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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.

1 comment:

  1. Deb- Welcome to blogging!

    Sounds like you had a great day on the tandem. Brandy and love riding tandem! Unfortunately, getting us both together is like getting Clark Kent and Superman in the same room. LOL!

    Your dilemna with your pictures-- Blogger (as far as I know) defaults them to the top of your posting. Annoying I know-- but the good news is you always know where they are when the images are uploaded. Trust me in the end you will appreciate it this way. On some of my longer post like the Furnace Creek 508 ones I get so lost in my post.

    You'll just have to cut and paste them where you want them AFTER they show up on the top;)

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