Saturday, May 27, 2017

Color Me

Here in downtown San Jose at 7:30am getting fired up to do the 5K Color Run.  I'm covered all in white hoping to get splashed with color.  Plus, they told us that fair haired and fair skinned people tend to stain more than the others and that it can last a few days; so, weenie woman that I am, I made sure to cover up.  I know how glamorous I look....

And we're off.  Rosa and I shot off ahead of our teammates, The Literary Strides.  I know, I know, librarians, what can I say....

Color blast!  It was a trip.  We walked through the color stations hoping to get really sprayed.  But mostly we ran.  We never prepare for these things.  We just show up and wing it.

Going through the foam station was the best! 

Love this mural.  Oh yeah, about a mile into the run, I turned my head for a second and the next thing I know, I crashed into a girl and we both went down.  It was a blur.  The girl apologized.  She was just standing in the road.  Who stands in the road at a race! Luckily my head didn't hit the asphalt.  My elbow did.  Road rash.  Omg, poor Rosa had to listen to me scream the F word multiple times afterwards.  But no time to waste, so, off we darted.

Before we knew it, we finished.  Time to dance.

The Literary Strides posing at the end.  Best 5K ever.

Cycling Cat Canyon

Saturday, May 20th

Today, the last day of our trip, we're in Solvang to do one of our favorite rides, a 60 mile route that includes Cat Canyon.  Omg, we came upon a brush fire.

We watched the firefighters take command.  It was smoky and hot, so, we didn't stick around.  Scary just being there.

I love this canyon.  Before climbing it, we had grilled cheese sandwiches and cokes at a joint in Los Alamos.  Delicious.  Our server filled our water bottles and with ice. Thank you Charlie's Restaurant.

Down we go.  Can we say, "Yay!"

It was a great ride.  We both banged it out back to the Sideways Inn in Buellton.  Wow, the Inn got a serious facelift.  Looked better than my home .... on the way back to the Bay Area on Sunday, we were diverted from 101 to some road that parallels it.  We never found out why.  We were lucky to not get stuck.  But we did when we came upon Gilroy.  Heavy traffic. Omg, that sucked.  It was really hot as well. Having a cell phone really came in handy on this trip.  It's weird how travel once was, you know back in the dark ages.  Til the next trip!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Coming into Santa Barbara

Friday, May 19th

Can you believe that The Boyfriend suggested we sleep in and not do Gibraltar Road when we arrived in Santa Barbara.  Shocked I tell ya, shocked. Our legs were, well, maybe just mine were spent from climbing Mt. Baldy two days in a row, so, it was a welcome relief.

We did a leisurely 20 mile ride that took in the rich areas of Montecito and ended up at the pier.  Being Santa Barbara, the weather was lovely. Smart decision to take it easy and give our bodies a rest.  In the evening, we ate at our favorite Italian restaurant.  Saturday morning, we also discovered Jeanne's, a great breakfast and bakery with Peet's coffee that we visited before heading off to Solvang.  The drive to Solvang is peaceful and worth doing.

Mt. Baldy with the Amgen TOC pros

Thursday, May 18th

Just like last time in 2012, the weather was perfect unlike yesterday's forecast, as we climbed Glendora Mtn. Road to arrive at the junction to watch the Amgen TOC fellas come flying through.

Me all glammed up and pooped from climbing to the junction.  The Boyfriend worried we would not get there in time since I was a tad bit slow.  I swear, I was ready to fire him.... Of course we made it with time to spare and for me to flirt with some nice guys who gave us all kinds of tips on where to bike in the area.

Good thing the nice police officers suggested we move our bikes and ourselves a wee bit because boy, the fellas and the cars came flying through and quite close to us.  It was pretty fast and over with quickly.

There they are (well it's hard to see) flying down Fork Road.  We would soon be traveling down that road ourselves.  It's simply spectacular.

Down and down we go.  It's a beautiful road, not technical, allowing for one to take in the beauty.

Here comes The Boyfriend. 

Crossing a bridge.  Appreciating the water from the winter storms.

The ride was wonderful.  You follow the water for a long time, going down and down until finally reaching Glendora.  We topped off the evening at a nice bistro on Route 66.  Tomorrow we're off to Santa Barbara.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Arriving in Glendora to do Mt. Baldy

Wednesday, May 17th

We left Pismo Beach Tuesday morning and arrived in Glendora for the next leg of our vacation.  We met up with a friend of mine for a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant.  Wednesday morning, the weather was just like it was back in 2012 when we first climbed Mt. Baldy -- overcast and chilly.  We planned to do it in 2015 too and to watch the Amgen Tour of California but rain and snow forced us to cancel. We were deeply disappointed.  So, despite less than ideal conditions, we were excited to be able to do it this time in 2017.  We went a different route, going through neighborhoods, a bike path and starting the climb from Claremont (thanks to The Boyfriend for mapping this).   I like for him to feel useful.... We went through two tunnels.

Gloom and doom as I struggled along.  The Boyfriend was way ahead of me, not to be seen again until much later.

The Boyfriend made it all the way to the top! Wowmobile.  This section, 5 miles from the lodge, is the steepest part of the climb.  I doubt I could ever do it.  Me, I made it to the lodge and waited for 25 minutes, hoping he would come back and we'd go down the mountain together.  Well, as it turned out ....

It was 47 degrees and 4,000 ft at the lodge.  And, well, I met a guy, a cyclist.  No, you say.  He, too, was cold.  We had a lovely chat.  He mentioned that we should Crystal Lake some day.  He did it the day before and it was 37 degrees.  Whoa.  I also met a few other men at the lodge .... but I digress.  I decided I needed to leave before I lost body warmth.  I thought The BF would eventually catch up to me.  I went slowly and carefully down the mountain since I was all by myself.  Part of the ride, I was rained upon and in heavy fog.  My cell phone was useless.  When I arrived at the bottom, there was a text message from The BF!  He thought I had given up and gone back, so, he went back the way we ascended and he freaked out a bit when I was not waiting for him at the hotel.  Listen Mister, I am a weenie and I am slow but I will do a route unless my life is in danger.  Well, no need to be so dramatic.  Anyway, I was so proud of him and he was so proud of me.  I made him drive the car and come get me even though I was only a few miles from the hotel.

Later, all cleaned up, we went to a restaurant straight out of a David Lynch movie, with odd characters, a throw back to the 1950s or 1960s with few diners and elderly people in the bar area doing bad karaoke.  It was a time warp and a hilarious way to end the evening.  Tomorrow, we planned to do it all again but going up Glendora Mtn Road this time to watch the Amgen Tour of California.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Coming into Pismo Beach

Tuesday, May 16th

Our cycling vacation includes following the Amgen Tour of California.  So today, we left Cambria to watch the pros at Pismo Beach. 

The BF figured out where to deposit my car and how to bike to the pier, the start of this stage, and again, proving himself useful....

Me, all excited. We meandered around and got to see the pros up close.  It was intimate. This is a lovely beach town.  Nice turn out too for the event. 

I love Jelly Belly. 

I got all teary eyed as a woman sang the National Anthem.  Omg, they're off!  That's Peter Sagan in the white jersey. 

Hard to see in this photo, but, I'm on the right, behind the barricade.  Afterwards, we returned to my car, had a coffee at Starbucks and continued on our way to Glendora for the next stage, a huge climb and one we did back in 2012 -- Mt. Baldy.

Coming into Cambria

Monday, May 15th

The start of another cycling vacation with The Boyfriend, arriving in Cambria.  But first, we spent the night before in King City at Motel 6 and feasting at Denny's.  "Nothing but the best for my woman," so said The BF.  Wow, who could ask for anything more .... though I admit, the meal at Denny's was alrighty.  Especially since it was the only joint open.  We arrived bright and early to begin biking in lovely Cambria, doing a favorite loop that goes along Highway 1 to Cayucos and Old Creek Road, and onward to Santa Rosa Road.

The winter rains provided us with a lot more greenery than we've seen in previous years. We stopped in Cayucos at our favorite cafe to eat their delicious cheese and bacon quiche.  With our bellies full, we were ready to speed along.

The lake was full.  I stopped and danced on the side of the road.  A woman driver stopped to see if we were okay.  How nice but gosh, could she not tell that I was not in distress!

Lush and beautiful.  I don't have photos, but, we came across some odd trees and wondered about them.  Turns out they were avocado trees.  Who knew!  I don't know why I thought avocados grew in the ground like potatoes.  Omg, I got a flat tire.  Occasionally, The BF proves useful ... he fixed my flat.

This was the first time doing this ride that we encountered wildflowers.  It was spectacular.  A great way to start our vacation. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Quimby Road At Last

The Moo Moo laughing at me and wondering why I am torturing myself climbing Quimby Road.

In all the years biking, The Boyfriend and I have never climbed Quimby Road to Mt. Hamilton.  I opted out the year Low Key Hill Climb Series did it.  That was some time ago.  It's not as bad as I imagined. If you can climb Sierra Road, you can climb Quimby.  Well, I say that, until I reached this switchback.

And this doozy of a climb.  That's where I panicked and got off the bike and walked.  The rest of the club riders were way ahead of me on their way to climbing Mt. Hamilton.

So I took photos.  A few days ago, we were in the midst of a heat wave.  Today, we were bundled up and cold. 

The climb is worth it for the views.  The sun tried to make an appearance and I appreciated any warmth it provided.  I was able to get back on the bike and do the last bit of the climb.

Last view from Quimby before descending Quimby to continue to Mt. Hamilton.  Except I was so wet from sweat that I knew to stop.  Descending Quimby was like being in a bucket of ice cubes.  Turns out that Mt. Hamilton was open after all, and I was able to ride it back to the start.

I suppose I should have taken photographs to show the progress in the repair of the road after the washout from the winter storms but this sort of shot was much more appealing.  For a brief spell, there was a bit of blue in the sky.

One last lovely shot before finishing the ride. It was darn chilly.  After biking Quimby, the bits of climb on Mt. Hamilton were easy peazy.  I waited an hour at my car for The Boyfriend.  He and everyone else did the entire ride.  He said it was probably 40 degrees at the top of Mt. Hamilton.  I would have demanded a limo to get me down.  Or a horse drawn carriage.  Proud of him for doing it all.  And delighted that we both finally did Quimby Road.  In a week or so, the pros will be doing Mt. Ham and Quimby Road for the Amgen Tour of California.  I hope they have perfect weather.

One last thing, while at Chili's for a meal afterwards, we had another first, watching The Kentucky Derby.  Neato peato.