Thursday, March 31

The Big One

48.5 miles, 3 hours, 48 minutes

Still some Blogger problems and a bad case of random lame cursor, so this will be brief.

I started at 5:45 and still got to Sonoma 1/2 hour early.

On the ride back I met a muddy cyclist leaving the trails at Annadel Park. We lived near each other so had a chat while we headed home. The spouse met me at the bottom of the 200-foot steep climb to the house saving me from putting my tired legs to the effort. We went to a local burger palace.

Wednesday, March 30

Testing, testing

36 miles

This post is a day late—Blogger was having problems so I waited until they were (I hope) fixed. I started from the Annadel Park free lot on Channel Drive, partly to approach 500 miles for March and partly to see how my body would handle the mileage increase.

As usual I saw and heard invasive feathered velociraptors (wild turkeys) between the start and the Oakmont retirement community. The two short grades in Oakmont were easier than two weeks earlier, a good sign. I went straight down Highway 12 again. This MAY be a higher risk than the back roads. It is CERTAINLY softer on the sit bones. Reaching Sonoma I stopped at the Safeway to check the time. Sonoma Safeway had some really soft chewy onion bagels. I knocked back two. Safeway is to be praised for allowing(tolerating?) my parking inside the store.

Going Home I passed 9 wineries and tasting rooms for 15+ smaller ones. The scenery is nice too.

My quads had a mild "burn" which faded by bed-time so I decided to do the 49 miles full round-trip from home to Sonoma. This would also put me over 500 miles for the SRCC March mileage contest.

Tuesday, March 29

Night Dinner Ride

8 miles 38 minutes

The Santa Rosa Cycling Club (SRCC) had 5 Tuesday night dinner rides to promote riding during the "March Madness" mileage contest. Night rides seem less popular than day rides and rides to meals seem less loved than miles to ride. So, when I and the acting ride leader were the only two to show at the start I was not suprised.

We waited 10 minutes past the official start then spent 5 minutes picking a destination. He seemed to want me to pick the site, and I, he. I had a budget limit and he countered with a local discount card offering half price meals at local eateries. Finally he suggested the East/West restruant in Sebastapol. East/West has a vegan/vegetarian/fish/chicken/salad menu with ONE 1 ONE beef offering. It is also recommended by Aunt Connie who can eat anywhere she wants. Done.

The trip out was College>Fulton>third>Hall>Occidental>High School>hwy 116. We talked bike stuff and life stuff all the way out there, during the meal, and on the way back until he split off. I will spare you some of the esoterics of reflective systems and union activities. I mentioned working as a weightmaster at a winery and he hinted there might be an opening soon at Syars' operation on Todd Road. It would pay better than I am getting now. Besides some of what I do now (home health care) made him a little grey.

Saturday, March 26

Over the rainbow (golden colored)

Today I lead the club ride through Marin county and over the Golden Gate Bridge, all three of us. My ride started with two ladies showing up at the optional start in SANTA ROSA. One lady rode there from a few blocks away and the other arrived in an ecomony car with a three bike rack on the roof, (Wizard!) We consolidated in her car and I got to leave my 12 MPG truck behind. Waiting at the official start in Corte Madera brought no new riders.

Promptly at 9:30 AM we headed up the grade between the start and Mill Valley. 250 feet in 2 miles how horrid. For half a mile across the top of the hill the route parallels the 101 freeway. Near the end of that path is a section of hillside dedicated to local horse riders. Two uniformed workers were removing a dense patch of thistles next to the horse paddock. A pleasant descent on Lomita took us to the bike path on the old North West Pacific railroad grade. Crossing Blithedale we continued on the bike path across the tidal flats at the head of Richardson Bay. Major streams of cyclists and a few walkers were going the other way. One of the ladies told me the Paradise loop (?) starts there, goes through the expensive Tiburon area, past China Camp, and back over the hill we had just gone over. Minutes later we reached Sausalito and took surface roads the rest of the way to the bridge. Mikes' Bikes, where the path joins the road, had a seething mob of cyclists around it and the adjacent deli. Talk about location, location, location. Mikes' had it. The climb to the bridge was sweaty and not too painful. We had seen a number of rental city bikes with their riders coming down the hill as we climbed. There were a whole lot more on the bridges' sidewalk. It is one thing to deal with novice riders, whole family loads, on a wide city street. It is an entirely different matter on that narrow bridge path. To add to it most of the bridge maintenance sheds and equipment are kept on the west or bicycle side. And the sharp doglegs around the Bridge towers. The next time I go over the bridge I may just do it at 2:00 AM to have a peaceful ride.

At the south end we three hydrated, ate parts of energy bars, and had our picture taken before the statue of the bridges' builder. The coast back into Sausalito was fun. It is one of the few times a 210 lb. Man on 40 lb. of bike and gear can challenge the posted speed limit. It was almost the only time I could lead the lady who was a sprint distance triathelete. Or maybe she was less inclined to do dangerous things. No shopping was requested in Sausalito, these ladies were dedicated. The men removing thistles had finished and were putting other plants. I loudly praised them as I went by. At the north end of the 101 path the frontage road has a steep, smooth, and nearly straight drop into Corte Madera with a good run-out. We hit 39, 41.5, and 42 MPH, respectively. At the end we loaded up and headed back to Santa Rosa.

Thursday, March 24

Brrrrrrrr

0 miles 0 hours

I've been in California too long. Got up at six, ate, packed, and loaded bike onto car for shuttle to Kenwood. The forecast was for 40 degrees but I was seeing frost on the ground as well as frost on roofs. The vineyards north of Kenwood were running their sprinklers or fans to keep the just leaved out buds from freezing. Swell, that means 32 to 34 degrees. My fingertips went numb at 42 degrees two weeks ago. Cancelled ride.

Wednesday, March 23

Grinding out the miles

26 miles 1 hour 54 minutes

Again, another commute from Kenwood to Sonoma and back. If all I did was commute the task would get boring and I would draw back from cycling. That happened to me in Southern California after grinding out 20 miles a day for four and a half years along the Santa Ana River Trail. The S.A.R.T. is basically a concrete trench. It took eight years, a move to Northern California, and a bike so good it made me ill not to ride it to get active again.

Active is using my commute as a training ride. I use the basic principles shown on the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association site as guidelines without an obsessive focus on a rigid schedule. Well, there is some rigidity. I will be safe and I will get to the other end. Remember it IS a commute, a person depends on me to be there, and I do get 31 cents a mile to do it. Threshold work going up hills, recovery down slopes, and keeping my pulse rate up in between.

The firmest dream

Last night I woke from a dream remembering only that I had one. Just now I woke from one I didn't (and never want to) forget.

I was sitting at one end of a long table surrounded by a casual group of people. A mature, bearded man several places up the right side turned and asked me, most seriously, "Can you see beyond?"

"You're not asking me to see the spaceship behind Hale-Bopp, are you?" I replied to his question with a question.

"No," he answered, implying he meant the question honestly.

"in that case I have a problem with it. To see beyond you first have to accept certain beliefs and tenets unquestioningly and without critical analysis. Like," and I looked up the table where the entire group is watching me, "Sorry about this, any of you Christian people, Jesus is the Son of God." I heard a gasp and several people flinched.

The questioner nodded and said, "I see."

I perceived a feeling of partial withdrawal from the others at the table. I smiled and said, "...and they all moved away from me on the bench." A youngish lady on my immediate right had a puzzled smile on her face. "You didn't catch that, did you?"

"No."

"It's from the 60s' anti-war movement, a movie called Alice's Restaurant by...," and then my mind drew a blank! I hummed, in my mind, a few bars of the title tune. Nothing!

In some high-stress dreams, the stress can wake you. I felt my quickening, and thought, I mustn't forget this, it is a basic part of my growing up. If I can't remember it, I'm starting the long slide. Focusing my mind I drew up the image of a dying man on a hospital bed, tubes installed. "WOODIE... no, Arlo Guthrie," came in a flash. And I relaxed.

Knowing this was a memory I wanted to keep and share with my engineer spouse, I got up and blogged it.

Monday, March 21

Why?

Why cycling? Why not some other obsession?

My mother "taught" me how to ride. My older brother and sister knew how. I suppose she felt it was time for me to ride.

Father never rode. The one time he had been on a bike as a child, the child who owned it caused it to crash. Possibly the pain and embarrassment at failing kept him from ever trying again. Mother simply put me on a bike and had me try to steer while she pushed and kept me from falling over.

One day she started me down a bump in the driveway a few feet high. After making it all the way across a large parking lot without putting my feet down I turned to share my pleasure with her. SHE was at the far side of the lot. I was stunned for a moment then turned the bike around at the entrance ramp of a garage I had stopped at, pushed off and pedaled back to her.

To borrow from Braveheart, "FREEDOM!"

Hours later I was whizzing around a corner of our house and almost ran over Father, just back from working in far-off New York City. He was startled and I still feel, pleased at my success. It was difficult to impress him, and having done so, the effect has made me love cycling to this day.

Sunday, March 20

my first C ride

25 miles; 1 hour 50 minutes

Scattered rain showers this morning almost convinced me to me stay home. It is strange to look out of one window seeing rain, then not seeing rain out of a window on the opposite side of the house. It told me that the showers were not lasting long enough to stop me from riding.

At the start of the SRCC short ride I found one other man in the parking lot. He had planned to ride his tandem but his wife had cancelled. Also, he thought the ride started at 9:00 AM so he was about to leave. I've had that same experience so I bring the club newsletter along—I showed him the start was at 9:30. Minutes to go, and the leader shows up on a track bike. He was also going to tandem but HIS wife cancelled too. One more rider showed (minus a helmet), so the leader said we would go by his nearby home for one. As we left the lot one more rider peddled up.

Consensus was to not do the whole 30-35 mile route planned, but just go to a coffee house in Windsor by a round-about way, then straight back to the start. The last man to arrive split after 3-4 miles. I could understand that. This group tended to be C-class riders, who regroup less frequently than some and cruise at 19 to 22 MPH on dry flat roads. With the wet roads we kept it to 16 to 18 MPH which is more than I normally commute at. About 10 miles into the ride a lady club member caught up with us, worked her way through the group and disappeared off the front in 2 miles.

This group gives good drafting. I would drop behind on short climbs and regain on descents� lb of cyclist, bike, and gear is good for something!

When I or the guy on the mountain bike would get too far back the leaders would slow a little 'til we caught up. Two little showers and one sharp downpour, none more than 3-5 minutes, didn't dampen our spirits. Leaving the coffee shop I lead into a 10-15 MPH headwind until the first rollie when the two stronger riders took the lead.

We talked at full volume back and forth on the way back When I talked about unusual ideas for rides with the mountain-biker he mentioned a road-kill ride he had been on. People had to carry a plastic bag and bring back at least one piece of road kill. Extra points were given for the most unusual piece.

While not as badly chilled as I was on the January 1st ride, I still needed a soak in the tub when I got home, partly to get the salt off of my skin—it had been stinging my eyes near the finish.

Friday, March 18

Oops, got wet.

25 miles 1.75 hours

Cloudy, fifties, and dry to Sonoma. Rain and Sticky back. Bus to Kenwood leaves at 10:57 Next rain time will leae client 10 minutes early.

At 299 miles for the month, will need to change my club mileage goal to 500.

Wednesday, March 16

longer commute

37 miles, 2 hrs 46 minutes.

Rain is forecast for the end of the week so I decided to try a longer commute to keep the miles up. Moved the start from Kenwood (25 miles) to just south of Spring Lake park in Santa Rosa (37 miles). The free public parking area is just outside of Annadel Regional Park. Annadel is one of the best local areas for mountain biking. If I have any spare energy I can take my heavy tired Bruce Gordon touring bike along the singletrack there.

Got to the lot at 6:05 AM and found signage saying no parking before 6 AM at this time of the year. WHEW! Close. Had enough light not to need headlights. 6 miles to Kenwood and 13 to Sonoma. Came back almost entirely on Hwy 12. Got hungry nearing Kenwood and stopped for water, orange, and Hostess Cupcakes.

Rear wheel still making clicking sounds like loose spokes rubbing on each other. Granny gear started shifting again. The new (to me) state-of-the-art click shifting is going out of adjustment again. Will learn how to fix it as I can't afford to waste $25.00 at the bike shop every 1000 miles or so. I understand I can turn off the "click" shifting somehow. I learned stick shifting when I learned to drive so I am not impressed with "click" or "automatic" shifting for bikes.

I am wondering what the longest regular bike commute is and who does it. Pete Penseyres used to go from Fallbrook, CA to the San Onofre power plant and back a trip of some 80(?) miles. And set the all time solo speed record for the Race Across AMerica (RAAM) about that time. Lon Haldeman used to do a 100 mile round trip to work at a bike shop northwest of Chicago.

Readers, please post candidates!

Tuesday, March 15

HIGHER RISK, HIGHER SPEED

25.14 miles, 1 hr 41 min.

The air temp was 42 degrees this AM. It was about the lowest I have ridden at since Colorado nearly 18 years ago. My finder tips started to go numb even while blowing on them through my fuzzy gloves. Another layer on my hands and legs would have been appreciated.

I took a new route to Sonoma. Went down Warm Springs Road instead of Hwy 12 and Arnold Drive. The trip takes one extra mile to get to Glen Elen. The road isn't any smoother, just a more even down gradient. At Glen Elen I took refuge in the market/deli for 5-6 minutes to warm up. Then Arnold, Agua Caliente, and Hwy 12 to Sonoma.

Coming back I went the whole way on Hwy 12. So much smoother than the back roads, wider shoulders, and more gradual curves so cars can see myself and other vehicles farther ahead. Quid Pro Quo: heavier, faster traffic

Got too involved in an antique video game and missed the start of the Tuesday Night Dinner Ride. Next week I suppose. Hope the club will keep up the night rides for when the weather gets hotter.

Monday, March 14

Green Fingernails

0 miles, 0 hours

Mondays, I have two health care clients between 7:00 AM and 2:00 to 3:00 PM I'm not inclined to ride after that. I maintain training effect by striving to ride on Sunday and Tuesday, weather permitting. Sunday would be a club ride that doesn't leave me fried for work. Tuesday is easy. I can commute in the morning and do a club ride in the evening. I am more cold tolerant than heat loving so I may be doing more dark rides come summer.

Oh, the green fingernails. Today I saw two ladies with French manicures, the layer being green instead of white.

Sunday, March 13

test ride over the Golden Gate Bridge

Join Me for the official SRCC March Magic Ride March 28th at 9:30 AM in Corte Madera

24.5 miles 2 hours 5 minutes

In two weeks I lead a club ride from Corte Madera to the far end of the Golden Gate Bridge and back. I needed to have ride sheets to pass out giving distances, turns, Street names, and other details, so I decided to do a test run. Today the spouse dropped me off by the California Pizza Kitchen in the Corta Madra Town Center at 11:00 AM.

Calif. Pizza Kitchen at Corte Madera Town Center
Calif. Pizza Kitchen at Corte Madera Town Center

Cyclist's route description: First, around the shops and exit left on Tamal Vista. At the light, eyeball the third left only 100 feet ahead. A steady 1 mile climb up Meadowsweet hooks left just where the route continues south on a path separated from the 8-lane Hwy 101 by a chain-link fence. Path becomes Lomitas—be sure to take the opportunity to enjoy the really good views of the Bay here.

Lomitas turns left at a little school, then reaches a light at Blithedale, a major local road. The bike path continues on the other side of Blithedale. It runs on a old railroad grade for several miles across brackish wetlands. After passing under the 101 and reaching a controlled intersection by Mike's Bikes, a good way to go on is to cross the local main road and take the bike lane. The side roads and old bike paths are rough. On one stretch along the old RR grade, tree roots have made the path almost unrideable.

A caution when going thru central Sausalito on a weekend. Shoppers and tourists don't always use the cross-walks and will move without warning. At the south end of town the road turns right—west—uphill. In one block, there is a left turn for 3-4 blocks, then another left turn, and the climb to the Bridge has begun.

A-level or less fit riders will need their lowest gears often.
CAUTION: When resting, move off of this busy, narrow, twisting road.
Fit riders who are not bothered by narrow, dark underpasses can go straight to the top of the climb, under the 101, past the on-ramp, left into a little parking lot, and on to the Bridge.

Other riders are advised to take the Ft. Baker road to the right, double back under the main road, and ride on into the old army base. (The base used to tend the submarine nets protecting San Francisco Bay during WWII.) The route reaches a T-intersection where you go left on Moore. Past the Coast Guard base one weaves past several concrete barriers and starts a serious climb up a wide, smooth, traffic free road. (In a 40-gear-inch low I stopped twice climbing to the little parking lot at the north end of the bridge.) Even if you are not tired (I was), stop anyway and get a good look at the bridge structure and the seismic retrofitting.

At this point wipe off the sweat and put on a light wind breaker. The Golden Gate Bridge with approaches is nearly two miles long, one mile gentle climb and one mile drop down towards San Francisco. Take care going around the towers and other obstacles, there isn't much clearance and oncoming cyclists don't slow down much. At the south end the path makes a sharp right, doubles back under the bridge, climbs steeply up to the south (pedestrian) bridge-walk, then drops to the tourist area and snack shops. I took one hour, nine minutes going south with note taking.

Rest, eat, rehydrate, and return.

When you take the bike path next to the 101 that goes over the hill between Mill Valley and Corte Madera, resist using your brakes. The last 100 yards is sharply up and momentum can carry you over it. Once off the path go straight down the frontage road. Do not turn left and go back the way you came. Freewheel down this STEEP hill past a small on-ramp. I reached 43 MPH without trying. Smooth gentle curves. This road leads back to the intersection you crossed leaving the Corte Madera Town Center. Head into the lot and back to your car. I have a voucher for the California Pizza Kitchen and will have a snack before going home—any who like are welcome to join me. In this test trip, I took 56 minutes to return.

Saturday, March 12

Brevet visit

0 miles, bike maintenance today

Went to Healdsburg this morning at 6 AM to see if they could use my help on a brevet ride put on by the SRCC brevet section. They were fully staffed already, with more volunteers than needed, so I came back to the house to tighten that shifter cable for my front gears.

I got an idea about a multi-level ride for April on Coleman Valley Road, will pitch it to the club ride organizer. This one should be accessible for short-ride folks, power riders and even mountain-bike riders, finishing on different roads, but starting together.

Friday, March 11

Finders Keepers

Rode 25.5 miles in 1.75 hours. This put me 11 miles over my goal for the week.

To you snowbirds I used a sleeveless mesh top on my ride back to Kenwood and used two waterbottles in 12.8 miles. At mile 3 on the return on Arnold Drive a tiny red widget caught my eye. It was a PLANET BIKE taillight in working order. Off, blinking, and steady. Not a fraction of the power of my yellow Zenon strobe but the Steady red setting will make me street-legal if an officer with an attitude stops me. Minutes later I noted a steady flow of bikers going south. At Glen Ellen I found the Friday morning group from the SRCC resting by the Deli. I stopped and greeted Janice Unice and friends. They reacted well to my commuting the general route they were doing for fun.

Later on my way home from an afternoon assignment I spotted a BELL bike helmet on the road shoulder. Its outer micro-thin shell had only minor cosmetic damage, fixable with a compatible adhesive. Certainly better that the 10 year old one I had.

Thursday, March 10

finding a bit of history

24.8 miles, regular commute.

Going down to Sonoma, I went looking for the access to the hiking trail along the old railroad grade through Glen Ellen and found it—local guy walking his dog said, "Go back three or four houses and there's a dirt path there that leads to it." Another guy walking his dog along the path warned me I'd need to get off the bike and walk farther down the path, that it was "real muddy."

Sure enough, it was.

Wednesday, March 9

March club meeting and ride

9.89 miles and 47:05 minutes. Return from club meeting in dark.

Usual club business, Santa Rosa Cycling Club that is. march mileage contest, brevets, sign-up for April ride leaders, workers for Wine Country Century. ( I grazed Pizza-Hut salad bar 'til full.) We were spoken to by: Amanda Jones, Regional Director, League of American Bicyclists; the Sacramento Lobbyist for the California Bicycle Coalition; two officers of the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, and a member of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition. Basically they said what they were doing for cycling. Biggest common agreement between the 5 was that signed FAXes and signed letters DO carry weight with polititions. The club leader asked them to inform him when letters or bodies at meetings were needed and he would pass the word on.

Highlight for me was when I told the 80-odd people there of my brother Earle's offer of a hose-type water stop near the 10 mile point above the Lake Sonoma dam on the March 26th ride from Healdsburg to the end of Rockpile Road and return. General applause and cheering swept the crowd.

Tuesday, March 8

tuesDAY & NIGHT

47 miles total, 24 in the AM, and 23 in the PM.

My usual Kenwood-to-Sonoma and return in the AM. Lessons learned: 1) about every fortieth vehicle was a semi-truck or similar sized flatbed. They can't squeeze left in the 12-ft lane to give you a little extra room so if you are bothered by massive higspeed things whizzing past you 12 to 18 inches away stay off of Highway 12 in the late morning; 2) if you sweat for 13 miles, sit in the shorts for 3 hours than sweat another 12 miles, please remember to replace the shorts and bathe. I kept wearing the shorts all afternoon and through a 23-mile ride after sunset. Sore, tender, burning—all are apt descriptors. A tender knee also, as I couldn't switch into my granny on the steepest hill. I need to tighten the cable.

Still I call the night ride a success; a good workout, I know my battery will power the 30-watt tractor headlight for that long, and a new rider saw the difference between her 3 LED headlight and a bike headlight on steriods (thanks, Ed Kearney). Next set of spare change I'll switch from a wide beam to a spot lamp. On one downhill I couldn't see as far ahead as I wanted. Fortunately I'd done that hill many times at night.

Monday, March 7

an "ADVENTURE"

0 miles today.
Mallory, the ledgendary British climber was approached by a lady at a party, who begged, "Oh, Mr. Mallory, do tell me one of your adventures."

"Madam," he replied haughtily, "I don't have adventures, I plan too well."
Well, today I had an adventure. Just after noon I was on a remote road taking an elderly client on his weekly 4-hour excursion. In trying to cross a large pothole I went about 10 MPH, not wanting to get stuck. Stuck would have been better. The left front tire hit the far edge of the pothole hard enough to put a 1" by 3" dent in the rim, deflating the tire.

The flop, flop, flop told me to stop immediately. I hauled out the jack, and little emergency spare, got the old tire off; and as the spare went on an vigorous older man in a truck pulled up from the other direction. He might have made it by but he choose to come over and help. He noticed the spare was low in pressure, bad at the best of times, and a disaster on this remote old road. He offered his tire pump which promptly let the rest of the air out of the spare. It turns out the pump hose was damaged both near the clamp end and near the pump. (I've had the same problem with my bike pumps.)

Fortunately the man was a found-items artist and had a leatherman multitool. An air duct strap he'd found earlier sealed the pump end and an old mountain bike tube he used to support his bicycle in the back of his truck sealed the other end. He pumped as I held the seals tightly. We got about 30-40 PSI back into the spare. He even stayed behind me as I wye-turned and crept down the rutted old road 8 miles to the nearest service station. I'd thanked him before and once again as I put 60 PSI in the spare. He suggested that I find a reliable auto salvage yard and get a new rim and tire.

An hour later I have the old gentleman (my passenger, remember him?) back to his home, then reported to my spouse. The short answer I got was, "You broke it, you fix it!"

Valley Tire and Brake, our reliable source of wheel wisdom, could not fix such a large dent. When I announced the intention to go to a local salvage yard for a replacement, I trust VT&B to have stopped me if such a move would have been a mistake. Creans was nearby but closed. Pick and Pull, a regional auto salvage chain, had an outlet in north Windsor.

I walked in with the damaged tire/rim, told them I was absolutely new at doing this, and asked I what should do next. The two entrance clerks said the fee to search was $2.00, rims were out the door to the left, and I had to leave the old stuff outside. They had a friendly helpful manner. I had taken in my tire wrench thinking I'd need to take a wheel off of a car. It was much easier—there were several hundred tire/rim sets by the back door! (I expect there is quite a demand for them by newbies like me.)

I measured the wrench against the old rim. Back inside I found what they classed as a 14 (as opposed to 13, 15, or 16) was the closest fit. As a check, I noticed that 13s generally had 4 bolt-holes, and 15s had mostly 5 and 6 holes. The 14s almost all had 5 holes, what I needed.

I went back and asked the clerks if VT&B was likely to send me back if I purchased this particular 14. I learned help like this is somewhat of a no-no; sales here are as-is/no-returns. One clerk carefully turned away and the other looked left and right then tapped a tiny dent I hadn't seen. With a smiled thanks, I went back and got another set. The cashier checked the set and said, "$15.00."

Cool! I don't want to think what a dealer would ask. And the used tire was better than the old one on the car. As you are not supposed to work on cars in the lot (grin, nudge, nudge, wink, wink from a clerk, it is only a tire after all), and it was 10 minutes to closing, I drove a mile down the road, swapped the spare there for the "new" rim and tire, put the spare back under the trunk floor, and drove home.

I only told my other half it was fixed, and to check out my Blog posting for "the rest of the story.

Saturday, March 5

saturday club ride

25 miles at a comfortable pace.

A pleasant 25 mile loop in dairy country. (dairy second after wine) Group blew apart at the start. Fit mileage junkies took off planning to do two, three, or more laps. I gave them a zen farewell at the top of the first, short climb. Felt the lactic burn in my quads. Settled back to a comfortable 11-13 MPH average. Stopped at 10 miles to remove a layer. A woman and man caught me just then and I joined them. Pity in a way as I saw 8 to 12 road reflectors laying at the roadside in the next mile. I collect them to line my bother's steep dirt driveway. Good chat until the last hill. We caught upon with a female friend at the crest. I joined her and we left the other two behind. This lady was experienced and I trusted her to lead the rest of the route. She also rides at night. At the finish (for me) one of the top riders asked, " What? not doing 9 more loops?" I replied, "I'd do a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge and back if I needed more miles." I didn't mentioned the spouse and I were doing a barrel-tasting tour of little-known local wineries later. 25.44 miles in ~1 hr 43min. 14 more for the week than planned.

Friday, March 4

time to upgrade

0 miles (raining)

First entry without the coach standing by. That is an upgrade all in itself.

My half commute, driving halfway to work and biking the rest will soon not be enough. Enough? That would be adding 10% to my mileage each week until I feel my body nearing over-stress.

By the end of March I will have sufficient time including Civil Twilight to get the 26 miles to work. Home in the early afternoon is no problem until it gets hot. If 10% a week lasts until June commuting and club rides will not be enough. Then starting 100+ mile weekend rides. Or a shift to intensity training.

Thursday, March 3

Nice Day to Ride!

26 miles, mild and overcast.

Found a way through a "bark park" that looks like a nice walk as well as a pleasant ride path.

Wednesday, March 2

Bicycle Log Beauty: VeloLogger by WatWare

0 miles, rainy work day, knees hurting.

When I bought my Bruce Gordon BLT (Basic Loaded Touring) bike last year, I set out to get back into cycling shape. I wanted to be in the same shape I was when I did the Brevet series in southern California, when I was cycling 30 commute miles each day. I set up a big sheet of paper with my notes, but it quickly got unwieldy.

The program recommended by a good cycling buddy was Dave Watkins' VeloLogger, so I contacted them at their Web site, and I was quickly in receipt of the program.

It's easy to use from the first, with lots of goodies buried deeper in the program as you continue to play with it. The best thing about it is how easy it is to get reports on the raw data.

For anyone who wants to cycle instead of dinking around with records, this is a great program! Especially if the cats eat your record sheets...

Tuesday, March 1

Tuesday night dinner ride?

26 mile commute, threatening rain but not actually drizzling.

I hoped to ride with the SRCC Tuesday night dinner ride tonight, now that they started them up again, but it's pouring rain. Oh, well, maybe next week.