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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another Mt. Diablo First

Dave Climbs Diablo

...On his bike. I've been challenging him to attempt it ever since he was given a decent hybrid mountain bike a couple of years ago. It was also one of my goals for the year, as I wrote about earlier. Seems it blossomed into a goal for him too and he trained well. I gave him some pointers for training and pre-ride preparation, but didn't have to lend any other aid.

The weather was PERFECT at 65 degrees and crystal clear. We stopped once, halfway to the ranger station, because nature was calling, and stopped again at the ranger station - mid way up. The stop was long enough to chat with other cyclists, refuel, and re-fill the water bottles. Next year's Death Ride ended up being the focus of conversation among the group gathered there. I was proudly sporting my 5 pass Death Ride finisher jersey which had recently come in the mail. I was pleasantly surprised at how much conversation that sparked along the way. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I enjoyed the accolades too.)

We summited in around 2 hours and 20 minutes. He was cramping, talking to himself, sweating profusely, and looked prepared to eat anything that didn't move. Not bad form at all for a first attempt, on a mountain bike, on the second longest ride of his life. He also complained about some numbness, but I assured him that the numbness was his friend, and he should just enjoy it while it lasted. We burned about 30 minutes at the top and then I couldn't abide the wait any longer. I also was on my mountain bike, and was salivating over the trails below.

Now Dave is not a downhiller. Dave and I are rather different in this general concept. I thrive on adventure - not like some, I mean I don't really want to hasten my demise, but - on the adventure scale I'm probably an 8 out of 10. Dave is a 5, and can often be persuaded to be a 3 or 4 if he hangs out with the wrong crowd. All of that to say, I'm not sure if he was dreading the climb or the descent more. At one point, after spending a peaceful interlude waiting for him to catch up- or down, I offered to segue our journey back to the road; but he bravely agreed to stay the course. We arrived back at his car intact. He kept mumbling about long periods of time in sleep. I encouraged him to wait till he got home.

I had ridden my bike from the house to the mountain, and so, left to wander home again pleased with his initiation into - (or possibly, discontinuation of) the sport of cycling.

Way to go Dave.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Furnace Creek 508 - Next Year...

Check out the posting of a friend I ride with.


I have been inspired again.
Thanks Milt for breaking the ice on this one.
I think we could pull 4 riders together to build a team for next year. I'll have a nearly 1 year old by then, and should have had sufficient time to lobby for the time away.

Check out the website.


Friday, October 2, 2009

I've Missed my Bikes and my Job

Vacation for 13 days is too much. Period. My idea of a good vacation is going overnight (Friday so as to not miss work) to some place really cool, and being home the next night (Saturday night so as to not miss church).

I like my job, and I love our church.

I also really like our queen size pillow top mattress and contoured pillows. Mom - don't feel bad, the hotel, and Beach house beds were no better than the one in the spare bedroom. None of them were mine.

This repose was OK I guess

Speaking of the beach - it was great. The entire South Carolina Swinton clan (Including 1 more grandchild yet to be named) spent 4 days on Edisto Island in a monster house right on the beach.

Yeah she's 31 weeks pregnant - can't you tell?

This angle is a little better

I was able to go running about 3 miles along the beach the first 2 mornings we were there, and then swim in the waves to cool off. I could handle more of that, if my bed and pillow were there too. The third day I began my descent into the head cold that we had been sharing around, and settled for just swimming without the run. (My nose did all the running for the next 2 days) I managed to hang onto said cold long enough for the altitude changes to implode my meager collection of brain cells both on the way into Dallas and then San Jose.

We (mostly my brother in law Chris) successfully constructed a medieval master piece, as seen above, and below in the video.

Tigger gives a tour of the castle

But I missed my bikes. I rode a decent Cannondale road bike while I was in Greenville, but a borrowed bike never meets the true need. I plan to go out early tomorrow and ride my mountain bike for a few hours before our church's men's prayer breakfast, and have already scheduled my weekly bike commute for Monday and Tuesday. I plan to take it slow, since it has been several weeks since I have exerted those muscles.

I missed my job too. Going away is good for that. Today was the best day at work I've had in months. It helped that I kept the phones at arm's length and had a rather varied day with office work, site visits, proposals, and even a little real work with a saw and drill on a job in Tiburon.

All this to say, I'm happy to be home. I've nearly forgotten how desperate I was to get away, and relieved to crash on my parent's couch just 2 weeks ago. Maybe once every couple of years is reasonable - once a year if Bec is lucky.