Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Change in the Weather

 I'm delighted to report that it rained today and my neighborhood became awash in color.

 Soon, the trees will be bare and I will be sad but today, they're lovely.

 Lookey what the rain did!  We have a river again.  Go Guadalupe!

 Every year I look forward to these trees turning yellow.

 The birds flew around in circles over and over again near my Mom's rosebush in the Heritage Rose garden.

 This tree seemed proud of itself.

A view of the metropolis.  I guess I'm all treed out now and ready for a nap.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bike Friday

Black Friday?  No thank you.  Not interested.  I'd rather be doing a club ride, and that's exactly what I did, joining Miss P's Hicks and Mt. Um ride, including Shannon and Kennedy in Los Gatos.  The morning was foggy and cold but sunny in the areas we were headed.  I knew I might be a bit zapped from yesterday's Mt. Ham ride and boy was I.  I had to walk sections of the climbs.  I felt like dead weight upon my bike and loopy in the head.  What's great about our club is that people wait for you and care about how you're doing.  I really appreciated the camaraderie of this particular gang and I had a swell time.  Now, if you'd like to take advantage of shopping days and buy me something nice ....  I like flowers, diamonds, and chocolate.  an iTunes gift card works, too.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

LKHC Mt. Hamilton - "The annual tradition cannot be stopped"

'Twas the night before, and all through the house, not a cyclist was stirring, wait a minute, back it up to the beginning.  Last night, I scurried over to the Caltrans station to pick up Dan the Man.  Except it was a Sharks game night.  Who knew!  Well, I did, about an hour beforehand, and boy was the traffic dreadful.
Dan and I got his bike on the Kuat bike rack in under a minute. We had a decent and inexpensive taco dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

Can we say time for pajama party!  Mr. Kevin posted an "artistic" photo of bananas on Facebook which we interpreted as pornographic.  Then Google posted a turkey that I suppose was bobbing but in our minds it sure looked like something else, namely naughty.  Before we got too silly, we decided to turn in for the evening.  I had another wonderful night of sleep.  Boy, it does a body good to sleep.

I made Dan steel oats with raisins for breakfast.  We loaded up our gear in the car.  Thanks to Dan, we discovered that several of the bolts for the bike rack were loose.  I now know to check occasionally.  Dan tightened everything.  It made all the difference in securing the bikes properly on the rack. 

I started an hour earlier than the rest of the LKHC cyclists.  Why?  Because I'm so slow.  The weather was agreeable, wonderfully warm with no wind.  I kept thinking something was wrong because no one had caught up to me.  It was not until mile 12, past the bridge, that Mr. Bill tooted his horn.  I thought the Lollipop Man or an icecream truck was behind me.  At mile 14, the really fast riders caught me, including Dan.  Still, I was thrilled because I knew, for once, I'd be finishing with the pack.  I was kicking ass for me.  By the way, there were a lot of flats today, at least 7 that I remember.

For one brief moment, I thought I might shatter my record.  Dream on.... Alas, I finished the same time I did back in 2009 but still, I was thrilled.  Being able to ride with the pack was a nice treat.  I felt strong and I had a blast.   I may not have finished last for once.  We'll see.  I descended in an hour and 15 minutes, which again, for me, is darn good.  I bid farewell to Kevin and took Dan to the train station.  LKHC, Mt. Hammerton (as Kevin calls it), a fine tradition.  I enjoyed myself and I appreciate this series.  It makes Turkey Day memorable.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

And Then There Were Five

Miss P and I thought it would just be the two of us climbing Sierra Road but then, poof, five male cyclists appeared suddenly, eager to join her club ride.  I loved the French guy's accent.  And Dwight was a sweetie to wait for me when I didn't make it through the light at Piedmont.  Another rider was someone I met on the Eastern Sierras trip.

Before we knew it, we were at the summit.  Sierra Road didn't seem as hard as it sometimes does.  I got up in 55 minutes which is the same time I had back in 2007 for a LKHC event.  Not bad, eh.  We didn't stick around for long at the top because the wind was almost icy.  Doing the backside was chilly, too.  I managed a speed of 30.5 mph somewhere, probably because I was cold and wanted to get down to the bottom as quickly as possible.  Notice that the hills are turning green!  That was a nice change. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

It was a Deer Day

For Miss P's ride today, we were all women ready to enjoy a casual Sunday ride doing Kennedy, Shannon, a bit of Hicks and Reynolds.  Clearly, the weather is changing and the sun seemed to lose its warmth.

We kept seeing deer everywhere.  I missed some good shots.  I also missed the shot of the coyote crossing the road.  Nice to meet up again with club members I haven't seen in awhile. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sashaying through Sanborn

After Miss P told me about her hike in Sanborn Park from Black Road off Bear Creek Road, I had to visit it, too.  What a treat.  The right park for a fall day.

My friend and I were short on time so we only did 5 miles.

I tested my latest SmartWool jersey and it was just perfect for the somewhat chilly weather.  We encountered several mtn. bikers and one road cyclist (I don't recommend this), plus a happy dog who left paw prints on my jeans.  We particularly like the sounds in the woods, from the leaves shaken by a gentle wind and twirling like snowflakes as they landed softly on the ground to the delicate noise of a small stream as it quietly flowed.  You could feel that the woods were alive. 

Lookey who we met.  Isaac Newt. Okay, bad joke.  I look forward to returning sometime and going further.  We're lucky to have so many parks in the Bay Area in which to explore and have adventures. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Standing on a Cliff

It seemed like a beach sort of day today, so, I drove over to Half Moon Bay.  Of course there was no sun.

And poof, it was sunny.  Just like that.  I enjoyed being a people watcher.

And poof, the sun disappeared.  I watched birds frolicking in the water.  I watched surfers waiting for decent waves.

A lovely day spent at the beach. I watched fishermen chop up freshly caught crab. Not quite as romantic as standing on a cliff waiting for some English character out of a Bronte novel. But more  importantly, I stood at the edge of a cliff and wasn't scared. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Up and Down and Then Some

Today, I returned to Felter and Sierra Road, having missed out on doing both for the Low Key Hill Climbs series.   Donny's club ride had us going up Old Calaveras and into the park off Downing.  We stuck around for awhile watching the hang gliders doing drills.

Next up, climbing Felter to the summit on Sierra.  Look at all the calves.  Sweet.  I had some issues with my lower back.  Good thing I'm doing sit ups again because clearly my core has gone softy.

Ooh goody gum drops, a new climb for me.  Suncrest.  It's off Piedmont, and the other side of Berryessa.  It's half the distance of Old Calaveras and it seemed nastier or maybe it was because my lower back was screaming.  No problem with the lungs or legs.  I was only going 2.8 mph in some stretches.  Sigh.  That's just the beginning of the climb, by the way.

Last stretch was to go in reverse, this time, climb Sierra and sail down Felter back to Cardoza Park.  I didn't have it in me, so, I bid adieu to the group.  And wouldn't you know, I got a flat in my rear tire on Piedmont, about one mile from my car.   I do so love a new climb, thus, I'm happy.  Looking forward to doing it again with my abs of steel....

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rancho Revisit

Earlier in the week, I decided to take the plunge and do the LKHC Felter Road time trial knowing that I would most likely place last.  The slowest riders were put first in the line up.  Oh my Gosh, I'm #1.  Yay.  But you know what, I signed up for me, to challenge myself.  And well, yesterday, the weather was iffy (possible thunderstorms) and I don't do iffy, nor being miserable, so, I bowed out.  And then, it didn't rain.  However, I still bought myself a bouquet of roses congratulating myself....  ha ha.

 Meanwhile, tomorrow (today) is another day and we had wonderful weather for a walk in a park I've not been to in a very long time.  Rancho San Antonio.  Very little has changed and that's a good thing.

At Deer Hollow Farm, we watched two goats in love.  It was a sweet sight to behold.

Our hike eventually led to great sweeping views, this one of downtown San Jose.

And swell interior shots, too.  Marvelous time appreciating an open space preserve and each other.  It's a lovely 6.5 mile hike.  Where does the time go when you're having fun ... and boy did I enjoy the hike and my friends.