Monday, 31 August 2009

Monday Bloody Monday

Today I was reminded that it's only rigorous repetition that gets me out of the house in the morning. I'm apparently incapable of improvising before 9am.

First, my Tier 3 jeans were missing. (Tier 3 jeans are for bike commuting. Tier 2 are for semi-cool social engagements and any event that requires prolonged sitting. Tier 1 are too tight and sexy to sit in for any length of time, but are otherwise styley.) WTF? How does someone lose a pair of pants? I'm pretty sure I was wearing pants every time I came home last week. It was like that time I lost the pillow, only to find it a week later wedged in the top of the dryer like Spider-Man.

The jeans thing was bothering me when, instead of the usual two bowls of cereal, I had leftover oatmeal and a slice of the fancy Freestone Bakery bread. Somehow, it took me forever to make that two-course breakfast happen.

Finally in the garage, I thought to fix the loose bar-end shifter on the Cross-Check before riding to work. It would take a minute! Ten minutes later, I was on my hands and knees looking under the work bench for the friggin screw. I was half optimistic that I'd find something long lost and cool under there (jeans?), half afraid that I'd find another pile of coyote poo. Long story.

Anyway, I made it out to street, started up the road, and the chain fell off the last cog and locked up the pedals. Back in the garage, putting the bike on the stand, and wondering what the hell is going on. Ten minutes later, I gave up and just stuck the thing in friction mode and headed back out the door. Friction works, but for some reason the arrow on the shifter was still pointed at the index setting. This nagged at my soul.

Fortunately, things picked up from there. I walked into work with the UPS lady who was delivering The Stick I ordered from Amazon. "The Stick, you are my new best friend," I thought, as I vigorously rubbed my IT band behind my desk. "Foam roller - you are dead to me." I looked forward to many happy nights massaging my calf in front of the TV.

Riding home from the gym tonight, I stopped by Gioia Pizza for a slice. Fortunately, the Best Pizza in the East Bay is at the foot of Monterey, providing just enough carbs and fat to get me up the hill. I love this stuff. You can hold a slice by the edge and it has NO sag. None! Somehow, this millimeter-thin magic crust is chewy on top, crisp on the bottom. Laterally stiff, yet vertically compliant. Or the other way around.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

King Ridge

King Ridge claims the rep of the best road ride in Northern California. Combined with Coleman Valley, it's 71 miles of steep ups and fast descents. Other than a few tailwind-assisted miles on Highway 1, where obese camper vans sit impatiently on your shoulder, the roads are almost all one-lane no-car. It's the centerpiece of Levi's GranFondo next month (which seems to me like a ridiculously expensive century with timing chips - but for a good cause).

Anyway, yes, it was great. Sun all day except the fast foggy miles on Hwy 1 and the first section of Coleman Valley. Felt strong, though I sandbagged on the Ridge to avoid blowing up early. In fact, I went so slow on the steep bits that these annoying little gnats could keep pace and make tora-tora-tora raids into my eyes. Just when I ran out of water, I came across the Fort Ross School Sunday Market, where I learned delicious tamales from Honduras are wrapped in banana leaves, instead of corn husks.

On the way home, I stopped by Freestone for an orange chocolate scone and a round of great nutty fruity bread with cardamom. Then a strawberry milkshake in Sebastapol. After-ride eating - the best eating.

I failed to sell my Atlantis frame this evening. The damn stem is seized in the head tube, so I'll have to get the shop to knock it out.