Happy New Year

January 4th, 2009

If we are not traveling and it isn’t raining, we try to get out to ride our bikes up Mt. Diablo on New Year’s Day. This local tradition brings all sorts of riders to the mountain on all sorts of machines. The odd machine this year was the rare carbon fiber tandem recumbent trike. When we stopped at the mid point to mingle with the crowds we happened to roll up next to a couple of other Rivendell bikes. It was amusing to have a stranger walk over and ask if it was a gathering of vintage bikes. “Yes.” I said. “Mine is vintage 2005.” and another rider said, “Yes, mine is vintage 2007.”

This year’s weather was complex. Winter around here can mean bright sunny days in the 50s or cloudy, dreary cloudy days in the 40s. We’d had some pretty steady days of living in Deary Town since mid-December and New Year’s Day was no exception. This is where it pays to be able to see further ahead than your nose. The dreary days are days of thick morning fog and a layer of low clouds the rest of the day. The trick is the remember that the clouds only go up to about the 2,000 foot mark. Mt. Diablo is over 3,800 feet tall. The view from the summit was worth the slog through the dull lower slopes.

  • Tandemhearts' photo
  • The road up slope on the left is in bright sunlight, while the road on the right is in thick fog.
  • Veronica takes a break high above the dreary land below.
  • From the summit of Mt. Diablo, the cloud layer below rolls in and out of the draw.
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Wind, Rain & Knees: 260 Kilometers

March 2nd, 2008

  • Bicycle lights are always just a little different color than a car headlight. Here the riders work their way acros the bridge as they begin the day.
On March 1, I rode the San Francisco 300 K Brevet (188 miles). I knew this ride was going to be a stretch for me since I have not ridden more than 63 miles since September. The ride started at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge at 6 AM. Thom drove me over and took some photos. The start was kind of cold and the bridge was very wet. Riding across the bridge is a cool experience, but every other time I’ve ridden it, it’s been a little crowded and I’ve felt rushed. We rode across the east side of it, so I had a great view of San Francisco Bay. I was hanging back from the bulk of the group, as going around the towers can be a little dicey and I wanted to enjoy the experience. There were no riders or walkers coming at me to navigate around, so I could enjoy the view. The bay was gorgeous. It was still dark but it was pretty clear and I could see lots of lights and the various islands. (more…)

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What Goes Up, Must Come Down.

February 18th, 2008

The last photo gallery of the Ridge Trail was all about the climb. The nice thing about climbing is that there is usually a descent to follow. Today, we embrace gravity and show a little bit of the descent.

  • Just a little reminder about how this looks from the bottom.

Just a little reminder about how this looks from the bottom. (more…)

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California Dreamin’

February 16th, 2008

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray.
I went for a walk on a winter’s day. – The Mamas and Papas

Veronica spent the weekend in Maine, while I stayed in California. January was a wet and cold month for us, but February is shaping up to be much nicer. When we talked on the phone, we compared weather. I went mountain biking – she made snow angels.

  • Tandemhearts' photo

  • Tandemhearts' photo


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January Recap

January 31st, 2008

The good news – I have been really consistent with my morning workout of yoga M-W-F and abs and push ups on T-T. In fact I have not missed a single day! My lower back is definitely getting stronger as by the third set of push ups my arms are now just as fatigued as my back.

The bad news – I am a bit disappointed because I fell short of my monthly mileage goal. I had planned on doing a 200 K (125 miles) brevet January 26. The weather gods were not cooperative. Parts of the route were flooded and there were reports of riders who did the ride, actually getting blown across the road in Point Reyes. My goal for the month was 370, miles. I’m short 98 miles. Those will be added onto on my February goal. February’s goal is now 538 miles. EEK! That’s going to be tough. I am losing 4 days of riding as I’m flying back to Maine for my grandmother’s memorial service. But like I always tell my students, “A goal is NOT something you know you can accomplish.” (more…)

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