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Monday, December 28, 2009


I'll talk about Christmas later.  By 10 a.m. the 26th I was back to working, my partner's out of town and left me with a plate brimming over with work.  Sunday and today were no better (at least we got to ride on Sunday), and the rest of the week looks formidable.
Sadly, I failed to stop the auction of a client's house today.  It's not my fault, I know, but I feel bad that I couldn't convince the lienholder to hold off another couple of weeks, at least.  FAIL.
Then I got this in my email and it brightened my day.  I love words, I love our language, and I love a good pun.  Enjoy!
       Two Lists of Definitions
       For the most enjoyment........read them aloud with a friend.
Don't miss the second list at the bottom.  It is even funnier

       Here is the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational which once
again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by
adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new
definition. Here are the winners:

       1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders
the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

       2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

       3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts
until you realize it was your money to start with.

       4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

       5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that
stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately,
shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

       6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the
purpose of getting laid.

       7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

       8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and
the Person who doesn't get it.

       9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running

       10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra

       11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all
these really bad vibes, right?  And then, like, the Earth explodes and
it's like, a serious bummer.

       12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the
day consuming only things that are good for you.

       13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

       14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
when they come at you rapidly.

       15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just
after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

       16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets
into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

       17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a
worm in the fruit you're eating.

       The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions
to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate
meanings for common words. And the winners are:

       1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

       2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight
one has gained.

       3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat

       4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

       5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

       6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when
wearing only a nightgown.

       7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

       8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

       9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who
has been run over by a steamroller.

       10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

       11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

       12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by

       13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

       14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with

       15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul
flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

       16. Circumvent, n . An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn
by Jewish men.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Focus and lack thereof

Since my last post I've taken pictures and written in my head new posts.  Why aren't you seeing them?  Because my pictures wouldn't post, so I had a hissy fit and went away.  In this two-week span I've been ill, ridden again, ignorred an elephant in the room, and generally worked my patootie off in real estate.  I could write a book on that but I'll spare us all the gory details.   Suffice it to say that if it were easy, everyone would do it.

Last weekend we took a spin on the tandem and decided to train for the Solvang Double Century, March 27th, '10.  We love the Central Coast and its roads, but my desire to repeat the Century has waned big time after last year's underwhelming, crash-tastic, boring food-supported ride.  After on-line discussions with people who've done this double, and our own research, we committed to the Double.  Training and lifestyle changes begin 1-1-10.  I'm excited to have a new goal.   Chris is convinced that I'm trying to kill him for the insurance money.

My curiosity about what I can do on a bike parallels what I can do in my career.  This year I've written more offers than ever, and 90% of them were rejected, through no fault of my own or my partner's; it's just the buyers' circumstances v. the status of the properties they're offering on.  The market is shifting; prices are inching up slightly, and the all-cash buyers are calling the shots and getting the properties. 

So after being beaten up this year (and I haven't even addressed our listings and how the banks are abusing us) I need a new challenge, something that inspires both fear and hope in me.  A double century does that easily.  The Solvang Double retraces some of the roads we pedaled on our Epic Ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara (read all about it at www.justaguyonlifesjourney.blogspot.com), as well as some of the century roads.  We know the area well, and have friends there as well, so we have options if we want to quit the ride.

So far I've not bailed on a ride. Not for thunder, lightning, rain, hail, or a broken wrist.

What's scary is that I'm already planning for 2 more doubles...Triple Crown, here we come.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Birthday Weekend

So the 21st is Chris's and Meave's birthdays.  She doesn't ride a bike so we rode without her. 

We started out in 40* and sunny weather.  Some wind came up, post-frontal, from the NW, and at times brisk.  The clouds blew through and when they blocked the sun I got chilled.

We rode to Davis and had brunch at the Delta of Venus.  When Meave lived in Davis we met her and her friends there, and enjoyed their cuisine frequently.  The Greek omelet has lost none of its pizazz.

We rode home through the orchards and mostly fallow fields, with more downwind than headwind, to arrive home after 57 and change miles.  Just right.  We cleaned up and went off to BevMo, where the wine steward has a vintage Tomassini frame he's trying to sell us.  We tasted 4 wines while waiting for him to return from lunch, and a worthwhile wait it was: He closed the tasting room and indulged us and 2 other couples in a fine Bordeaux flight.  We bought 4 bottles of 2 different types.  One we gave to Meave as her birthday gift.

Then we headed to Nugget to get the ingredients for dinner.  Lo and behold, Brian was having a rare Saturday tasting, featuring wines from their holiday guide.  Another flight of 7...we were enamored of a Spanish Garnacha and bought a couple bottles.

Nobody was hungry or interested in cooking.  No surprise there. 

Today we did as little as possible, by choice, and it was awesome to just rest, relax, and not be driven to perform. We ventured out to the mall to pick up my new glasses and that was it. Watched old movies (Good Fellas, Silence of the Lambs), a couple loads of laundry, made a pear/apple crisp for breakfast, and not much more. 

Then Chris got busy preparing dinner.  We started with an Anchor Steam Ale, Christmas '07. (pics aren't loading; sorry).   Then Chris made a deviled lobster dish with a side of spinach salad.  Holy cow!  I wouldn't have even thought to Google that, let alone followed through.  Amazing food!

I'm sure I packed on more calories than I burned.  Since it's the off-season, who cares?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Business As Usual

It's Wednesday and I haven't ridden my bike since Sunday.  That makes me sad, a little, because I had an opportunity this afternoon in 65* calm sunny weather, and I passed it up.

However, I made some phone calls and talked to people and got quite a few "chores" done on my list of work-related stuff to do.  Chris came home and we walked the dogs the usual 3-ish mile loop as the sun set.  Nice.  Not enough exercise but better than nothing.

Lisa and I took a new listing on Saturday; we spent Monday afternoon uploading the info and pictures into 2 MLS systems, and today got a call that it was being shown.  I'm happy about that; it's a really nice listing and we'd love to help these people move on with their lives by selling it.

My arms and chest hurt from yesterday's round of doing my age in push-ups.  Methinks I need to do this a couple times a week to keep the pain to a minimum.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Three rides, 131 miles, good times...thus is the off-season.  Every ride I did last week -- all 3 of them -- was enjoyable and immensely fun without pain and suffering.  Sunday I rode the tandem with Chris, Wed. I rode with Kameo (as a gov't. employee she had the day off; as a civilian I enjoyed the ride and went to work after), and Friday I rode a Gordon Valley Loop (45 mi.) with Kim.  Nothing enhances a beautiful ride like the right company.

Today we rode with a couple racers and non-racers.  It was 39* when we left at 7:45.  Very grateful for my alpaca-blend balaclava.  At Putah Creek and Old Winters roads we divided; Kameo stayed with us and we got in 50 miles in dead-calm and crystal-clear weather. We rode a long time with no conversation, yet we knew what to say when we did speak.  Another mark of a good friend: No mindless chatter needed.   No wonder I came home feeling like a million bucks.

After cleaning up and eating we bought groceries, walked the dogs 3-ish miles, then decided on this

I wasn't quite finished that cigar when my partner called and wanted help writing an offer for our 1st-time homebuyer clients.  This was offer #8 since Sept.  We hope it'll be accepted. Such a sweet couple; I really admire their patience and perseverance.

There's some drama with our daughter re her previous relationship, but nothing she can't handle.  If only she'd see it that way.

And that's the news for now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Totally Delightful

Candy and Rick gave this to me today.  I was tew-tally dee-lighted by it.  In fact, my day, which was going really well, was made by this. I'm humbled by their thinking of me, and energized that they get me. 

Yay, my friends!  Candy & Rick rock!  Thank you so much!

The hard part is deciding what picture to put here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Thief in our Midst

Today our neighbor 2 houses east was robbed.

There's been a burglar about since the beginning of the month.  The neighbor that was hit today, and the neighbor between us, were scoped on the 5th of the month.  The perp knocked on Bobby's door for 20 min., including looking over his fence and in his windows.  His adult daughter was home sick and saw the guy and can I.D. him, but refused to answer the door.  The perp also looked over the fence of the folks between us.  He knocked on their door as well, but they were home (freak, random accidents left them carless; this perp targets the carless driveways).  When Alan answered the guy apologized for having the wrong house and left.

We as a neighborhood didn't know there was a problem until last week.  We have 3 kinds of cops on this street, withinn 6 houses of one another:   To our east is a BART cop, to the south a Suisun cop, two houses west is a Vacaville cop.  We're all Neighborhood Watch-trained as well.  This perp targets houses that have no corresponding vehicles.  I suspect he's cased the 'hood to know peoples' habits, otherwise, why would he come back to Bobby's house?  I also suspect he's stealing stuff he can fence.  Note to crook:  Bobby's guns are registered.  Try to pawn them, fool.  We homeowners can't wait to nail your scummy *ss.

We're all on high alert.  The first day this guy showed up was the day we left on our Epic Ride (report to follow).  He attempted a hit at Bobby's but his daughter was home.  He knocked on Alan's door; Alan answered and the guy apologized for having the wrong house. He skipped our house because we had a car in the driveway and a truck on the street.  Although the dogs and we were gone, he skipped us.  Stroke of luck.

This guy has robbed both sides of Brown's Valley and we're all alert, aware, and looking for his worthless  *ss.  Dude, we will find you and prosecute you and convict you.  You aren't that smart.

I'm as angry as I've ever been.  Last time I was this angry was when our underage daughter had taken with a young man of age; in the coolers of Sam's Club we let him know we'd prosecute him if he continued to carry on with her.  He broke up with her that day.  Mission accomplished.

Now to nail this fool...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Race Report Update, and fun stuff

I sucked wind at the Esparto Time Trial. My position was poor, I didn't have an TT bike, and the wind was a bigger factor than last year. So I was 1:42 slower, placed 5th to last year's 4th, and have a new goal for next year.

Last weekend was the V.Sattui Harvest Ball, our 5th one. Deb flew into town (if it wasn't for her and Steve's memory we'd probably not go). That's our obligatory fountain shot. It was a fun time; the food was awesome and I Tweeted each course, with pictures that I have yet to download from my Blackberry to my hard drive. Oops. *red face*

This week I logged over 160 miles. Not training for racing anymore, but for our tandem ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. We'll average over 60 mi./day, along Hwy. 1 and the California coast. I'll have a full ride report after we get back. No room for a laptop, darn it.

Yesterday I rode with K & A on a Lake Loop, my first since New Year's day and my longest ride since our Slow Poke ride back in July. Again the stupid hot temperatures but we stopped frequently for food and water, and I finished feeling worked out but not beat up. K&A missed the downhill left turn off 121 onto Wooden Valley Rd. and added Mt. George to their bucket list. I laughed when I realized what they'd done.

After dinner tonight we drove over to Fenton's Creamery to cash in our free petite scoops coupons. Holy cow! Those were the biggest "petite" scoops I've ever seen! We wished we'd gotten one and shared it. No wonder America has an obesity problem. Petite has been supersized.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Hills Are Alive

...with the sound of cycling.

I had a nice, not challenging 35 mi. ride yesterday with rollers and flats, just to open up my legs. I made good time and felt good.

Today I slept in (oops), scarfed a quick breakfast and was on the road by 8:30. I rode over Cantelow and was surprised by how many other cyclists were on the road.

At the top I noticed 3 hot air balloons by the 505, well below my altitude. They were suspended like upside-down raindrops, just hanging in the air. They didn't show up in the picture I took. So I rode on.

About mile 19 I saw Kameo and Joann riding the opposite way. I turned around and retraced my route with them, minus Cantelow. I logged 35 miles to Kameo's house just .6 mph slower than yesterday. She drove me home, and my legs were grateful. In fact, for the next couple of hours I thought I may have overdone it, trying to keep up with them.

My goal tomorrow is to just better last year's time. Anything more than that is icing.

And I'm happy to report that it's still fun. Otherwise it wouldn't be done.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

I have no pics, sorry. I'll try to be more visual in future posts.

The Winters Road Race was held Saturday, the 28th. My home turf. I know every dimple in the road, I ride it so often. It's never boring, as so many variables come into play: wind, irrigation of the orchards, harvest of various crops, composition of the groups. I've ridden this route for over 4 years and it's still fresh.

Chris, the dogs & I drove to the start. I wanted to ride to the start but the ride home would hurt. He set up the trainer and I started my warm up. About 50 min. into it I bailed; Kameo & I soft-pedaled the local roads and chatted. Chris had Kameo's daughter and our dogs, which is essentiallyl like having 3 6 yr olds. That man is a saint. His patience knows no bounds.

He took the kids and headed to the the neutral feed zone, but not before hanging around to get pics of the start (to be posted later). When we were on the frontage road he honked as he blasted past on the interstate.

I lost my front row placing but no matter; I met every surge and had no gap until the feed zone. I slowed down to get a bottle and got gapped. As I grabbed the bottle I began to accelerate and started to pick people off like ripe fruit. I passed a dozen women on the hill and only one passed me on the downhill; I passed her on the flat and eventually she joined the paceline.

Six of us hammered behind the lead group. We were a strong, helpful group, and we were going great guns. I love this; that competitors work together to help each other out. Eventually we were a party of 8, a sweet rotating paceline covering ground efficiently. We crossed the finish line for the first time. The woman leading pulled off to the left and sat up. As I cruised past I saw the "oh, snap" look on her face. She asked no one in particular, "Do we have another lap?" I laughed over that. Hello, who's not paying attention?

Fast forward a few miles. We're making a 90* right turn. The first woman goes wide, hits gravel (wtf? the county was to have swept the roads) and goes down hard, the next woman following hits her and goes down. I'm 4th in line, taking the turn more narrow, and as I see#3 not crash I hear the pro/1/2 men holler behind us. We quickly neutralize so the peloton can blast past us, then we resume our paceline. All's well, we gasp, hyperventilate, and resume our line and I notice that my front wheel is flat. My friends all relate but on they ride. And that ends my race.

I called my husband and 3 friends who were at the feed zone; no cell coverage f0r anyone. I had a couple people ride past and ask for my status but no one stopped. Eventually Dana from Velo Girls pulled over and helped me inflate my tire enough to ride back to the start. She had a rough gt of it and bailed. I was happy to see her; she's a strong rider and an interesting person too. Out on the road you have to haave the skills to change a flat or have a back up plan. And never under estimate the impact you have on people: Because we rode together at Dunnigan Hills, Dana (and others) knew me and wanted to ride with me.

That was a huge revelation.

I can't wait to race again with these women.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just Add Water

Ooof, what a week!

Hill repeats with Jen and Diana on Friday, and I was late arriving. My neighbor pulled up on his way to work and wanted to talk real estate. And who am I to say no to that?

I was 10 min. late leaving and couldn't get my legs to pedal faster; thus I met Jen on the road and we rode back to pick up Diana, who wondered if she'd told me 8:30 and not 8. I hate being late. I apologized all over and the girls were very forgiving. I love you two!

We did one repeat of Cantelow, 400' in .9 miles. On the east side I picked a goathead out of my front tire and heard the "whooooosh" of air leaving said tire. So Jen stepped in to help, since recently she's had practice, and by a team effort we had the tube stripped, replaced and reinflated. Onward we pressed.

Jen had to bail early so Diana and I continued our efforts. I used a bigger gear than I'm used to and stood as much as I could. I did 3 full repeats, she had 2, we met at the top, went down the west (steep) side and rode back to Winters. We split a chicken/spinach sammich and she drove me the 11 miles home that I seriously did not want to ride. What a friend!

Today Joann and I drove to Wlinters and did the course twice, not at race pace but not slacking either. I'm hurting but not too badly; I think I'm ready for the race and know I'll pick people off on the hill. Having a home-course advantage helps but I know others will also use that. My thought is that I know when to attack, but we'll see.

Joann is an accomplished triathlete. I ride, I run, I'm thinking I need a pool. Just add water and I can triathlete, too. Maybe.

All that, and our 28 yr. wedding anniversary on Saturday, has made for a full weekend. I wish I could add Monday as an extra day off, but I have a listing to take, and a short sale to keep moving forward, and some buyers to find property for, so I will be facing Monday with my race attitude on. Bring it, baby!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Back in Action, or Beginning with the End in Mind

Today I raced the Dunnigan Hills Road Race, Women's Category4.

All week I vacillated about it -- one minute I'm all over it, the next I'm bailing. Tuesday I was ready to ride the hell out of it, Thursday I was ready to not show up and never race again. I spent too much energy angsting over it, for sure.

I started the day by oversleeping, not paying attention the time, and just starting on my caffeine intake when Kameo arrived. Oops. Still in my glasses and bathrobe I ran upstairs to get myself together. I'd packed my kit and equipment the night before (good move, me), so I, popped in my 'tacts, pulled on my pre/post race clothes, applied sunscreen, and hustled downstairs.

Chris is a saint. Kameo loaded my bike and floor pump while he made me a PB&homemade peach jam sammich, filled bottles with water and Accelerade, tossed in a Bonk Breaker. A kiss goodbye and we were off.

The race isn't far from my house. Kameo & I caught up on our lives and I sucked down the rest of my coffee & ate my sammich. I loved this; we ride too fast to talk much, and we had much to discuss.

We arrived early, got our numbers early, warmed up early, waited a long, long time for our race to go off. While we were pinning our numbers to our jerseys a friend and accomplished triathlete came to say hello. We shared how we prepare for a road race.

J: I hydrate well and lay around with my compression tights on and my legs elevated.

Me: I drink too much, eat Nugget Deli food and stay up too late.

I finished well ahead of her. But how much better would I have placed if I adopted her habits?

So, Kameo knows freakin' everyone because she's raced so much this year, and generally you'll see the same people every race because of the category you race. I recognized a few faces, had some friends in the race, and made some new friends (I hope).

At the start I couldn't get my right foot clipped in (damn lack of practice) and I lost my position as a result -- second row to near the back. After the neutral lead-out we got down to business. Because we didn't start until after 10, the wind was up, and the flat portion of the ride had north wind as we headed left. The fast women went off the front right away, and I got into my gear and started picking people off.

This is a good time to tell you that I was nearly overwhelmed with the urge to hurl everything from Friday's lunch forward for the 1st 20 min. or so of this race. I also toyed with the idea of faking a flat or something so I wouldn't have to race. As these thoughts passed through my brain I kept my pedals turning, overtaking people along the way. But that urge to puke? That was really strong, surprisingly visceral.

So we hit some rollers and I find myself with J, so we started working together. I seemed to take longer pulls than she, and when we turned into the headwind paralleling the 505 I began asking for help. We came up on other women and worked with them as well. Eventually I rode away, since they were really slow and I needed to go fast.

There were rollers, some huge, some shallow, and I kept catching up to women from my group, working with them a bit, determining that they were too slow, and moving forward. About a third of the along I glommed onto a group of women and they let me work in. We had a rotating paceline/echelon depending on which way the wind hit. This was excellent practice for me. I can paceline all day, but echelon riding takes more concentration -- it's easier to cross wheels, for one thing -- and we don't get to practice this on our group rides much. The Velo Girls (3 of 'em) seemed to know what they were doing; one was incredibly strong and we had to yell at her to slow down. The other two women and I just did what we had to do. I especially appreciated the pacelining up the hills; something I've never done and found that I'm good at.

All during the race I was acutely aware of every pain, tweak, twinge I had. My feet, my hips, my back, my shoulders, my (healed) broken wrist -- at any given moment, while concentrating on my position and keeping my line and pulling through -- these pains made their presence known. I acknowledged that I hurt and kept riding anyway.

The last overpass before the downwind leg I got dropped -- my legs just wouldn't turn the pedals faster -- and my group left me. Nooooooo! The VeloGirls had something left and off they went. I eventually overtook the other two women, thought they were with me, but no, I dropped them.

The last 10+ miles were downwind, flat, and I time-trialed them. Except for the half-dozen times I had to get out of the saddle and stretch (the chamois in my kit shorts officially sucks). I kept wanting to let up, but my goal was to finish, and finish strong.

So the last 500 meters to the finish I shifted up and gained speed. I was gaining speed as I crossed the line. Damn, that was fine, hearing "Great finish!" and my friends cheering and clapping.

I rode to a T intersection, turned around, and rode back to my friends for a post-race hug. I had to lay down my bike in the ditch and sit down so I wouldn't pass out. Seems my Gu, my 3 bottles of water, my 1 bottle of Accelerade, weren't enough to keep my hydrated and fed. I was light-headed, sick-feeling, and various-muscle-cramping for hours after the race. I drank so much water I sloshed when I walked, and it wasn't enough. Finally I drank a small can of V-8 and immediately felt human again.

The muscle soreness I'm used to, but the cramping concerned me -- that ain't right. Note to self: Eat and drink more when riding 41 miles with fierce winds at high intensity in about 2 hours.

The official results aren't in yet. Kameo finished 2nd and stayed to watch until I showed up. She thinks I was in the top 25 of 50. Since this was my first individual race in 5 mos. I had no expectations of my results. My goals were to ride hard and finish strong.

Mission accomplished.

And it feels awesome!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

We rode up Mt. Diablo today. We rode our half-bikes and made it all the way to the top.

Here we are, posing at the summit. We waited for our heart rates to slow down before we took the pics.

We did this ride with our friends Gordon and Michelle, on tandems, in Nov. '07. We made it all The Wall (200 yds. at about 18% grade). We had to walk the tandem up, and we were shamed by that. Let me qualify that: We had done steeper, more difficult climbs before, but we were in better shape. By November we were done with group rides, training rides, endurance rides. We thought we had what it took to make that wall. WRONG. Fail.

We aren't the first, not the last, but as competitive as we are, this hurt. So we had a date for redemption.

Today was it. I was ahead of Chris for most of the ride, and at the end he surged ahead. I let him -- my goal was to finish strong. I was working hard at the end and wanted to get off the bike ASAP, but cruised through the parking lot at the top, avoiding the dozens of classic Mercedes manuevering in the parking lot. Nonetheless I was grateful to climb off my bike.

The downhill was hard; my wrist and hands hurt and every bump in the road made the pain worse. I'd rather climb than descend. I haven't mastered the art of relaxation while descending.

Ever since I've been on a high: we accomplished an important goal and did it in fine fashion. I wish I could bottle this feeling and chug it on a crappy day.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Calling All Bloggers!

Am I not following you? Give me your blog address and I'll add you to my list.

Thanks to you all who follow me -- I appreciate your time and energy.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cheap Spa Treatment

This was our morning sky recently. I was walking Chris out to his truck about 6 a.m. and these clouds were striking. I kissed him goodbye and ran back into the house to get my camera. They're actually rain clouds, and the rain is evaporating long before it hits the ground.

Last night I rode 15 miles to a practice time trial route. Then I rode the TT, 10 miles, but I overshot the turn-around because it was marked by a water bottle, not a cone. The cyclist marking the turn looked to me like a cyclist changing a flat and until he hollered, " Turn around!" I was pounding away. What's an extra 50 yards to 10 miles in the pain cave?

Then there was the 15 miles home, alone, into the wind. 42 good training miles.

Tonight on a club ride I realized for the second night in a row that I can get a spa treatment on a bike. Ride your bike, fast, in heat, so you sweat. Be sure to ride through some dust clouds stirred up by tractors, trucks, cars, or dust devils. Ride, sweat, ride through dust. Get as many layers as you can. Then hop in the shower, add water, scrub, and voila! You are exfoliated.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Toy

Chris and I did hill repeats yesterday. It was classic California cycling weather: 80-ish, sunny, dry. Not much wind to speak of. That graph is what we did, twice. Up, down, up, down, wash, rinse, repeat. We probably could have done one more but we opted to quit while we still felt okay. Did some pulls and sprints down Pleasants Valley Rd. to Winters. A couple blocks from Steady Eddy's Chris got a flat, so we got lunch and he fixed his tire. Even the ride home down the frontage road was nice. Warm, but not hot. Showered and then off to the Verizon store we went.

There's that tasty Greek wrap and iced tea, and proof that changing a flat can be a leisurely activity.

I traded in my Treo 755P yesterday for this BlackBerry. Until last month I resisted changing; I know the Palm OS since I've been using it for 5 years, the infrared port is great for beaming to other Treo users, as well as for opening electronic lockboxes, a real necessity when showing houses.

The Treo has always been unstable, but this last year has been the worst. Endless hours every month on the phone with tech support has not resolved the problem. The interruption to my productivity has been a pain, too.

So I pulled the trigger and here we are, girly-pink silicon cover and all. I like this. It's not as hard to learn as I'd feared. Or I'm more geeky than I thought and I really love technology. Let the learning curve begin!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm back, baby!

Has it been that long since my last post? I remember thinking about needing to post. So much has happened since then...

This is us at the Dunlap time trial on June 7th. Headwind from 3 directions, gusts brutal at times. We were 6th of 7 tandems. It's generally used as a "warm-up" to the district championships the following week. Our plan was to do that this year, but that crash changed everything.

On June 12, Kameo took the day off and suggested a ride. I didn't tell anyone I was going with her. I had a follow-up visit with my surgeon's PA on the 17th, when I expected to be released for riding, and except for tandeming I hadn't been on the Diva outside since March 14. I figured this was low-risk -- flats, reasonable pace, my BFF -- and off we went. Ah, it was glorious! We got caught up on what she's up to, we rode 35 miles, I felt great. My arm fatigued some but obviously not enough to stop me.

I rode the next 3 days, too, and got back that piece of me that was missing.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Musings on a Saturday night from the patio

The sun is down, the sky nearly dark. A few clouds linger overhead, deep gray/blue. A robin was singing as the sun slipped behind the mountains and has evidently gone back to its nest, as I no longer hear its song. Ludovico Einaudi plays like a river on my iPod, the music ebbing and flowing and smoothly progressing all the way to the inevitable end. This is a peaceful evening in the yard.

This kind of zen is what I crave before and after events that require adrenaline. Tomorrow is our first tandem time trial of the year and we haven't trained for it. I never got on the trainer all week to even spin. My disappointment with my newly-found ability to negotiate my workouts is huge and a discussion for another time.

We got in 25 miles today, pretty much a flat ride to Winters and then through the orchards the short way home. We had some wind, which I expect we'll have tomorrow. We did some accelerations and my legs were like lead. It was all I could do to turn circles.

We plan to warm up on our single bikes on trainers, then jump on the tandem at the last possible minute and ride to the start. Last year we tried to warm up on the tandem -- an unsatisfactory exercise. I want to be lathered at the start.

We stopped at Steady Eddy's while in Winters; Chris used the faciilities and I got an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade). So tart and wonderful. We saw a runner come in; she looked out of place among all the cyclists. She was wearing silver and pink Nike Shok shoes. She gave them a rave review and told me where she bought them. I asked out loud if my sister could run a 1/2 marathon (we did Big Sur in '06; she tore her Achilles tendon at the calf the next year and is just now back to competing). Chris said, "Why don't you ask her?"

So after I picked myself up a pair of silver and pink Nike Shoks I called her. She's pretty sure she's in. Yay for a new goal.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Broken Wrist -- Recovery Update

Today I finished my 5th session of physical therapy. Myra, my Princess of Pain, changed up what we've been doing. She used to massage my hand/thumb/wrist and do passive stretching, then have me do the exercises and play with the toys, then give me 15 min. of electrical stimulation while my hand was in an icy mitten. While not a fan of frozen fingertips, the e-stim offered some pain relief.

Since the PT exercises have aggravated the tendons that pass over the lateral epicondyle Myra took a different approach today. I dipped my hand/wrist into some orange-colored and -smelling wax, let it harden, and repeat. Five layers later she wrapped my in plastic wrap and slid an oven mitt over my hand and gave me 10 minutes to warm up. This has got to be the most passive warm up ever.

She then rolled the wax off my hand, and massaged and stretched my stiff muscles and tendons, kneading them into submission and eliciting more flexion and extension than I usually achieve. Her hands are so soft, and small, and insistent; I invited her to move in with us and she'd not have to cook, just massage us and keep us injury-free. I'm too poor for the lifestyle I want. Boo. I Blame Drew's Cancer for that.

After that heavenly and painful massage she took out the toys: Chinese steel balls (rotated clockwise and counter-clockwise in my hand), a kind of 3-D maze to move a coin from one end to another by wrist rotation only, shuffling a deck of cards, putting clothespins on a yardstick, remove, repeat; thumb-pull downs with a rubberband and a U-shaped plastic frame; picking up tiny grooved stainless steel pins, putting them into a board, then removing them; rolling different sized cylinders covered in Velcro on a Velcro covered board (for wrist rotation); squeezing a sponge; and pulling apart special putty (ball it up, pull apart, ball it up, pull it apart, etc.).

Today, instead of e-stim, Myra took some special tape and measured and cut and placed it on my arm as illustrated. She said I'm to wear it a couple of days. It's to pull the muscle up and allow better lymph drainage and blood circulation, in hopes of relieving my tendonitis.

I'm to continue with my exercises (flexion & extension range of motion mostly) and see Myra just once next week. The week after I head back for my 10 wk. post-op visit. I hope then to get clearance to begin strength training and to ride my bike again. I'm optomistic and realistic: It may be the end of June before I can ride my bike. Meanwhile, I'll do what I'm told, and work toward my goal.

Later, I went home and was about to change for my trainer workout when a client/friend whom I sold a home around the corner stopped by. She's a cop; she rode her bike over after running her dog while she rode the bike. Our dogs are close to the same size and they all played while she & I hung out and caught up. She's a soccer star, a rock/wall climber, mountain biker, and wannabe roadie. I hope to sway her to the dark side; I'm happy she's got 3 bikes. Chris came home and made a fabulous off-the-cuff pizza; my friend went home then came back and had pizza with us while we watched "The Big Bang" together. What a fun way to spend the evening!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

We have two pieces of furniture in our house that we don't allow Oliver (left) and Beau (right) on, and they're on one of those pieces in this picture. I shooed them off after I got the shot.

I'm posting this because I had a nap today, a 90 minute nap. I napped so long we didn't get a bike ride. That wasn't my intention. I thought I'd get a power nap and we'd go for a quick spin, then off to Kameo's for dinner.

Sleep trumped, and Oliver spent that time at my feet, his chin resting on my legs, just above my ankles. He's not big, at 16 lbs., but he sure puts out the heat.

So the weekend is complete.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Day, Another Tandem Challenge

I've been off my Diva since March 15th, the day after my crash and subsequent broken wrist. Now nearly 10 wks. since my titanium screw was surgically inserted into my scaphoid bone, I'm still relegated to the trainer or the tandem. And Chris's demanding work schedule makes it darn near impossible to ride after work. So we do the weekend thing. And it's thrilling and fulfilling to be on the road, hammering at 25 mph in near-perfect conditions, as part of a team.

We headed out early and it was cool enough that I wished I'd worn a base layer. That thought was gone after we started up Cantelow hill, from the east, a long and challenging grade. It has ups and downs, some of those ups are 12% and the downs can get crazy-fast.

Chris likes to turn a big gear where I'd spin if I were in charge. Since I'm not (even though the stoker is always right -- or never wrong) I mash along and call it strength training.

We haven't climbed over Cantelow since Feb., as best I can recall, and I wasn't sure I wanted to today, but there we were, climbing and enjoying the light traffic and pretty views. No pics of that; I had to stay focused on the work. We ended up spinning up the last, steepest part of the grade. It was easy, very easy, especially after we climbed Chili Hill Rd. last week. Talk about a pain fest.

At the top Chris shifted into the 54/11 and down we went. We didn't use a lower gear for another 10 miles, when we cruised through downtown Winters. As soon as we turned onto Putah Creek Rd. he shifted up again, and we time-trialed away.

We passed a lot of cyclists, most of whom seemed to be out for casual rides. We saw a group of people on mostly hybrid and mountain bikes, flat pedals, baggy shirts and shorts, helmets askew. Some of them looked like they were ready for the ride to be over. Not many water bottles on those bikes, either. Good thing it wasn't hot.

A fellow pulled up to us and asked if he could ride with us, since he was alone. He had a striking LaPierre bike, and we shared good conversation. That's one of the beautiful things about road cycling -- you often meet the nicest people.

The sunflowers have grown a couple of feet since the last time we were out. Apricots are ripening, too. The tomatoes have flowers. Even without looking I knew when we were in the tomato fields. That distinctive scent gives them away.

A pair of redtail hawks were flying near us and I barely got the camera out in time to snap a couple of pictures.

We ended up with 44 miles, 18.6 avg. mph. That was good for us.

Chris made a fancy albacore salad. Then we made a menu for the week and went shopping.

Later I napped about 30 glorious minutes. I love a good power nap.

He grilled salmon and asparagus, steamed snap peas with a minty/lemony glaze, and I made salad. I'm still full.

We ended the evening with a fine cigar on the patio. For me, this is living the good life.

Sidebar: Now all I need to do is figure out how to insert my pics after the description, rather than before. I'm still new at this; I'll get it one of these days.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Bit of Serendipity

This morning I wasn't wakened at 4 a.m. by a crazed robin repeating the same 6 notes obsessively. Shortly before the radio came on I exhaled into consciousness, not quite ready to be awake, not wanting to continue sleeping. The dogs immediately detected my relative alertness and started their not-so-subtle attempts to rouse me and let them out. I resisted. Chris got up instead. I floated between sleep and awake until he brought the coffee, then I really got up, almost bounding out of bed.

Sidebar: Our standard ritual is a tall coffee, a double shot of espresso, 1/2 c. foamed 1% milk. When Chris is working he assembles it. When he's not, I do. I'm spoiled and I like it that way. I enjoy spoiling him as well; he deserves it.

So I greeted the day especially refreshed and particularly inspired. I went out to see Chris off to work, watered plants, inhaled the honeysuckle, and as I was watering the begonia, noticed the gardenia in bloom. Heavenly. And lovely to gaze upon, creamy white flower against shiny green leaves.

Sidebar: I love flowering plants and steward them to the best of my ability. A flower is a plant's orgasm. Cultivating and caring for the plants so that they reach their peak is restorative for me. We love the flowers, their scent, their dramatic contribution to our little Eden out back, that they give their all and ask for so little. Connecting with the earth on any scale helps me put the b.s. of selling real estate into perspective. I love what I do.

After my morning reverie, some fruit and my physical therapy exercises it was office, ho! The rest of the day was all about real estate.

It was not quite 6 when I met my business partner, Lisa (more on this amazing woman later) at the Vacaville Museum for the 25th anniversary celebration. We visited with people we know, ate and drank; I put in a request with the DJ for some Stevie Ray Vaughn. He found it, and after the announcements & raffle drawings he played it. Chris had a hard time standing still, but refused to dance. Boo. Still, it was a perfect evening and a very enjoyable event.

Tomorrow is a bike day. Yay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A New Blog is Born

Took me long enough to make this official. I should have been doing this years ago. Instead, I rode my bike, every chance I got, flying down the roads of Solano, Yolo, and Napa Counties. Dancing up hills and stopping to enjoy the views from the top. Watching the seasons' passing in the orchards, the sunflower and tomato fields, the horse farms, the cattle ranches, the flowering of the shrubs and trees that line the roads.

I still do that, just not as often, since I'm on the DL (still!!!) since 3/14/09. I'm on the back of the tandem during one of Chris's busiest years ever at work, making us weekend warriors. The Diva's been on the trainer since 3/16, patiently enduring grind after grind, until she's out on the road again.

One post down, more to follow.