When It’s Cold, It’s Colder at Higher Altitude

Yes, it is winter, but this is California.  So when it stopped raining, I was all excited, because for one, it’s dry … two, I’m not working the weekend (I’m not on call … yay!!!)… three, it’s a 3-day weekend.  That means more free time, more play time, another day to ride!

However, the temps have been down, and the air temperature was around 45-50 F.  Not a big deal, I’ve gone through 25-35 F commutes … but that’s a commute.  

So if you’ve read my blogs, you know I like to climb.  Only thing is, when you climb, you get hot, and therefore, you’ll want to take off the jacket.  It’s pretty when you get to the top.

However, when you’re at the top, it can get pretty cold.  It gets worse when you descend … I forgot all about this.  

Usually, I bring a balaclava, for face protection against the cold wind, but I forgot to bring it.  Oooh … the descent was ccc-cold.  When I got down, I had to find the first coffee shop I could find, and thaw out.

So I guess next time, if it is cold, I think I’ll just revert to rolling hills, and not long sustained hill climbs.  At least I didn’t decide to go up to Mt. Hamilton.

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Crazy Enough to be “Riding in the Rain, just Riding in the Rain”

We’ve been having a slew of rain storms since the beginning of the year, and it didn’t really let up.  This past Monday, it stopped long enough to consider riding into work.  My typical commute is riding out to the San Tomas Aquino Multi-Use Trail (MUT) .. what I like to call “bike trail”.  But I guess MUT is for all the walkers, joggers who also use the trail for those purposes.

Anyhow, my friend, who goes by the handle cyclicious, has a web site that gives you at a quick glance, flood status of the MUT.  Monday morning, I looked and saw that it was in the green, which means the MUT is clear (no ponding, no flooding).

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I thought great, the ride in should be normal, and will not have to slog through a 6 in deep puddle.  However, along with rising creeks, you’re bound to find mud along the route (which I did find … I had to ride cautiously here).  What I wasn’t prepared for was a buttload of crap, debris, tree branches …

Well, this was surprising.  Looks like there’s going to be some major cleanup needed.  There was no way I was going through there, so I made a quick U-turn, and went into work by surface streets.

A couple days later, I was able to ride again.  I’d try the same thing … well, they did clean up, but either they ran out of time, or more debris kicked in.

I could have ridden in by street, but I wanted to verify to see how accurate the flood detection tool is.  It is pretty accurate, but it has no way to detect debris on the trail.  I guess you take your own risk when there is heavy rain the night before.

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Massive Rain Storm and On Call means Zwift time

Massive rain storm hitting California is the biggest news story here.  It is pretty bad, as the Santa Cruz mountains getting 5-6 inches of rain in a day.  I’m on call, so at least the rain didn’t impede on my free time.  This just means it’s time to break out the trainer, and do a bit of workout on Zwift.

I didn’t realize that the previous time I used Zwift, it was a trial coordinated by Strava.  I also forgot my password, so I tried to get them to reset it, but was waiting and waiting for the reset email, but it never came through.  Screw it … get a new one, using an email address I never use.

Now I remember why I didn’t use Zwift for awhile … it’s hard to stay motivated to stay on the trainer that long.  First, I have riders passing me all the time.  I mean, it’s at a rate 3 times what would normally happen if I’m on the road.  Then, after some time, I start sweating so much … sweat gets in my eyes.  It got to a point where I couldn’t take it any more … only stayed on the trainer for 20 minutes, and only 5.3 miles.  I later saw some others, who was taking the same Zwift course, who lasted an hour.  How the heck do they do it?  I guess I’m not disciplined enough, eh?

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At least I was able to say I did some riding … the Raiders game was a lost hope anyways.

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I Should Stop Looking at Weather Reports

I normally would ride into work, no matter what the weather is … but lately, I’ve been looking at tweets from the National Weather Service … and then I see this

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Yeah, when you see flash flood watch, it does prompt you to change your habits.  Granted, it’s not raining now, but when you watch the news, and see all the problems others are seeing due to the rain, it makes you re-think.

I have actually done commutes without looking at weather reports … but that’s when I got stuck on flooded underpasses of the bike trail.  I’d like to avoid doing that again!

So here it is, 1/4/2017 … 4 days into the year, and I’ve only ridden once … at new year’s … I do hear Thursday and Friday will be dry, so maybe I’ll focus on that.  I guess I shouldn’t look at it as wimping out … more like keeping dry.  I guess I could always ride the trainer … but that’s sooo boring.

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Happy New Year 2017

It’s that time of year, time to ring in a new year.  Bye 2016, although you weren’t too kind for some of my favorite entertainers.  You took Glenn Frey and David Bowie early in the year.  You had the Amgen Tour of California completely skip the Bay Area.  You took Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, William Christopher(Father Mulcahy of Mash) at the end of the year.  But nevertheless, I am still going to reflect on the past year. 
I didn’t have any events planned for the year … No double centuries, not even a single century.  I think I’ve decided to simply enjoy the ride, and not be forced into it from an event.  I still managed to get in under 7000 miles for the year.  I guess it’s the daily commute miles (yes, I can survive without driving a car).


This New Year’s Day was a bit strange.  This year, me and my brother decided to split up our visit to LA, where I would stay in the Bay Area for Christmas, and I’d visit during New Year’s.  However, this year, it’s on Sunday, so it didn’t feel different than any other day.  Plus, all the bowl celebrations would take place on Monday, 1/2, instead of on New Year’s Day.  So it just felt weird. 

This year’s New Year’s Day ride was also a bit low key.  It was smaller group of about 5 riders, but that was OK.

Great day to start the year off.  Happy New Year.

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It’s Raining, Got the Day Off … Time for a Matinee

Got the day off (floating holiday, Christmas Eve eve), and normally I would take advantage of this day, and go for a long bike ride.  However, it was raining … and hard overnight.  That means the grounds are really wet, and means time to stay off the bike.  I guess it’s time for a matinee … and I haven’t seen Rogue One yet, so that’s the perfect excuse to see it.

I bought my tickets online, through rottentomatoes.com … which by the way, is a terrific site.  Not only do you get a rating of the movies, but it gives you local showtimes of the theatre in your area.  I went ahead and bought it online, and it even sends you a mobile online ticket.  It gives you a barcode, and all you have to do is bring your barcode in to the attendant, and he scans away.  No hassle, no waiting.  I don’t see why everyone was waiting in line for the ticket office … there were also lines for the self service ticket machine.  Why oh why … just do it online at your convenience at home!

Oh, I know why … there is a $1.50 convenience fee … but so what!  It’s worth it … I think it’s a no brainer.  I guess that’s the geek in me.

I do have one complaint though … you still have about 30 minutes of trailers you have to sit through.  Why can’t we have a movie theatre that just gives you the movie!

Oh the movie … well, I wasn’t intending to give a movie review on this blog … but … This movie can stand on its own, if you haven’t seen any of the other Star Wars movies.  It doesn’t even have the familiar Star Wars theme running through the entire movie, which was refreshing.  It also doesn’t have the crawl you would be used to on any of the previous Star Wars movies.  It’s got everything you wanted in a Star Wars movie … humor, suspense, action, … and oh, a slight hint of romance at the end.  It’s a good movie, to just escape, and have fun.  Go see it … it’s worth it.

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Who Says Winter is the Coldest Season

Welcome to Winter … but wait a minute, it wasn’t really too bad.  This morning’s commute, on the first day of winter, was a comfortable 36 F.  You might think, egads, that’s cold.  But yesterday it was 30 F, and the day before that, it was 25 F.  And I commuted into work, on my bike in those temps.

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Not bad for a Californian, eh?  Perhaps I could survive biking in Canada or east coast … but then again, I prefer 40 degree temps.  At least I didn’t let something like cold temperature stop me from bicycling.

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