The Week in Review

My Association of Realtors’ event celebrating American Home Week was a great success. We changed up the usual breakfast to a mid-afternoon/happy hour event, added a ton of humor vs. a paid speaker, and such fun was had. The numbers aren’t in yet  but we sold out (even though not all who paid attended), and the attendees were very generous in terms of raffle tickets and the big prize, a weekend at a condo in Carmel. I’ve served on the committee a number of years, spoken during my Presidency, yada yada yada. This was one of the best ones ever. Next year’s committee will be hard-pressed to top this one.

Last Saturday we were rained out of our bike ride, so A & I went to Concord to buy my mother-of-the-bride dress. Cheers to you, A, for your patience. Nordstrom Rack paid off for her but I didn’t find squat. We hit the mall, Macy’s specifically, and boom! Dress & cardigan, then dress, cardigan, then lunch, then shoes, and I found what I wanted and more, at a screamin’ deal. We dr0ve home happy with our purchases and with the time spent — we’ve spent more time on bikes together than off, so this was fun and good for us.

Since Kameo left 3 years ago I’ve not had a GF with whom to ride, hang, etc. So maybe I’m finding a new GF with whom to ride, hang, etc. And our husbands get along (they both clean house and cook  and basically spoil us); we’ll see how this plays out.

Today I met friends/clients at a relatively new indie coffee shop; had a Nitro (coffee steeped overnight, then infused with nitrogen, which reduces the acidity and makes the coffee look like Guinness Stout when it’s poured. It’s so  smooth I didn’t need to add cream & sugar. I had 2, just to be sure). I like the vibe. As I was leaving, after meeting their standard Poodles and their Papillion, my cycling friend N and her daughter parked; I introduced them to my friends/clients and their dogs, then we went in for more coffee. That was so much fun! I spent 3 hours in that place and can hardly wait to return. And it’s across the street from my office. What’s not to love?

In short, I’m having my best year since 2007, and it feels great, and I’m so thankful to my clients for giving me the opportunity to do my job. I’m flattered and grateful and appreciative. The relationships I have with my clients are so different and so precious. I hope they know that.Without them I have no business. They are the best!

Posted in Cycling, Friends, NorCal, real estate, Tradition | Leave a comment

It’s Been a While

Let me explain in a Reader’s Digest/bullet point mashup: Daughter scored new job; new job offers free health care for employees and their spouses. Daughter and SI travel to Italy and he proposes marriage; she accepts. They set the wedding a mere 7 wks. away, encounter set-backs, mother of the bride toils finding a dress but perseveres and all bumps in the road are history.

Bike riding goes from so few miles per week to so many miles per week to what’s a bike ride? Thanks to weather, business taking a sharp upturn, and frankly, availablity of friends with whom to ride, April is a very volatile month. I looked back on diary, Facebook and blogs and it seems that April is fraught with extremes, metereologically, physically and mentally. No wonder I don’t try to establish consistency this month.

I’ve participated in the #30daysofcycling for several years but this year blew it off. I knew I’d be busy with business, as well as with our American Home Week event, for which I signed up because the Past-President tapped me and I did not say no, and our daughter’s wedding. Shopping for the right dress, as friend Andrea can testify, is trying.

So no riding Saturday (rain + dress shopping), Sunday (rain + finishing and submitting taxes and buying food) or Monday (committee commitments and wrangling a newly-accepted offer and trying to keep a sale alive). Instead of riding this evening  we walked the dogs. As much as I miss riding, I’m happy to do the right thing on several levels.

I sure miss riding…May will be here before we know it, and I have concerns about being fit enough for our Blue Ridge Mountains ride.

Posted in Cycling, Family, Friends, NorCal, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Catching Up

I’ve been away for a while. I separated from my business partner when it became apparent that she was dependent on me for transportation, anything electronic, etc. I applaud her for her willingness, at 87, to keep selling real estate, but the numbers weren’t pencilling out for me.

So once we split my business has taken off, and it’s a beautiful thing.I’m busy enough that I can schedule fun in between work efforts.

Now that I’m re-establishing balance I hope to blog on rides (102 this week; yay!), our daughter’s wedding (a weep-fest for me, no doubt) next month, and whatever else inspires me.

My kid is getting married!!!!! OMG!!!!!! I’m over the moon for her. He’s great. The ceremony will leave me limp as a napping puppy. I can hardly wait!

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Observations From My Longest Ride in 4 Months

Earlier in the week N proposed a training ride, a Lake Loop, about 65 miles from home and back, and while neither of us have the fitness of our fellow riders, we opted in. We need the training.

So we rode around the block to N’s house and convinced her to ride to the meeting place. A & J rode there (they live close by), and M did as well (he’s on the other side of the valley from us), and R drove to the meet-up.

It was about 48* and sunny and calm when we left. We mostly ride this route in any season but summer (if we ride it then we leave by 7 a.m. at the latest). People in huge pick-ups and campers, hauling boats, frequent these twisty, narrow mountain roads to Lake Berryessa, and we cyclists are disabused of the poor driving skills of some of them. We were passed by a few vehicles hauling boats, but mostly by people going from Point A – Point B, and a predictable number of motorcyclists enjoying the day, as were we.

So we start off, fairly flat, hit some rollers, get into the Gordon Valley rollers and I’m falling off the back. Chris is ahead of me until a hill, when I spin past him, but I can’t get the rest of them. Frustrating. But not demoralizing. We have plenty of regroups before we hit Wooden Valley Rd. There, M & C turned left to make a shorter ride (45 for Chris, more for M because he climbed Twin Sisters).

It’s a pretty road with a considerable amount of climbing. Because of recent rains and seasonal temps it’s cool, damp, smelling fresh, and the mustard is brilliant on hillsides and between the rows of grapevines. The hills are green, and it’s just beautiful. As I’m pedaling along my mind wanders (as it is wont to do). As I’m climbing the Gordon Valley rollers, with Suisun Valley creek burbling on my right, I realize that I’ve been phoning it in, half-assing it, slacking on being accountable for my health & fitness, ignoring discipline and structure. And I’m tired of it.

Once we climbed to the T-intersection of Wooden Valley Rd. and Hwy. 121, and made the right into more climbing (and some seriously steep pitches) my legs & upper torso were on fire. More than once I considered walking, or worse, calling Chris for a ride. I kept pedaling, A, N, and R ahead. A & R &I ride together for a while. Wooden Valley Creek is full and flowing, a lovely sight, and not enough to take my mind off the pain in my legs and lungs. From Wooden Valley Rd., 121 is a bear of a climb, unrelenting, teasing you with false flats (6% gradient after a 10%, then 12% before you know it). The road is fine, the scenery beautiful, old oaks with Spanish moss hanging off their branches, rocks and trees bright green with velvety moss, green grass and mustard here and there. To climb this road and maintain focus meant that the pretty parts were just things I noticed, not my focus.

At the top J joined us, coming the opposite way with a group he’d latched onto. He’s one monster-strong rider. He climbed Cardiac 1-½ times when he found us. Then he rode Lanterne Rouge, pushed and pulled and cheerleader as needed for the rest of the ride. He and A are solid, good, people. He will never drop or leave anyone behind, and he’s honest, hardworking, and quick to encourage people who need it.

So we managed 121, briefly stopped at the 121/128 Junction, and kept riding. Cardiac separated some of us; I’ve done it so many times on half-bikes and tandems that I wasn’t it Granny as I spun up the hill. I saw & smelled manzanita on the road side; so pretty!

We stopped at Markley Cove for water, the dam for photo ops, and didn’t stop again until we reached Orchard School. N & I had 3+ miles — with hills — to get home. R offered a ride and we accepted.

Toughest ride I’ve done in a long time. I’m proud that I stuck it out and didn’t cave to my inner wussy that encouraged me to stop. I’m happy that I kept going and finished. This confidence-booster will help with racing & training.

And the redbuds are beginning to flower. Perfect time for this ride.

 

Posted in Cycling, Friends, Metric, NorCal, Strava, Winter | 1 Comment

I’m up late. I should be fast asleep. I’m quite keyed up.

I walked the dogs this morning; you’d never guess that they’re 10 and 9; they’re so energized by their collars and harnesses and the chance to sniff, pee, walk, and meet dogs along the way. I enjoy that as well. especially meeting new dogs (and re-meeting dogs we’ve met before). There’s something heartwarming about these walks that I can’t quite put my finger on.

After an hour’s + walk, I went for a bike ride. It was glorious! The scent and sight of almond trees in full bloom, the mustard, the oxalis, such a treat for the eyes, the green…this is indeed my favorite NorCal season. The one negative is the Callery Pear trees that are beginning to flower. They’re very pretty but as soon as you smell them you wish you could unsmell them, and you can’t. Ugh.

Otherwise, the very warm and dry February is quite spring-like and lovely. I’m enjoying it. And I hope we get more rain.

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Update

Thanks, 2016, for continuing to take peers, mentors and influencers from my life. I’m feeling those losses acutely, and am also grateful that my family & friends aren’t among them.

You will be shocked to learn that I rode my bike just 3 times in January. It wasn’t just the rain (I can always ride the trainer); it was also that stupid respiratory infection that had me down nearly 2 weeks and still  manifests in uncontrollable coughing with no warning.

Additionally, I’m working on renewing my real estate license, which is 45 hours that I need to do over a period of time. And the coursework is such that I actually have to read it. (If it’s a 3-hr. course credit I need to spend twice that studying before I take the test.)

So we’ve had a few sunny days lately and due to time constraints (buyers are ready to buy) and the license renewal I’ve had precious little time for fun. Walked the dogs because they don’t have a spin bike at the gym option. I miss my bike.

Time to wrap up the day, set up the coffeepot, and rest in anticipation of another busy day.

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016Dial it back, 2016

Because Natalie Cole, Lemmy, David Bowie (the most influential in my teenage years), Glenn Frey, my friend’s horse, my husband’s friend’s wife. It’s only the 21st of January. We need some breathing room. Please stop sucking the oxygen out of the day and dial it back.

Best wishes for less death,

Deborah

Posted in Family, Friends, Holidays, New Year, 2016, death, Eagles, Natalie Cole, Lemmy, Daily Coyote, Friends, Uncategorized | Leave a comment