Saturday, April 6, 2013

My last week in California

With much colder temperatures back home I did try to find an IKEA co-worker to adopt me, but there were no takers... Oh well I have to leave 18°C and overcast for 7°C and rain (and I hope NO SNOW). It is what it is.

The last two weeks have been very busy at work trying to get two stores finished, last week was a disappointment I could not ride as much as I wanted because it was very nice out, but this week has been quite cool and overcast or raining (and pretty hard for the Bay Area).

First off in training you build and take an active rest week then start building again, so after doing a mountain a weekend for two weekends my body wanted a rest, and add to that long days at work a tired body just can not turn the pedals. The first ride after Hamilton Mountain was out of the loft to the bike trail. I got started rather late in the evening and I knew I would probably not get as far as I wanted and kept a watch on  the time, even with flashing lights in a bike friendly city after dark on major roads is a bit dangerous. The trail itself in not too exciting but safe and nice to have such an asset so close to "home". The ride around the Lexington Reservoir was beautiful.

Friday I was able to finish work early, so I took a nap when I got back to the loft, made some coffee (this becomes a theme). And went out on the trail for the hills. There is one nasty little dirt hill on the trail just before you get to the damn that goes UP, last time I hit sand and had to walk, this time I used all my cyclo-cross skills, picked my line and got up on the bike. Then onto the highway to get to "the climb" The only thing I did not know about the road I was going to take is that it's 9-10% average with a fair bit of 13% and there was one hairpin at 15%, this is difficult climbing and I almost gave up... Remember when you're on a new road especially a climb you have no markers of when that 15% is going to hit you, or how much further you have to go. But once I got up to Summit Road, I was VERY glad that I finished. The only problem with a phone camera on a sunny day you can't tell when all your photos are blurry, so no visual memory's of that ride.

Saturday was pack, laundry (the loft had a VERY nice washer dryer) and move day. Once I got back up to Emeryville, people were driving crazy on the highway. A Saturday drive took me almost two hours to do a hour drive, I missed out on two accidents by being alert, whew. I then got checked into my hotel, got some groceries at the Berkeley Bowl, I will miss the grocery store with all of it's produce, it was late. The weather was not very nice but the roads around Eastbay are great for riding. So I called this one "A run from the Rain" it did catch me at the last of my decent off the hill so I had to slow down.

I decided that I would splurge and go out. I found this place calle B Side BBQ and enjoyed an evening of good BBQ good beer (Thelonious Triple Belgian Beer), the night before Flanders.

I originally had plans for Easter that involved me being on the other end of the Bay on Sunday a.m., but I had no intentions of driving over an hour both ways for a church service. And I also planned on waking up early to watch Flanders, my body had different plans I slept like a rock and do not remember turning off my alarm.  I decided to go for "brunch" and found this little hole in the wall cafĂ© Doyle Street Cafe and had Huevos Azteca's, and good coffee.

The rest of the day was reading what I could about Flanders, a quiet time and doing two AutoCAD drawing for the next phase of work.

This week began long hours and DIRTY work, Monday was come home shower eat and bed... Tuesday I could have done the same but the evening was quite nice and I just wanted to be outside so I went out on the Bayview trail, for a coffee ride (nice little coffee shop at University) and up the bike shop to add air to my tires. I've got to find a floor pump that is lightweight and will fit in my luggage.

Tuesday I was hoping to ride but there were clouds over the hills (which are still there today as I write). It was just as well as I was just tired, but I found that the Bayview trail goes all the way to the San Rafael Bridge which has a bike lane and then you're in Marion County!

Then the rain did come and just as well as I was in the need of rest, but come Friday I wanted to do the hills one last time, so after work (a full day), I came back took a nap and had some coffee and off to the hills. It only takes a tired rider 20 minutes to get to Claremont climb, so as I said it's a nice place to be. It was quite an overcast day and a bit cool but I packed my kit for the Bay Area two months ago and I've learned that I have to take stuff off to climb and put stuff on the flats and add more on the descents, and for the last two months I've been out of reach of the team car to take my gear or hand me my gear so I look like the Hunch Back on the climbs.

After this ride I packed my bike... the Ritchey Break-Away fits into a suitcase, Ritchey's video says it takes 20 minutes to pack, a reivew says after a while it takes 20 minutes to pack... I'm at the one hour and 45 minute mark... though I think next time I may be able to cut some time off? maybe.

Now it's time for my flight home to Toronto. Which before I even woke up this morning it was delayed an hour. I've not had one single flight this year that has not been delayed... Oh well the joys of travel.