, no flies.

Here I am at the summit of San Juan Grade, free of flies.  Good ride with good friends. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Let's Talk Grades

Super club outing today, starting in Boulder Creek, with a delightfully cloudless blue sky and warm temperatures.  Our merry crew tackled many grades, including China Grade above, Highway 236, Jamison Creek, Big Basin State Park, and Empire Grade, amounting to 6,332 feet of climbing.  It was my first time doing China Grade, a lovely road, however, with pitches that set my heart racing.

Lookey, it's The Boyfriend trying to figure out where we are.  I'm going to take a wild stab here, go out on a limb and guess that we're at the junction of Hwy 9 and 236.  Of course, The BF wasn't lost and he kindly waited for me at various locations, keeping me motivated as we took on one grade after another.

Me: My, how erect those trees are. 
The BF:  Would you behave!
Me:  I have Miss P as my witness you know.
The BF:  Dare I ask for what?
Me:  Well, a motorcyclist offered to get his truck and take care of me when he saw me waiting at the top of Jamison Creek.
The BF:  Sigh.

I give myself a passing grade for getting up Jamison Creek.  I've struggled in the past but had no problem today.  I suspect my HBP drugs kicked in and I just floated to the top.  Well, it wasn't that pretty but close enough.  However, I didn't do the last grade, after Jamison Creek.  Had there been a barista serving coffee drinks and a sandwich stand with a character from the Peanuts gang, I might have preserved.  Still, I accomplished what I set out to do.  I'm very proud of The BF for doing all of the route.  And thankful for having Miss P and Dr. G. on the ride, as well.

Just the stats:

40.63 miles
4 hr. 33 min

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Put a little Zest into It

 I so enjoyed the recent ride with Miss P to Corralitos that I dragged The Boyfriend out today to do it again.  We were blessed with much better weather, warmer, bluer and even a bit muggy here and there.  Those pink flowers, The BF informed me are called Naked Ladies.

 Entrance to Mt Madonna, which I skipped again.  Here comes a very handsome cyclist.

 Lots of climbing.  Lots of scenic views.  Somewhere on Hazel Dell. Oh, before we started out from the Lexington Dam parking lot, I chatted with Dr. G and Miss A. who were doing a club ride.

 Well, The BF can have his naked ladies.

Who cares about flowers when there's The Zesty Guy.  Check out the hilarious videos.  Back to biking.  Great ride in which I shaved off 1 minute, thus doing 69.82 miles in 6 hr 20 min.  Got Zest?  I sure do.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Snakes and Stuff

Me:  Yesterday, on a hike with a male friend, we encountered a snake.  It was giganticosaurus!
The BF:  Define "giganticosaurus."
Me:  No doubt the family name was Anaconda.
The BF:  I see....
Me:  I tell ya, it slithered, and its red tongue darted in a threatening manner.
The BF:  Define common garter snake....
Me:  Listen Mister, far more frightening was my recent shopping spree at Target.  They moved the mayo!
The BF:  Oh dear.
Me:  I had to go home and have a lie down.  I was confused for days as I contemplated why.  They must have conducted UX studies and determined that customers would appreciate the change.  I, though, had to adjust ...
The BF:  What are you babbling on about?  Focus.  What about your ride today?
Me:  Oh yeah, Miss P and I rode up Mt. Hamilton.
The BF:  And?
Me:  A man in a pick up truck saluted me!
The BF:  Sigh.

 Miss P and I started in yet another misty and somewhat chilly morn.  I needed leg and arm warmers but I'm a wuss.  This ride confirmed that I lose a lot of time the last 3 miles of the climb.  I didn't have the energy to join Miss P as she continued to do the backside of Mt. Ham.  What a cyclist!  I, on the other hand, am a wuss.  Some day.  Too much gravel sprinkled here and there made for a slow descent.  I am a cautious wuss.  We weren't racing but I managed to get to the top in 2 hr 53 min.  I would like to improve with a time of 2 hr 30 min.  Some day.  Meanwhile, I salute myself.  Because I feel like it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Going the Distance

What an outing Miss P and I had today on a club ride.  Dr. G. joined us for the bit on Old Santa Cruz Hwy.  The route also included a cold descent down Soquel San Jose in which we were treated by a caravan of colorful Thunderbirds.  I thought, at last, my limo has arrived.

Next, we passed through Aptos and onto Trout Gulch, a road I've not done before.  I wanted to stop every 2 minutes to take photos because it was so pretty.  Vineyards, redwoods, orchards with ripening fruit, small farms and flowers along the roadside to brighten the gloomy misty sky. We also did Browns Valley Road and Pleasant Valley Road with stop at the Corralitos Market before tackling Hazel Dell and Mt Madonna (we skipped that climb).  We returned via Eureka Canyon, Highland, and finishing on  Old Santa Cruz Hwy.  I must do the ride again to capture the lovely scenery.  Would appreciate better road surface here and there, so, I'm sending an email to Santa Claus.

Another treat were the playful goats before the climb up Mt. Madonna.  Given that we weren't racing, I'm rather pleased with my stats and certainly impressed by Miss P's strength.

Just the Stats:

69.47 miles
6 hr 22 min
10.9 avg mph
30 mph descending

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Swinging Time

Ah, summer in San Jose.  Who could ask for anything more. 

First, a noon concert featuring classical guitarist Steve Lin at Le Petit Trianon

Then in the evening, a blast from my past, a chance to see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy!  Thanks to Target Summer Pops.  I was decked out in Target attire.

A long time ago, when I worked at Adobe, a co-worker introduced me to this band.  I think we went to the F/X Club to see them.  Remember that place!  The old porno Pussycat Theatre where I watched Twin Peaks and ate cherry pie.  This article sums it up nicely.

So tonight, friends and I enjoyed listening to BBVD.  A man asked me to dance with him.  What a swinger.  We had a swinging time.