Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wow, almost a month without a post…

So, I logged on today to realize that it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted anything…..
Too be honest, I can’t believe October is almost over. It seems like this month has just flown by.
My wife and I were actually talking about whether or not we’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner in a few weeks and it dawned on me that Christmas is right around the corner as well…..insane!

The first part of the month has just been so-so as far as riding goes. I’ve been trying to get out at least once per week for the mt. bike ride at the lake, but other than that, I haven’t been riding much. Just not really motivated…..
This past weekend we did Mt Diablo, and when we split at the second ranger station, I wasn’t even tempted to try the summit. Weird, normally I’m all about suffering, but Saturday, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Last night we did the Cull Cyn out and back 2x…the first time, we really tried to hammer it and to be honest, it about killed me. My legs just kept saying “hey now, knock it off and take it easy….” If Jack hadn’t been behind me, I probably would have slacked off but he kept on coming so I had to keep pushing.

The upside of Fall is that the lake loop is almost all in the dark now which definitely adds to the fun factor. Plus the weather has been amazing. It’s beautiful during the day and cool in the mornings and evenings. I’m guessing as it gets colder our socializing after the loop will dwindle considerably.

I really do need to get some miles in though since I’ll be doing the Giro D Vino in Lodi in less than 2 weeks. The good thing is that although it’s a metric century, it’s completely flat.
It’s a fun ride and goes through some really pretty countryside. Plus every rest stop is at a winery. Last year a few of us were cruising along chatting and not really paying attention when we realized we had missed a turn and had no idea where we were. The really funny thing is that when we stopped, there were at least a dozen or so people that had followed us off course – lemmings, all of ‘em

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Even an idiot driver and an angry bug couldn’t ruin last night’s ride….

My buddy Jack and I decided to ride the zoo loop last night. It’s a really nice 26 mile loop since its local and can be done before dark even as the days get shorter. It’s got some nice climbs and some really long fast descents. Plus the weather was perfect, warm but not hot.
The only downside is there’s a section towards the end of Redwood rd that is kind of narrow and in the evenings, there can be a lot of cars. Last night was no exception.

Jack and I were cruising along and while we were riding side by side when we could so we could talk, every time we would hear a car coming we’d get back to single file. (it drives me nuts when I’m in my car and cyclists are riding 2-3 abreast and hogging the road)
Everything was fine until we got to a point where we saw 2 cyclists coming down the hill with 4 cars behind them. They were moving along at a pretty good clip since it was downhill, but evidently it wasn’t fast enough for “the idiot” in the Infinity at the back of the line because he decided he needed to pass the 3 cars and 2 cyclists in front of him.

The problem was, as I explained, is the road is kinda narrow there and when he passed them, he came within a foot of embedding me and Jack into his nice chrome grill. (it was an aftermarket mesh looking grill)
Now normally, I don’t notice the cars that go by us, but since I got sooooo close to this one, I did notice that “the idiot” was driving an Infinity G35 with nice rims and an aftermarket mesh grill. I was particularly interested in the grill since I was picturing us embedded in it.

Anyway, after narrowly avoiding a certainly painful and messy meeting with “the idiot” (did I mention that Redwood rd is a completely winding road with NO straightaways for passing) we continued the climb up to skyline. From there the road continues to climb until you reach the top which has the most amazing views of the bay area. Most of Skyline is a divided road with a planting area and path in the middle. Sometimes we see people walking, we’ve seen people on horseback and last night we saw a really nice 3x3 buck just grazing in the middle of the road.(seeing wildlife is always a highlight on any ride)

The nice part about the climbing is obviously the downhill that follows. So, last night when we hit the downhill I really let it out and was zipping along at about 35-40 mph when BAM! I get hit with something in my lip. Two things register at this point, The first is that whatever it is, it’s alive and fuzzy because it’s now stuck in my lips and the second thing is that it’s FREAKING STINGING ME!!!!!!
Well, although the whole incident of it hitting me, me feeling it and me spitting it out all happened in the span of about one second, my amazing powers of deductive reasoning kicked in and I figure out that this small fuzzy thing that stings must be a bee and he's probably pissed (I know pretty impressive the way I deduced that ain’t it)

Anyway, the rest of the ride went without incident, we finished the downhill, went through the zoo, through San Leandro, up Lake Chabot rd and back to the start where we congratulated ourselves on not becoming a hood ornament for “the idiot”.
All in all though, it was a great ride. We couldn’t have picked better riding weather, the views from the top of skyline were a little hazy but still gorgeous and the pace kept us working near, but not over our limits.

(Although, when I went home, my lip looked like I'd been punched and required benadryl and ice to bring it back to normal size)