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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Biathlon

The biathlon was an outgrowth of my "ride to the run" that I recently did on a Tuesday afternoon.
I rode through Briones from our house to meet up with the group that our family hikes and runs with. Vince contrived the real biathlon after our run that evening. We scheduled it for the following Saturday.

30 miles on the mountain bikes - from Martinez to Lafayette and back again through Briones Regional Park - split evenly in half with a 5 mile run around the Lafayette Reservoir Rim Trail.
The entire route was hills. I estimate 3,500 - 4,000 feet of climbing on the mountain bikes, and 1,500 running.

Most of the trails we rode were familiar, but the final descent of the first leg into Lafayette was a new one, and gave rise to a lingering foreboding. For the entire run around the reservoir, I couldn't get off my mind the fact that the descent into Lafayette had been really fast.

The foreboding was entirely warranted. The furthest extent of the Rim Trail circuit, our running "leg" of the journey, put us on the opposite ridge of the valley from our recent descent, with excellent views of the hills we would soon pedal back up. Even across the valley they appeared rather steep.

They were extremely steep. There were times during our return when even in our lowest gear, our cadence (pedal stroke) was well under 60 RPM. It's hard to just stay balanced going that slow - no less being at nearly 100%. Nonetheless, we returned through Briones in less time than it took us in the opposite direction.

Bec and Ella walked 4 miles around the lake while we ran, and met us back at the car before we pedaled away. The Pilot served as bike storage while at the reservoir.

And, Bec was the real Hero of the day, bringing home made quiche, muffins, and fresh fruit to the reservoir for a rest stop before and after the run.
Oh yeah, and we made a new friend on the trail...

He was kind enough to let us squeeze through the 18" that he had left between his rump and a tree. Going around the tree wasn't an option as that side was protected by a much more formidable beast - Poison Oak!!!


  1. So--you bearly squeezed through.

  2. Actually it was a bull.
    Had it been a bear, we wouldn't have this picture.

  3. Iam glad that I did not put--"actually it is Mom". I really thought since you were in the wild that it was a bear--shows how close I looked! Also, the fact that it was YOU, out of whom I am not surprised anymore at anything. Why not go squeezing past a bear, just to see if we can do it and live to tell about it??!! What a laugh. And I guess that goes to show me there is less daring than I thought. Mellowing of the years, maybe.