Bike Commute Disrupted Again due to 49ers Game

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The 49ers had their home opener last night … first NFL game, that counted, being played in Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.  The game ended sometime after 8 pm Sunday night, and it was anticipated that the gates would be open for the bike path.  When the 49ers do play, the bike path is closed, but as soon as the event is over, they should re-open the bike path, right?

Well, it wasn’t.  The gate was locked, on the northbound side of Tasman.  That meant I had to backtrack to the other side, and then re-enter through Tasman on street.  The same thing happened during the first exhibition game that the 49ers had.  It’s bad enough that they close the bike path for the entire day (game didn’t start until 5:15 pm), but to keep it closed the day after?

Oh, and by the way, they also closed Great America Amusement Park, golf course, and probably the soccer field on game day as well.  Not everyone is a football fan, especially with the backlash against the NFL with the domestic violence issue.

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Alpine Dam and Seven Sisters

There’s a heatwave going on in California, so to beat the heat, I headed up to SF via Caltrain.

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I’ve taken Caltrain a number of times with my bike, but normally you take a seat after strapping down your bike, but this group, for some reason, didn’t want to sit.  Maybe it’s culture, but really, it’s OK to sit down.  It actually felt a little creepy.

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And then there was this guy who kept standing there in the caboose veering as we approached SF.  It was just weird.

SHIM0056My route is heading up to Golden Gate Bridge, then over to Fairfax, then onto Alpine Dam and onto Seven Sisters.  It’s basically a full day, but I’m going to just soak in the cooler temps, with no hurry to accomplish PRs, so I gladly let others pass me.  I mean, while on the bridge, what’s the hurry?  No need to speed around at breakneck speeds, because you’ll end up having to slow down anyways, for some slower riders along the bridge.

On the way to Fairfax, when I would ride with Pete, we would take “the Wiggle”, a series of zig zag routes to avoid the main highway, and mainly to avoid car traffic. However, there were so many twists and turns, I wound up getting lost. I eventually wound up at the park entrance to Lagunitas Park, and I know that’s not the way. So I had to back track … Google maps to the rescue.

Once I got to Fairfax, I knew the rest of the route. I didn’t check the temp before leaving Fairfax, but I imagine it was in the mid 80s. I wanted to top off my water bottle at the Fairfax police station, but their water fountain didn’t have any water. Luckily, I still had 3/4 bottle full.

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The first climb had a great view, plus a slight glimpse of Alpine Lake. I chatted with one guy, who was just at Interbike in Las Vegas, so he was used to this heat. Although not as hot, it was still a sweltering one.

OK onwards to Alpine Dam. I ended meeting 3 riders, who I would see thru the rest of the ride, even though I was not part of their group. Funny how things like that work out.

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I got to the dam, and it was hot, sunny, and the glistening water was so gorgeous. However, I was stupid enough to bask in the blazing sun, not realizing a shady spot in the corner. That’s where a couple of other people were hanging out and I could hear them talking, but couldn’t tell where they were coming from. Now that I realize it, it made sense. Get into the shade!

Climbing out of the dam, my friends I was telling you about were conversing with me as I’m climbing, but that didn’t last long, as they went on ahead. They thanked me for coming out to Marin County to ride in the beauty that is Marin County. It’s like, thanks for having me.

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Finally reach the intersection of Ridgecrest, and that was a perfect time to stop to eat. Nice shaded areas, covered by Redwoods. This is a great spot.  Check out the photosphere I took at this location, https://plus.google.com/photos/+RonNg1/albums/6058762507379885105/6058762506235739202?sqi=115970110085205516914&sqsi=abbc1e71-8239-4ab0-9de3-3f6429e7681f&pid=6058762506235739202&oid=107775104280723216283 (best viewed from Google Chrome)

Next up is Seven Sisters, out in the open, with no shade … And I mean no shade at all. The temps here got up to 92°F. It was so hot, but there was still some cloud coverage over Stinson Beach.

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From here, I headed back to GG Bridge, but I decided to go part way up Marin Headlands to get another awesome view of the GG Bridge. I think it was worth it.

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However, this spot was extremely popular, and parking spots for scenic overlook was at a premium. In fact, it was madness

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Stats:
63.8 miles, 6028 ft climbing

http://app.strava.com/activities/194083662

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Stupid Silly Way to Fall

Falling is not a subject that cyclists like to discuss, but this was just silly.  So I’m at a stop light in Los Altos, and I’m ready to go.  I’ve got the green, so my mind says go, my legs ready to accelerate, but my front wheel is pointed towards the right.  Well, you know what happens next … Bam, hit pavement and on my left knee.  Ouch.  Luckily it was on the right side and not too many people saw it, except for the rider approaching the intersection behind me, who most likely saw me fall with her own eyes.

It’s really more of embarrassment, but boy, it’s a painful embarrassment. What’s funny is I got over 15 kudos on Strava from my posting … Bike goes straight but wheel turned in opposite direction.

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Climbing is Back, Endurance, That’s a Different Story

I’m happy to report that my climbing is back, and yes, to some extent, sprinting is there (able to pass some folks).  But endurance is still not there.  Guess it’s just going to take a bunch of long distance weekend to get it back up.

I decided to do a surely flat distance ride, which was originally going to the Cliff House.  I wanted to limit it to a sub 100 ride, so I cut it off a little bit after Pacifica, which turned into an 82 miler. I think the fog may have sapped my enthusiasm too. It’s a good thing I did, because my legs didn’t have much jump after mile 70.

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So with myself exhausted and legs tired, what did I do for Sunday?  Did I take it easy?  Come on, remember who you are talking about.  I wound up doing a kick ass hill climb, Mt. Umunhum.

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This was a fairly routine ride with me before the accident, and this is the first time I felt confident enough with my hill climbing to even attempt this.

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I won’t say it was easy, but it wasn’t impossibly hard.  My climbing legs are there.  This is very encouraging.  So why couldn’t I do an easier 80 miler?  Well, on my way back home, I was starting to feel the fatigue.  I guess it’s just going to take time, consecutive 150 mile weekends to get that fitness back.  But the effort today on Hicks then Mt. Umunhum did feel good.

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It’s August Already?

Another month goes by and I just realized we’re past the half way point for the year.  Of course, being off the bike for 6 weeks makes you lose track of what resembled a training schedule.

I’m happy to report that I am back to my normal riding one again, and now all I have to do is regain my endurance and fitness level.  I don’t have any events planned upcoming, so that will give me the opportunity to get back into shape again.

I recently weighed myself … Oh god, why did I do that?  Back up to 170 again.  Damn, and I was doing so good maintaining 160 for a while

For the month of July, I got in 762 miles for the month, which is about as long as I normally would do in a month.  Being able to commute daily by bike has also helped me.  Another 31 day month … Maybe by September I’ll be close to my pre-Memorial Day shape (but may not be my DMD shape).

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So Much For SCMC

After all that prep for SCMC, when I got to the parking lot, I went to get my stuff (helmet, shoes, gloves, etc) the bag is not there.  Noooo!!!!!

It turns out I didn’t put the bag in the car.  Damn, looks like I’m not doing the ride.

Went back home and there it is .. The bag lying right next to the parking space where my car was parked.

I decided to ride from home, to v try to meet up with Karen and Ramon at the rest stop at Hwy 9 and Skyline, but I was either too early or too late.  I decided to just complete the Page Mill route.

On the way home, my knees felt a little fatigue pain, so it’s probably a good idea that I didn’t do the ride.

I guess it’s rest day time, and time for some icing.

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Preparing For Another Organized Ride But Not Routine

Well it’s a day before Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge, and I’m still questioning my sanity.  This is a really hard century/double metric, with majorly difficult climbs, and I’ve only really been climbing again for the past 3 weeks.  But this is a special ride.  Karen and as bunch of other riders from Southern California are coming up to do this, so I cannot disappoint by not riding   As Karen says, it’s an annual event, must do.

I think I’m OK to do the climbs, but don’t think my endurance is quite there.  I’ll probably start with the first spur, then follow the rest of the metric century route.  I’d still have to do Jameson Creek, which is tough even when I’m 100%, and it’s just before lunch.  Man, what torture.  I think I’ll channel my Andrew Talansky in me, off in the back.

I was going to try hitting some hills a week before the ride, but when I got to Boulder Creek, I got a flat, and thought it best to come back along Hwy 9, so that in case I got another flat, I would be in range of help.  So no Jameson Creek prep ride .. I’ll just have to wing it.

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The last prep I had was Montebello on Sunday, and Mira (which is only a short 0.5 mile climb but pitches to 20%).  I figure a couple if days rest off the bike is in order (not even commuting in).

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Longest I’ve done since my accident was 65 miles, and I figure this will be close to a full century.  I’m actually pretty nervous about this …. About as nervous as I was for DMD, but for very different reasons.  But I’m also excited to ride with Karen, Ramon, and the rest of the gang making the trip from LA.

Wish me luck.

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