Tandem Time with Friends

We picked up a friend who rides for LLS fundraising rides; I’ve ridden with her numerous times but my husband has not. We rode half-bikes yesterday so today we chose the tandem. Our tri friend needed an easy >30 <50  miles. Our horse/bike friend, slightly under the weather, just wanted to ride. We were happy to pull her in the tandem’s great slipstream.

Actually, we did most of the pulling, except when our Tri friend went off for a mild effort, and we had so much fun convo. There was a slight north wind but that didn’t inhibit us (unlike yesterday, when I had to work really hard to stay on the Mr.’s wheel as we rode north), and the temperatures were mild, the sun golden and low, and the result was almost magical. We all had the ride we wanted & needed. That’s rare.

We cleaned up, walked the dogs, drove to St. Helena and had fun at V. Sattui — met some members who’ve never done the Barrel Tasting, so we steered them that way — they were very open and we were all too happy to lead them down that path.

The drive home was colorful — we headed east, and that’s where the color started.  Later, we headed to our b/h friends’ place for his birthday dinner. They’re both dealing with an upper respiratory thing, and we were exposed Friday, so what the hell…let’s help Ron turn 74! That was fun.

I love reinforcing our bonds with people with whom we have connections. We’ve supported our Tri friend both monetarily, through her LLS page, as well as physically, on the bike. And we reinforced that today. She’d never  drafted a tandem. We kept her honest (she’d have ridden much harder and faster otherwise). So yes, fun.

As I type these words I reflect on our weekend…I’m happy.  We both are. And that’s all that matters.

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Friday Surprised Me

As much as I hate the manipulation of time (in countries that don’t manipulate their clocks, the days get longer at the beginning and end, just as they do under DST, without the need to adjust to the artificial adjustment of time. Just sayin’), I admit I like waking up with some  light in the eastern sky. And at noon I still feel as though I have the entire day ahead of me…but by 5, not so much.

This morning I woke before the dogs did (yay!) and snoozed while Chris fixed the coffee: I set up the coffee pot, he turns it on. Then he steams milk, makes 2 double shots of espresso, pours one double shot into a tall insulated mug, adds the milk, coffee, puts the lid on and delivers. And that’s what I do for him on his days off. The beverage is rich, foamy, and full of caffeine. There is no wrong way to do it.

So after my coffee I walked the dogs, who are all too excited to be out in the chill, licking dew off grass, leaping at the ends of the leash because my walking is so slow, sniffing and peeing on the same places, no matter our route. I love their enthusiasm. It encourages me to ride my bike. And most days I do.

Today I almost didn’t: My Garmin didn’t start right away; I dropped my chain (I may not have shared here how much I hate to get my hands dirty), I felt I was overdressed and didn’t want to sweat that much, and blahblahblah. So this happened: http://www.strava.com/activities/216579532/segments/5114631368

After that I cleaned up, previewed 5 properties, confirmed showings for an out-of-town client, firmed up Sunday’s ride, and depending on when the Niners play, showings on Sunday afternoon.

I strive for balance; as a Libra I am predisposed and hard-wired to it. These last few days are aligning nicely.

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What Fulfillment Feels Like

Yes, I know the blog title isn’t grammatically correct — in this context I don’t care.

Our daughter, our firstborn, came home from Brooklyn earlier this month, with her new BF. We’ve talked about him, she discussed her concerns about his meeting us, and over several days (with a break while they were away for a wedding. Who brings a new BF to meet her parents and go to a wedding? A really confident young woman, evidently.)

We spent time as family, and separately — she treated me to a birthday pedi, while her dad gave her BF a tour of the topography and downtown. And he cooks, and puts cheese on everything that isn’t hers. I love the respect and affection between them. And she’s working on a 5-yr. plan to return to CA…with him. That made me so happy!

I had a significant birthday this month, and we made plans to eat at Yoshi’s in Oakland, and enjoy Leon Russell’s musical stylings afterward. I saw Leon shortly after I turned 18, so I thought the timing was great. And our first visit to Yoshi’s as well was an event.

The Refinery Project had other plans for their Head Inspector, and that didn’t include my birthday plans. /sad face/ I talked to our son who said he’d take care of me.

And indeed he did. He and his GF (who our daughter & her BF met, and we’d only heard about, earlier this month) picked me up at the 24th St. BART station and drove 2 blocks to the Heirloom Café. Back in the spring we had an amazing 3+ hr. dinner there, and this night was no exception. What we ate, drank, discussed is an entire blog post. This was the best dinner there, ever.

Our son and his GF committed to dinner here on Sunday, and we planned carefully: boneless leg of lamb with fresh rosemary & garlic, with a Tempranillo, olive oil and secret herbs baste on the rotisserie, fresh sugar pumpkin soup, salad featuring rainbow carrots, persimmon, apple, and baby spinach, chard & kale. We finished with peach brandy and the vegan chocolates our daughter had delivered for my birthday, and then Limoncello, from the GF’s Meyer lemons.

So food, topography, horticulture, wine, all played a part in this month’s amazing happenings. Our kids are so aware and moving forward to becoming the best versions of themselves that they can be. Their SOs reflect their partners and align with much of our ideals. That they make our kids happy is important. That we like them & get good vibes are the bonus. If I died tomorrow I would have no regrets about these young adults and how they will affect our society, moving forward. One will change thinking with a brusque approach, the other will support the sibling and explain the train of thought.

Or they might marry their current SOs and make pretty Irish/Welsh/Armenian/Russian/Jewish babies.

I hope I’m around to see that.

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Riding My Age in Miles, and More

In 2007 I discovered BikeForums.net, and dove in with no reservations. Many connections continue even now: Fifty+, NorCal, Women’s, Tandem, Racing — so many ways to connect to so many people!  To this day I maintain the connections, whether through BikeForums, Facebook, Twitter, real life, and any combination of the above.

So on Saturday a BF/FB/real life friend, her teammates and SO, and a fellow from our local LBS Sunday ride met at the start of the Foxy’s Fall Century to ride the Metric Century (61.4 miles). I’ve done it twice on my road bike, and twice on the tandem. Because this was in honor of my birthday on 10/21, we opted for the tandem and the Metric (we lacked tandem saddle time for the full century).

In near-ideal conditions we set out with arm warmers and smiles. We passed other tandems, other tandems passed us, and when we pulled into the first stop we had a decent train behind us.

We left with mixed messages about some of our team: some went ahead, some were behind, but we all agreed that we should ride before we cooled off too much. Rollers, a hill, a downhill were next, and we both were dropped and dropped riders. I admit my ego enjoys passing single bikes on a hill climb, especially when they kvetch about it. Riders have seen the profile; if they can’t climb, they should train more.

We caught up with the friends who got ahead of us on the downhill; there is nothing like at tandem team bombing a downhill they know intimately, chip-seal be damned. My captain was awesome in his handling of the bike, as well as his responses to my nervousness.  At one point, turning onto Putah Creek Rd. from Pleasants Valley Rd., we had nearly 40 bikes, including 2 tandems, in our train.  Yes, that’s an ego ride, pulling so many others. It’s really fun and sometimes really taxing.

At lunch we were offered $20 to pull from Winters back to Davis by 3 riders who’d been part of the tandem train for the previous 2 segments. Our friends weren’t ready to leave, so we declined, although we were flattered to have been offered money for what we do naturally. I wonder if we can monetize that for when we’re retired?

The ride back was flat and mildly head-windy; we modified our pace, yet a few of our original team were dropped. It happens.  We arrived after 61.4 miles feeling pretty frisky. I remember arriving at the finish on tandem & half-bike after the Imperial century feeling beat-up and tired. We had no regrets on riding the Metric. And it was more than my age, which was the ultimate goal.

We ride the roads included in this ride all time: they’re local, accessible, fun, and easy to access, whether we choose hills or flats or a combination. What made this special was that Mike, with whom we know from our LBS shop ride, had only ridden 45 miles before today, and he learned how to draft; we rode with out-0f-town friends;  we drove our bike to the startt. We shared the road and experience with many cyclists of many different abilities and rides and attitudes, and it all worked just fine. We had a blast and I was very happy to ride my age in miles + some, and to have enjoyed it so much. I wish everyone could enjoy their version of this ride.

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Another Spin Class

My husband, at least as competitive as I, and probably more so, came with me to a Spin class tonight. I planned Spin + Body Pump, and Spin was enough. I’m still sore from Tuesday’s effort, so Spin was enough.

He has to leave Monday for a work thing. My significant birthday is Tuesday; I made reservations at Yoshi’s for dinner and Leon Russell after. I saw Leon Russell shortly after my 18th birthday, at the Tower in Philly. I was so eagerly anticipating that intimate time, and when he told me it was crushed, so was I.

Perhaps I’m subconsciously focused on “an age.” Or “an event.” Either way, I have no back up plan, and my best GFs and siblings aren’t here, and I kind of want to just cry about that.

After the morning’s meetings are done, I’ll just go ride my bike. And hope that I get a perspective on a new decade that I don’t have now.

Color me always hopeful.

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Finding Balance

Riding my bike makes me who I am, and helps propel me into a better version of myself. When I have the time to workout I choose the bike — always I find something I didn’t know I had, or a thought or idea that is released because of my forward motion, or my effort, or the landscape and olfactory stimulation, or all of it.

While that makes my soul and legs happy, much of the rest of me is lacking.

I’ve let my core strength, my upper body strength, my agility with weights and compound movements just slide…I chose to walk the dogs and/or ride my bike, rather than do planks, push-ups, TRX.

So last night I did a cycling class and Body Pump class back to back. The cycling class was no biggie; I will adjust to the gears & instructors. The BP class…it was my first, and I was conservative with the amount of weights I used & took breaks…my first weight-training in about a year. So now, I hurt.

I knew for months that I needed to incorporate strength training of any kind into my routine, and ignored that tiny voice in my head as I walked the dogs and rode my bike and ran my business. Best year ever for real estate, by the way — extra-busy meant  less free time. Less free time meant choosing what mattered most. Dogs + bike won.

I’m paying for that now, and for tomorrow as well. I anticipate getting balance back, now that I have classes to choose to take, and less time cycling outdoors, as the days grow shorter.

Updates to come. And even with my current pain, I’m happy that I’m healthy enough to work out hard enough to feel pain.  I’m looking forward to having balance back.

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Learning Curve

I’m still figuring out WP. I’ve used a different blogging platform for several years, which had a pretty shallow learning curve. WP ups the ante to several powers of 10. I’ll do my best to learn and keep up. Nobody wants a blog fail.

So I need to learn how get pictures here. I’ll a different one next time. IMG_2120

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