Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January Nearing a Close

Today's pictures are of Kristy coming down what we call the Deer Run. I'm not sure what everyone else calls this trail...that's just our name. One day Patrick started calling it the Deer Run, and the name just stuck. I think we actually once saw a deer hoof print on the trail, so it's more or less accurate.

The Sun was out in full force today, and the temperatures were in the 40's! It was a little chilly leaving the office, but felt very warm on the climb. I didn't even have cold feet today!

I'm so glad that January is almost over. I'm hopeful that the coldest part of the year is over, and we can start looking forward to spring time. We also have an early Day Light Savings Time this year. March 11th to be exact...almost a full month earlier! Sure there will be more crappy storms, but if you can make it through January, you can make it through anything!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Ride - Washoe Valley

Today, Jeff P. took us on a 24 mile recovery ride. With the exception of a couple grinder hills, it was flat and smooth. The easy spinning was actually pretty soothing on the legs. This was also Kristy's first ride since her hernia surgery last Tuesday. She could barely get out of bed without a lot of pain two days ago, and today she did about a 1,000 feet of climbing! Tomorrow she goes to the doctor's to get cleared to resume normal activities. So she jumped the gun a little bit...

We had some more odd bikes in the group today. First up was the Santana Quint. Bill had it broken down to only a three seater for today's ride. It was just him and his two boys. You can add sections to it just like a dining room table! The middle rider was only two, and didn't pedal. He did, however, provide Bill with some excellent resistance training!

Dave was trying out Anke's new recumbent. Sure your feet are higher than your hips, and the exposed teeth of the big chain ring are within striking distance of your crotch...the machine hauls butt!

We rode to the end of Old HWY 395, and then returned to Bower's Mansion State Park. We took a little break in the beautiful park grounds while the boys played in the playground. We began the return trip, and the sun started to come out. This was much appreciated, since the forecast was for light snow!

When we got to the top of Lakeview and saw Carson City below, I started thinking about the cool descent in front of me. When we climb the road on the mountain bikes, we always see roadies bombing down the hill at incredible speeds. I've always thought it looked nuts! Well, today was time to give being a nut a try. I talked myself into staying off the brakes, and bombing the hill. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. In fact in felt pretty good! The bike felt way more stable than I imagined it would.

After descending Lakeview, we got to climb Timberline once again! It was only half way, but my legs were still protesting. We stopped at Dave and Anke's for some wonderful scones and some rest time. At one point, I was led to the inner sanctum to view Dave's 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper. The bike is all original...tires, water bottle, everything..., and is claimed to only have 50 miles on it! It was mounted on a special display rack and was draped with Tibetan prayer flags. A nice touch!

There was very little work left to finish the ride. From Dave and Anke's it was another thrilling descent almost all the way back to Jeff and Amy's. Once again, the Potters brewed some gourmet coffee, put out some tasty snacks, and allowed stinky bike riders to sit on their furniture! It was another excellent Sunday.

Not Much Sleep

I should have slept like the dead last night, but instead tossed and turned until 1:00 AM. I couldn't lay on my right side because of my shoulder. I also think I had too much caffeine from Amy's Coffee Pot. I normally drink decaf, and I was wired! I kind of felt like THIS GUY! (thanks for the link Scott!). Oh well, time to ride in a couple hours...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

McClellan Peak Loop

Today I had the pleasure of being ridden to exhaustion by twin tandems. I was on my hardtail, and Jeff, Amy, John, and Kim were on the tandems.

The star of the show today was John and Kim's new Ellsworth Tandem, which they named Dr. Evil...it has a evil looking "E" on the head badge, reminiscent of Austin Powers' nemesis' infamous logo. The bike had more bling than P. Diddy's posse! SRAM X.O, Chris King, Maverick forks... My first thought when I saw the bike was "limo".

We started in Carson City, and made our way to the north side of town. We rode out Goni Road, and then began our ascent up the McClellan Peak road. It seemed like a pretty long climb, but I'm told we weren't even half way up McClellan Peak when we began our descent into Washoe Valley.

The descent to Washoe Valley was pretty cool. It was an unmaintained rocky double track, that was still pretty snowy. All the obstacles gave it a single track feel. I was constantly amazed at how easy the tandems made it down the descent. It really showcased the skill and team work of the two couples. I was wishing on occasion for my full suspension bike, but was thankful for the lighter bike on the climbs. This would have been a great ride for all the Stump Jumpers in the group! Best of both worlds...

We finally hit the valley floor, and caught East Valley road. It's a nice paved road without too much traffic, but it's pretty narrow. We had one near death experience with some inbred mountain folk in an old pickup. I swear I felt him brush my left elbow as he accelerated by us! I tried desperately to stay on the wheel of Jeff and Amy's tandem, but was finally dropped half way back to Lake View.

I caught up with the rest of the gang at the Lake View overpass, and we made our way into Lake View, over the saddle, and then down to the V&T Rail Road Grade. I was getting pretty wiped out at this point, and then I heard Jeff saying that we'd finish the ride with the Timberline Loop.

The Timberline climb wasn't too bad. I took it a little slower and just kept it in the granny gear. We lost the sunshine at this point, and I started to get a little damp and chilly. We talked a lot on the climb, so the time went by quickly. In fact, I don't even remember the steep road section. My memory picks up again when the dirt double track started. We finished off the climb, and then began another descent. The trail is on the north side of the mountain, and was still pretty icy and snowy. The tandems got a little squirrelly in this section, as the slippery trail dictated where the front end was going more than the rider.

We made it to the Ash Canyon saddle, and it was snow free for the rest of the ride. I rode Jeff and Mike's new single track that connects to the Deer Run, and the Tandems went straight down the hill to the Deer Run. I was starting to get delirious at this point, and the new single track started climbing up hill. Not too steep mind you, but I was pretty tired. It's also narrow, and cut into the side of a steep canyon wall. I was having a little difficulty keeping the wheel straight in my oxygen debt.

I regrouped with the Tandems at the end of the Deer Run / top of the Postal Run. They let me go first, since I was a bit quicker on the solo bike in the twisty singletrack. I got nearly to the end of the Postal Run, just 20 yards from where Sandie broke her ankle, and I was irritated that my helmet visor was blocking my view. I reached up to push my helmet back, and the next thing I know, the ground is approaching my face at a hundred miles an hour. I face planted and broke my visor. I stood up and immediately noticed my shoulder was pretty sore, and that my right side was full of stickers. I felt like a human pin cushion. I also noticed that there was a hiker approaching with his dog. And then I recognized him... It was our buddy Casey that rode with us at lunch for a number of years. He saw the whole thing, and assumed some rookie was out trying to learn to ride a bike.

The gang said it was time to get moving again, because we were all starting to get chilled. I almost asked for another minute to pick stickers out of my butt, but decided that riding some more was best. I had Jeff stick my visor in my pack, but left a few fragments on the trail for memorabilia.

We finally got back to the pavement, and I began extracting stickers from my body. We were soon back at Jeff and Amy's, and Amy began making coffee and a multi course meal. I could think of nothing I wanted more at that moment! Amy also hooked me up with some Advil.

After good food and conversation, I drove back to Gardnerville for a shower. Kristy took me and the boy out to an Italian dinner where I refueled some more, and eased my aching shoulder with some wine. Kristy helped my get my clothes clean, and then treated me to an awesome back massage! I must've looked pretty pitiful to get such good treatment.

Well, it's time for bed. I have to get some sleep for tomorrow's road ride at 10:00 AM. May (insert your god or deity here) have mercy on my soul!

Saturday Solo Ride

Today I had the day to myself. No kids or husband for the entire day! The first thing I did was schedule a facial in the afternoon and the second thing I did was decide to start the day off right with a ride.

I loaded up the Stumpy and the Chilidog and we headed out to Centennial Park. This ride starts out pretty technical from the parking lot with lots of jagged rocks and boulders for the first mile and a half. The remainder of the ride, depending on the route you choose, is nicely groomed single track. The one thing that makes me a bit nervous is the shooting range just below the trail. I guess if it is my time getting shot down by a stray bullet while mountain biking is a cool way to go out.

I rode for about an hour and then had to get back to my daughters basketball game which I thought was at noon but was actually at 11:00 so as I was walking in the door in my riding gear I get a call from my sister in law asking me where the heck I was. I changed out of the tights and into jeans and hightailed it over to the community center for the last quarter of the game. It was the first time in 9 years I have ever missed one of her games. She was pretty pissed.

Someday when she is an avid cyclist (that day will come) she will understand...

Friday, January 26, 2007

You May Be A Bachelor If...

Scott (aka "The Sarge") sent me this picture yesterday. Apparently the weather was so foul in Maryland that he brought his bike into the kitchen. The first thing that came to my mind was, "You may be a bachelor if...".

Scott's sister decided to go with the theme and came up with a few. Feel free to add yours to the list!

You may be a bachelor if:

1) you bring the bike into the kitchen to save it from the wind

2) You used the pull-out hose from the sink and its dish washing liquid to wash

3) You used bath towels to wipe it dry leaving your girlfriend with nothing but
paper towels to dry off with after a shower.

4) You microwave a pizza and let it cool on the seat of your bike that sits in
the kitchen.

5) You string Christmas lights around your bike for a month cuz it's too cold to
ride and call it your home decoration.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Afternoon Delight

I was off work yesterday, and I was able to sneak a ride in about an hour before the sun went down. I hopped on the new road bike, and thought I'd just cruise around. I told myself to back off the pace a little bit...sometimes I find myself going too fast when riding by myself.

The temperature was pretty mild out, and I was dressed perfectly. I passed the point where I thought I might turn around, and just kept riding. Pretty soon I found myself out of town, and finally away from most everything. The road slowly climbed out into the foothills of the Pine Nut Range. It was one of those climbs that you don't even really notice.

I started to get thirsty and reached for my water bottle. All that I felt was the space where my water bottle should've been. I began to picture my full water bottle sitting next to the sink where I probably left it. I'm a scatter brain sometimes... It didn't matter too much though, as I was near the highest part of the ride.

The shadows were getting tall, and it was a good time to start making for home. It was mostly downhill all the way home, so it was Big Chain Ring time. The road out in the Pine Nuts was a dirt road up until recently. It's barely paved right now, but still was decent for the skinny road tires. In fact, it was probably better than the "bike lanes" on the roads close to town. They were covered in red volcanic sand that was put down for the snow and ice. I pulled into the garage just as the sun was going down, and found my water bottle right next to the sink!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cinderella Ride

Today's ride was all about the women of the Facility Bike Club. It was me, Kathy, Barbara. The only thing missing was Kristy!

We rode up the observatory and then down to the bike path and then started to go up the deer run when we spotted Amy (Mrs. Postal Jeff) coming down on her new single speed. We chatted for a bit and then Kathy and Amy broke off and went to do the V&T together while Barbara and I headed back to the stupid office to stupid work - we are not bitter about it at all.

I am so happy with how the group has evolved and grown over the past year. I still remember riding by myself because I was too scared to join the group. I also remmeber how eager Barbara was for me to start riding with them. I so understand that now. I also still remember how much the guys (other than Jeff) disliked that women were starting to come along for the ride. I think they are all ok with it now though....right guys?

Chicks Rule!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Genoa to Diamond Valley

Wow. Today's ride was another great one! I'll begin by saying that this picture is from the New Year's Day ride. Kristy couldn't find her camera, and I brought mine without the memory card. Since it was such a similar day, I figure this recycled picture will do.

This was the first real ride on my new bike, so it goes without saying that I had a blast. It was nearly the same group as the New Year's group, but the pace was much faster from the get go. On top of that, we rode an extra 10 miles or so. I was very thankful for the new bike. I don't think I would've been able to keep up otherwise!

The sun was great today, but the cold biting air was brutal. Most of us had full face protection, and I was wishing for goggles a few times. Halfway through the ride, we stopped at a little store in Woodfords, CA. It has a mountain lodge feel to it, and had a wood stove with a warm fire going. I so much wanted to stay in there and thaw out my feet, but it was time to get going. The last couple miles were in the shadow of the mountain, and we were all chilled to the bone by the time we got back to Genoa. We chatted for a bit after the ride, but soon all jumped in the cars and blasted the heaters.

One of the great things about today's ride was the people. I haven't known anyone in the group for very long, but felt comfortable around them as if I have. Jeff Potter and I had a talking showdown. I think I won though, because he made me shut-up for one of the big descents. Probably a good thing, considering the speeds we reached. Jeff P. hammered the pedals all the way down the descent. I elected to coast and get a feel for the way the new bike handled. The new bike was much more stable feeling than my old touring bike. It'll be a thrill once I gain the confidence to go so much faster.

Kristy made me really proud today. I really think she's found her calling in the road biking. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me, but finally admitted that she was just out riding me. I'm going to have to step it up a notch!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


"Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East."

Ok...maybe it's not that fast, but it's pretty fast. I took it out for a spin this morning, and got a feel for it. Later, I took it back to the shop for some adjustments, and some water bottle cages.

Tomorrow we have a 40 mile ride planned, starting in Genoa, heading to California on Foothill Road, looping through Diamond Valley, and then returning to Genoa. Can't wait!

Note: If you didn't get the quote above, you're probably not a nerd. It's a quote from Lord of the Rings. Shadowfax was a grey/silver stallion, and could run faster than any other horse in Middle-earth. Anyone? Hello?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Trek 1600

As promised, my new bike was ready by 5:00 today. Since the bike shop is in Gardnerville, a half hour away from work, Kristy picked it up for me and brought it home. When I got home, I ran into the house to find my bike waiting for me in the living room. Come to think of it, my single speed is still outside on the roof rack. Probably saying, "Uh, yeah...it's freakin' cold out here?!?" Anyway, I took it for a spin up and down the road. I was very pleased at how quickly and effortlessly it accelerated. The 10 speed rear cassette seemed to shift forever!

After dinner I took off the reflectors and floppy toe strap pedals, and bolted on some Shimano SPD pedals. The front brakes weren't lined up too well, so I got on the Park Tools website and figured out how to adjust U brakes. Turns out to be very simple...just one screw!

I'm going to bring it back to the shop tomorrow to ensure a proper fit, but I think it felt pretty good as is. It will probably only need minor adjustments. I don't think the stem will need to be swapped out, but we'll see. I was riding in the dark in complete euphoria when I tested it, so I may not have noticed any problems.

It's kind of hard to see the color of the bike in the picture, but it's gray on the bottom of the tubes that fades to a white on the top of the tubes. I also really like the straight blade forks...they look high tech and fast.

Complete test with some real road miles this weekend...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Little Warmer

Yesterday was a bit warmer. On the uphill anyhow... The downhill still required full zip up to prevent freezing your flesh.

It's been hard dealing with the cold, both emotionally and physically. Today's bright sun helped out with the emotional part. The sky was so blue, and you could see for miles. A welcome treat after some of the gloomy days we've had lately.

I was concerned that with warmer temps we'd have a mud fest, but the trail conditions were quite nice. Slightly moist or frozen dirt provided quick rolling and great traction.

The snow is still thin and crisp and fun to ride on. I was swerving around the trail looking for snow to blast through.

The route of the day took us up Ash Canyon. It's a long steep climb, but is pretty smooth and packed down. The fire and logging crews improved the road after the 2004 Fire. It's less fun to ride, but gets us up the hill faster. The downhill was almost all single track. Sandie even got to visit her crash site for the 1st time since her accident.

Today looks like it will be similar...it may even be above freezing by ride time!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Gone and Done It!

I've been wanting to do it for a long time now. I finally laid down the cash for a new Trek 1600 road bike! It should be at the shop and ready to ride by Friday! You can bet there will be pictures and reviews galore in the near future.

Please be warmer this weekend, please oh please oh please.....


Normally I wouldn't write about cars on a bicycle blog, but a recent article in Mother Jones magazine really caught my attention. There are only a few of us that can live without a car, like it or not. But if you're stuck driving like I am, you should at least make the most of it!

This article is a story about "hypermilers", a group of people that take fuel efficiency to a whole new level. The amazing part of the story is that they are using standard cars with no modifications! One guys is getting as high as 59 mpg in a plain old Honda Accord (not a hybrid). During one of their contests using hybrids, they were getting 120-180 mpg! It's all in their techniques. Some techniques sound too dangerous...like drafting an 18 wheeler with the engine off...but some are techniques we can all use in our daily driving. CHECK IT OUT!

Warm Feet Cold Heart...

Over the weekend Brent and I did some shopping and I found these socks called Storm Socks at REI. They were about $25.00 so I figured I would test them out. Last weeks below 20 degree temps really made keeping my feet warm a challenge. I even use toe covers AND booties on top of that and still my feet are always painfully cold. I could handle cold but I am talking pain here - that kind of cold. I also had bought those chemical hand warmers and was going to stick those in my shoes and then the box says some crap about DO NOT PUT IN YOUR SHOE - ESPECIALLY A VENTELATED SHOE TEMPERATURES COULD REACH 165 DEGREES AND BURN YOU. Evidently they are air activated. Oh well, I guess I can put them in my gloves as they were intended.

Today's temp was about 30 degrees and the sun was shining with no wind. Last week it was about 16 degrees every day, the sun was not shining, and it was breezy. So we will have to take that into consideration. The socks are much like an extension of my winter tights. They are fleece lined and feel like the same material as my tights sort of a wetsuit type feel. They are a challenge to put on since they are foot shaped you have to maneuver your foot into them and then get your heal in. We won't go into what a challenge it is to get my winter tights on after they come out of the dryer. Anyway, the fleece feels nice on your feet and your toes have a little wiggle room.

I watched the clock on the ride and normally at 30 minutes my toes start to ache as the bitter cold sets in. Today was a different experience though, it was nice and I never even felt the cold until maybe the last 15 minutes of our hour or so ride. I think that is due to the persperation of my feet or something. Even still, it never got to the aching stage that is just sucky and so hard to recover from. When I took them off (also quite challenging) there was some moisture inside. I am not sure if that is because I have booties on top of the shoes and it was trapping it in or what.

Bottom line, these are some pretty cool socks. I will update my review when we are again below 20 degrees maybe my tune will change. Although, I am pretty sure it does not matter what you have on your feet at those temps it is just cold!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Third One Down

Well I guess I've been waiting for the shoe to drop. I mean, the two of the other female riders in our group have gotten hurt. Who is next. Well I'm not hurt physically but I'm not sure how much longer I will be riding with the group. My position was eliminated with the Department of Information Technology and I no longer have a job as of Feb 12. I truly believe that if a person is of value to an organization, that organization will find a place for them. I guess that is why I feel so hurt. I guess I wasn't providing enough value. OK, enough feeling sorry for myself. Now it is time to look to the future. I have had so many phone calls from people I work with directly both at the Department and Vendors who have said they either have possible opportunities or will help me locate something. I am hoping that what feels pretty bad at the moment will become an opportunity.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Desperate Attempt

This year, I have my whole winter wardrobe dialed in except for my footwear. No matter how comfortable the rest of my body is, my feet still get cold on the really cold days. Friday was in the teens, so before lunch I started looking around the office for things I could put in my shoes to keep my feet warmer.

I'm already wearing wool socks with a neoprene booty that goes up past my ankle. I definitely feel the warmth on the top of my foot, but I can also feel the heat being sucked out of the bottom of my shoe. I can just picture in my head the heat running out of my foot, through the cleat on my shoe, into the pedal, and down the crank.

So anyway, I looked at my coffee cup from Shady Grove, and it had a foam insulator sleeve. I scotch taped the thing to the bottom of my insole, right above the cleat. I used my other foot as the control subject...no foam. Now I'm not sure if it was my imagination, but I swear it felt just a little bit warmer under that part of my foot that had the foam. I still couldn't feel my toes when I got back from the lunch time ride, but it gave me hope. I acquired a sheet of thin packing foam, and I plan to make some insulation out of it, using my insoles as a templates. Stay tuned for the results...

Or...if anyone has a better suggestion, I'd love to hear it! I really don't want to buy $300 winter cycling shoes for conditions that only last a brief time of the year!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

16 Degrees and Loving It!

It was 16 degrees out (or so) for the ride today. It was snowing, and the fresh powder was light and dry. This made for perfect biking conditions. Not so good for humans though...exposed flesh turned red and painful if exposed. We had to trade hats, headbands and vests throughout the ride to make sure everyone was comfortable.

On the way back through town, a photographer with an expensive looking camera started shooting some photographs of us riding. He said he was from the local paper, and took our names. It might be fun to see ourselves in the paper...

When we returned to the office, the water in my water bottle had turned to slush!

2006 Pics

I went on a couple of mountain bike trips in 2006 and meant to share the pictures, but never quite got around to it. In May, I took a trip to visit my friend Guido in the mountain bike Mecca of Detroit.

OK, stop laughing. Maybe they d0n't have much elevation change to climb or descend and the trails themselves didn't have much in the way of technical difficulty, but they did have some awesome tight single track on packed dirt trails zipping so tightly between trees that I didn't think my bars would clear the opening. They can also fit an amazing amount of trail in just a few acres. We Westerners are really spoiled by the amount of real estate we have to play in.

Here is an example of the trails we rode. Can you believe how green it is? That bike I'm riding is a Gary Fisher 29er. Guido has some contacts at the bike shop and got me that demo to ride. In my opinion, it rode like a truck with all of the pros and cons of a truck. It was high off of the ground and rolled over things easily, but it was slow off the line and tough to steer in the tight stuff.

Have you ever ridden or heard of a velodrome? It's a wooden track for bike racing with 44 degree banked curves. The race bikes are single speeds with no brakes and no coasting gear. If you pedal backward you go backward. The way you stop those things is to force the pedals to go around slower. It was a really cool experience. My only regret was that the track didn't open until late afternoon so we had already done two mountain bike rides and were already pretty much shot.

My other MTB trip was to the White Mountains of Arizona. I wrote about it in my 10/31 posting, and here are the pictures to go along with it.

It was monsoon season in Arizona, so all we found to ride in was trails full of mud and standing water. This picture was taken after one of the rides, but there really seemed to be much more mud than showed up in the picture.

By the second half of the trip, we found some of the dryer trails in the higher elevations. It was a lot like riding at home.

And here's Punkin after her run-in with the manzanita bush. I think my shorts got the worst part of the the deal. I lost another pair of shorts in a similar grisly fashion a month or so later. It was the victim of a tug-o-war between my two dogs. Let's just say it was well ventilated in places it shouldn't have been after they were through with it.

The next picture is one of my favorite shots from the trip. The view says it all...

Finally, here is a picture of one of the fearsome man-eating cows. Sure, it may look docile, but it's just trying to draw you in so it can pounce when you least expect it. If you look closely, you can see its muscular flanks tensing up and getting ready to strike. I gave them a wide berth and managed to escape with my life.

I already have one mountain bike trip planned for 2007 and hope to squeeze in at least one more in addition to riding some local trails I resolve to ride every year and actually do ride only every few years.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Nevegal Follow Up

This a follow up on my earlier post about my new Nevegal 2.35 Stick-E Folding Bead Tire. It's winter of course, so the tire was tested in wet sand, mud, and snow. I mounted the tire on the front of my Kona Kula Primo, inflating it to 30 psi.

Like I mentioned in the earlier post, the tire is 730 grams. This kept the bike feeling quick, and light in the front end for doing wheelies. The tire rolled fairly smooth on the pavement...possibly due to the ramped leading edge of the center knobbies. The lower psi felt a bit squishy when checking the tire by hand, but actually felt awesome on the trail, helping to absorb the rocks on the trail.

In the loose stuff, the center knobbies kept the front wheel straight giving confidence on high speed runs. The cornering was awesome too. I was exaggerating my turns, trying to see how far I could lean the bike over. I never once slid out, causing some big grins!

It'll be a few months before I can test it out on any dry terrain, but I'm really looking forward to it. The big test will be the loose sand...to see how it stacks up to a 2.5 for flotation and stability.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bill's Roubaix

Here's a shot of Bill and his brand spankin' new Specialized Roubaix. Look how happy Bill is. My French is a bit rusty, but I believe that Roubaix is French for, "Ha Ha, Chumps! I'm down in Texas riding in 60 degree weather while you suckers are up there freezing in the high desert!". I hope you burn in hell down there this summer, Bill! Nah, I'm kidding! I'm just a little jealous is all, because I have to endure several more months of winter.

In the spirit of Bill's Roubaix, I'd like to close by saying, "Vous ĂȘtes une pomme de terre avec le visage d'un cochon d'inde!"

Don't speak French?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Just Like Riding a Bike...

Today marked the first day I have been on a bike out in nature since November 21, 2006. That is precisely 42 days but who was counting.

The weather was unusually warm for January at nearly 60 degrees but the wind was crazy. I had packed my bag last night thinking I needed to dress for January weather. Unfortunately, I packed a white semi-translucent base layer and a blue sports bra to wear beneath my winter jersey. Nice.

Ryan, Dennis, Kristy and Jeff were there to welcome me at my corner. It was a sight for sore eyes let me tell you. We then picked up Barbara at her corner and were off. We did our route up Coombs Canyon that we call Lakeview. We had to change the ride time so Jeff the Programmer (not the Postman) could go to driver's ed so Todd could not make it today. Never heard from Patrick, and Kathy was snowshoeing at Spooner. We will have to catch up next week.

I spent the first half of the ride talking and trying to keep up with Ryan and did ok, considering I could not keep up with Ryan in my salad days. Then it was time for the down hill. The dirt was pristine, a bit damp but not muddy or icy. My ankle hurt a bit when I was out of the saddle powering up a hill but other than that, it was fine. Aside from the wind, it was a perfect day for a ride with some pretty great people. Most importantly, I stayed upright and survived the ride.

Thank you to everyone for your support during my several weeks off and I am so glad to have you all as friends and riding buddies.

Happy as hell to be back!!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tomorrow I Ride!

I just got back from my last appointment with my orthopedic doctor and have been cleared to ride tomorrow.

The fracture line is barely visible anymore and I am healing nicely. I no longer need the aircast and have been placed in what they call a lace up brace or a corset for my foot. I can also drive again!

I checked with him on all of the activities that I enjoy and have been cleared to do all but soccer or running (yet). I can also snowshoe so I am excited about that.

I can't wait to see everyone again so you all had better be there tomorrow!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Day Ride

Kristy and I decided to do New Year's Day a little differently this year. Instead of a sickly hangover, we accepted Jeff P.'s invite and went on his annual New Year's Day ride. Last night I was a little worried that it would be too cold at the 10:00 departure time, but we were treated to a day of sun! Even though the temperatures were in the low 30's, the sun made things feel alright.

We started out from the bottom of Kingsbury Grade, four guys and four girls. We kept a medium pace and took very few breaks, stopping for the longest in Woodfords, CA. We gained quite a bit of elevation, but all the hills were a gradual incline. Quite pleasant in fact. Everyone had a great conversation going, and the miles (30 total) went by almost unnoticeable.

There were a couple fun twisty descents on the way back too. The last one was pretty fast, and I started wondering if the decade old rubber on my tires was going to hold up. Besides my old Specialized, there were some other interesting bikes in the group today too. A few racers, a recumbent with a windshield, and Jeff P.'s single speed.

Amy had some freshly baked scones for after the ride. They were delicious! She even gave us one to take home to Charlie. Wasn't that sweet? Unfortunately, Charlie never saw the scone, as Kristy and I devoured it on the drive home. We met some really great people today, and I look forward to riding with them again in 2007!

And just as an afterward...I got home and took off my winter tights, and I found an extra pair of riding briefs in there in addition to the riding shorts that I was wearing. Just bunched up somewhere in my pants. Funny that I never noticed it today. I'm hoping that the extra fabric made me look manlier, but with my luck, it was bunched up on my rear end somewhere...