Archive for January, 2010

Mt. Tam

Right, then.

Went on a 6.5 mi hike at Mt. Tam to see the waterfalls (thanks to the torrential rains we’ve had the past week). Got rained on a bit, but overall had a good time. The pisser of it all was that considering the drive to and from, I spent 10 hours to go on a 6.5 mi hike. Glad to be home, showered and fed. Had a good time though….

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More weather

Right, then.

Got rained on to and from work, today. Not quite a pissing rainstorm, but enough precipitation to remind me that I wasn’t driving. Funny thing was: I didn’t care. I actually enjoyed it…and I look forward to doing it again tomorrow. I think part of this is the “Holy shit, you rode in this?” effect. To further the point, when I’m at a light, I ensure that I look at those in the cars and smile, just to make sure they know that, no, I’m not distress, just because I’m wet.

Came in to work to find an e mail from the person who coerced me into signing up for the Kaiser 1/2 Marathon. She didn’t run on Tuesday (I was the only one that did), not interested in running on the streets during the rain, and is now afraid of running in the gym because the power might go out. Of course, her bigger fear is that she won’t be able to complete the race. I smugly replied that I did not just 4, but 7 miles solo, in the elements. A point of pride, that.

There is one more cool thing that I just remembered. On the ride home, I encountered a gentleman on the overpass where Scott Blvd crosses the Caltrain tracks. I was just about to crest and he was going the opposite way. He asked “Are you having fun?” (remember, it was raining steadily). My automatic response: “Hell, yeah!”.

Maybe, I’ve changed.

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Brooks saddle and weather

Right, then.

The Brooks Saddle finally came in, and let me tell you folks: It’s outstanding. I still need to make some adjustments as it’s a tad nose down for my taste, but I am amazed at how comfortable this feels, right out of the box. More importantly, it looks cool, too. (yes, I know I’m being shallow, but the nice thing about shallowness is that it prevents drowning). Of course, now I have to worry about the seat getting too wet and treating the leather and whatnot.

Also, when I drop the bike off at WGB next week, I’ll need to have Tahn retape the bars with brown cork tape to match the saddle (because black and brown really do not go together). While it’s in, I’m going to have a rear pannier rack installed – this should help with grocery runs (when I don’t feel like walking for 15 mins to the Safeway on Homestead), meetings that require the laptop and general errands.

On to other things…I did a foul-weather commute ride, yesterday (1/19/10). Because, if you’re going to ride in to work you should ride during one of the worst storms in recent history. I did the smart thing and went a bit out of my way, taking Las Palmas to Monroe to pick up the trail to Walsh…ran into trouble when I hit the Caltrain undercrossing…seems that the crossing was low, but the river was high….went through about hub-deep muddy water. No major big, but the feets got soaked. On the ride home, I found that The City of Santa Clara closed the trail, so it was Scott to Cabrillo to Los Padres…despite the wet weather, I find that I actually enjoyed the ride – which seems a bit odd, but then again, maybe not. There is a certain “dig me” aspect of riding in the rain – yes, Sir, you are quite manly in your 4WD SUV (that, parenthetically, never leaves the pavement), but I’m actually out here in the elements. I’m still, however, on the fence about foul weather gear. When I was a truck driver, I used to wear rain gear, but the act of getting in and out of the truck all day just made me sweaty – so in the end, I was still wet….what I was wet with was what made the difference.

Normally on Tuesdays, I run with a group at work – so now that I moved to Santa Clara, I bike to work, run after work, then bike home. Last night, I got stood up by even the hardiest (shockingly), so I biked home via the aforementioned route, then – in true addict fashion – ran 7 miles. Couple that with the 10 miles I did over the weekend, and I’m about as ready as I’ll be for the Kaiser 1/2 Marathon on Feb 7.

Today (Wednesday) is supposed to be the worst of this storm system. I’m back at home now (spent a few hours in Brisbane for a customer meeting) and the rain has started again. I really need to think about foul weather gear…

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Brooks saddle and work update

Right, then.

I finally broke down this week and bought a Brooks B17 saddle. The reasoning is twofold:

1) I hear that after they are broken in, they have luxury-car comfort – and –
2) They look cool (‘specially honey colored on a BRG bike)

I do realize that my #2 reason is a bit shallow, but I think all bikes beyond a certain phase-break have a “dig me” aspect about them. From “curated” fixies to $5000 carbon fiber race bikes, the owners want others to look and say “What the hell is that?”. I’m no better.

A check on UPS Quantumview shows that my saddle was leaving Mesquite, TX at 12:10 yesterday morning. Not sure why it was there, but I’ve learned to not question UPS.

Things are picking up on the work front. I like the prospect of more income – so thank you JuJu, Pele (both the Hawai’ian Queen and the Soccer Guy), God, Budda, Allah and whomeverthehellelse I can think of. So while I’ll miss my valued “screw around” time, the extra dollars are appreciated – especially since I picked up this new crack habit that makes me troll bike shops. All I ask is that I’m able to retain work/life balance.

Can’t wait to get my saddle, tho…

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Good, long weekend

’twas a good long weekend.

Sunday, took the new/old bike out for a 15 mi run on Canada rd. Got two compliments within 1 hour – good to see that folks can appreciate the old and not just focus on the new/shiny/lightweight.

Puttered about the house today. Made the obligatory run up to IKEA to get a bookcase (the cool thing about IKEA is that it gives you the feeling of doing drugs – specifically hallucinogens – without having to actually do anything). As I was assembling said bookcase, got a call from an old friend who came over with beer – we spent the rest of the afternoon drinking beer and watching George Carlin and Fletch – both true classics.

Now, tomorrow, work.

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High-end, white trash foods

Just got back from dinner after the SJ Auto show. Had the standard cheeseburger and fries, but they weren’t just normal fries; they were fries cooked in duck fat. Also had mac and cheese. But no, not normal Kraft blue-box mac and cheese – gourmet mac and cheese with truffles. Now I’m at home drinking a Miller High Life, “The Champagne of Beers”. My but this is a nice trailer.

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I still do run, you know…

Despite riding the bike a lot, I still run. I’m fortunate in that I’ve found a running group at work (two of those guys are my roommates) and we run every Tuesday night. I typically get at least one run in on the weekend and another (in addition to Tuesday) during the week.

Went running this morning. I initially planned on running 10 miles (as I’m training for the Kaiser 1/2 Marathon in Feb), but after pulling out my Camelback (which I use for runs longer than 8 mi) and finding some sort of crud inside, I thought I’d cut it down to 7 miles. While I was out, I noticed my legs just felt dead. Up to this point, biking has had a positive effect on my running. I’m faster and my stride has become lighter. So today, as you can imagine, was a bit disheartening. I was hoping to do the 7 miles, then bike down to Willow Glen to meet friends and go to the SJ Auto Show. Instead, I cut the run short (just under 5 miles), and will drive to WG. We’re supposed to ride 20 miles tomorrow, so I’d like my legs to be serviceable.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for my pants to dry, so I can leave.

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