Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tour de Peninsula

I did the ride, got the t-shirt.

Oh my gosh, it was only a 21 mile ride, but it was an accomplishment after being out of anything other than tootling around town for over three-and-a-half years. There were a couple climbs on the route I was familiar with both of them. I was nervous about the first one because I couldn't remember how steep it is, I remember the end being tough. The other I have done at least 75 times, which is reassuring.

Yesterday afternoon I went for a little spin to loosen up for today and I had a hard time on a couple hills that are normally fairly easy, so I was really nervous last night. I laid out all my gear, checked the bike and tried to get a good night's sleep.

I woke up with sore legs, that never happens, not a good start! But I also woke up with a better attitude. If I had to walk on a hill I would do it. At 5:45 I was in ride day auto-pilot. It all came back to me, including the nervous stomach.

Not much to tell about the ride. It was a beautiful overcast morning, my favorite riding weather. I got there really early, a little too early. I hate the standing around waiting. I was at peace with whatever might happen, and my dorky self in tennis shoes on slightly knobby tires. Then a woman waited next to me with my old bike. A few years newer but same color and model. There aren't a lot of them around exactly like that, people were admiring it. She said it was a little much for the riding she does in triathlons. I wanted to steal it, to be honest.

The ride was nice, lots of flag people, cops and closed off streets in San Mateo. I made the first climb fine, not as bad as I remembered it. A few folks were walking it, or resting half way up. The next part was through Sawyer Camp Trail, which was closed except for the riders. It smelled like manzanita, and was such a treat to ride through virtually alone (the 30 and 60 milers had a different route at that point). We came to the camera and the woman behind me said "Photo op - unzip your shirt". How did she know me?

Then the annoying thing happened. I was about 1/2 a mile from the climb that they neglected to mention, but I knew was there. Feeling good, I hear a voice say "if you raise your seat your legs won't cramp up". I said "thanks". He repeated himself and I shouted "thanks so much!" Yeah, thanks for assuming that because I am large and not on a road bike that I am ignorant. I am well aware how much my leg should extend. Have you ever ridden 480 miles across Alaska and slept in a gravel pit? It is so nice that you are teaching your son about bike riding, but you know what, I don't want your unsolicited advice. I noticed that you took a break and didn't pass me until a mile from the end, were your legs cramped? And nice ancient white helmet from the 80's.

By the way, it's not a seat, it is a saddle!!!111!! Unless you were talking about my seat. In which case, ewwww.

Anyhow, I did the long, steepish climb, then it was all downhill. Got back, and there was an insulting, brutal little uphill to the finish. Did it. Got my t-shirt and left.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Another Saturday

Wow, it's Saturday again. Time just flies by. Here are a few updates.

My Kid and Railroad Geekiness:

The littlest Viking turned three last Saturday. I present my humble attempt at a Thomas the Tank Engine cake.

He liked it.

It was a railfan kind of day. First we drove to Martinez, where one can see Amtrak trains and sometimes freight trains. There's also a farmer's market, so we had a picnic. Remember the Martinez beaver controversy? Well, I just read that there are now minks in town as well.

We drove home the long way so the birthday boy could nap, and ended up at Tilden Park. He woke up on the curvy roads, so we decided to stop and take him on the little steam railroad for the first time. What a great surprise that was for him. This photo shows him pretending to take a picture.

Then we came home for pizza and cake and presents. We now have Percy, Diesel, Bertie, Alfie, and Spencer on our personal Island of Sodor.


Not much to report. I have been working on items for our Christmas in August sale next Sunday. Once that's over, I'm ready to start the leg of my first Garden Gate.


I want to do a proper Tour de Fleece entry, with all the stats. In the meantime here is a pile of everything I spun during the Tour de France:

I spun a lot of yarn and learned a couple new things. I also watched a lot of the Tour on t.v.


But the best part was my commitment to riding my bike every race day. Even when we went on vacation I managed to ride the exercise bike at the motel, thanks to the tv in the "fitness room" and my sister babysitting.

I'm feeling stronger after three weeks of riding, it is a little easier taking K. out on the bike. He really enjoys it. I got him little cycling gloves (and new sunglasses for me). He signals when I signal and is in charge of the bell and waving. Last week we took a ride out along the Marina from Fort Mason to Fort Point. He demanded I keep riding and then he fell asleep.

His seat sits on the front of the bike so it has a low back. It was interesting riding with one hand on his chest holding him up. People always smile and wave at us. We are hard to miss. Quite the bike fashion "don't". I believe you should pick one color and stick with it, so I have a pink bike and helmet. But I wear neon a neon green vest or jacket for safety. And I couldn't bring myself to get a pink helmet for my boy. So before you know it, you are a rolling neon rainbow.

On Sunday, the last day of the Tour, I zoomed down to Safeway because I forgot to get ice cream. I got a few helium balloons, tied them to the bike and rode home. I've never had cars give me so much room before! Not the Champs Elysees, but it felt good to have stuck to riding for three weeks.

I signed up for an organized ride tomorrow that benefits the San Mateo parks. I'm doing the 20 mile route, which is humbling after all the metric centuries I've done in the past. As it is I'll probably get my butt kicked by the few climbs. Oh well, got to start somewhere.