Oh my! I’v been so busy training, it’s been hard to find time (or engergy) to blog! I’ll take this opportunity to list what I’ve been up to the last two weeks or so.
Twin Peaks sponsorship rides.
I’m still riding up Twin Peaks for sponsorships and I have to say, I love riding up Twin Peaks! The last sponsors were my Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy Jane!
A few weekends ago, I traveled to Death Valley to celebrate a community ritual, a friend’s birthday celebration called Smoldering Woman. We rented a Ford Escape and drove down to the Mojave to camp and dance in a field of rocks with our amazing peeps. I can’t remember the last time I drove a car but you know the saying “it’s like riding a bicycle,” I felt very comfortable behind the wheel. I brought my road bike with me with a new universal car rack that works for both SUVs and cars. I was worried about the bike but it stayed on the car even in the most crazy back road routes.
We camped about a 30 minute drive off road of the main street, West Side Rd, close to Furnace Creek on off Trail Canyon Rd. The night after we drove in, I decided to drive out to the main road and ride in the direction of Badwater.
Badwater was about a 10 mile ride from where I parked. I took a restroom break and checked out the scenery.
The weather didn’t seem to be bad, but it was dry and sunny. Five more miles out and I ran out of the water in my 70oz Camelbak. There were no water sources in sight and all I had left was my 24oz water bottle. I decided to turn back! I figured I could ration the water out. The 20-30 MPH headwinds (along with up to 45 MPH gusts of winds) caught me by surprise on the way back. I found myself praying for each mile marker as they came up on the road. I eventually ran out of water and considered flagging down a car to see if they could spare some drops. It took me twice as long to get back to the car than I expected and I was pretty beat up by the wind. I made it back to camp to find out that my tent had blown away and my friend rescued it and staked it down for me.
The next day, I convince a friend to drive into Furnace Creek with me and rent a bike from the brand new Furnace Creek Cyclery.
We then rode a short climb up to Zabrisky Point, a few miles back and returned to Furnace Creek (about 15 miles round trip). This trip I packed my PStyle, a pee funnel, and I found it very useful and amazing. I might have even been a little too liberated by the PStyle and decided to pee right at the view point at Zabrisky Point. I later felt a little bad about it… but not too bad!
Just before sunset was the perfect time to ride in Death Valley. The wind was manageable, the sun was comfortable and the view was absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to go back.
Lagunitas Out and Back (52mi)
Last week, I joined an ALC Lagunitas ride. I intended to take the ride slow but somehow ended up at the front. While in Marin, a fellow ALC rider tailed me pretty closely and I stopped without warning at a red light. Realizing how close he was following, I swerved to the right and he grazed my left pannier.
We were both fine and ended up buddying up for the rest of the ride. I feel like we kept each others pace up. He pushed me on the flats and (perhaps) I pushed him on the hills (which I’m starting to feel great about, BTW!). I rode at a faster pace than I had ever gone for a sustained amount of time, maybe too fast considering I was going on a longer ride the next day.
China Camp (62mi)
I love China Camp. It’s the first place I ever bike camped too a few years ago. This time I went with the ALC training group and looped back around through Paradise Drive to make it back home on the China Camp CAT Series route. I was missing Lynn, since the last time I was there was our crazyfun winter camping experience.
I intended to pace myself on this ride and somehow got caught up in the fast front group. I was pretty exhausted from the ride the day before and fell behind the front group. I was pretty isolated from the other riders and somehow missed the lunch stop! This was a mistake. I did eat a Clif Bar and stretch a little but I don’t think this was enough. I dragged through the ride until I finally sat down for a meal after about 2/3 ways through the ride. I also didn’t have sunglasses or sunscreen and the sun really did a number on me!
I learned my lesson and picked up a bento box frame bag to encourage me to snack next time and some sunglasses to protect my eyes. I also promised to never do that to myself again!
Tiburon Loop (40mi)/ALC EXPO
This past weekend, I participated in the ALC Expo which included a 40mi ride and an event that had discounted gear, bike fitting and tuning from Mike’s Bikes and a raffle for really cool stuff (that I didn’t win).
The ride was the CAT Series Tiburon Loop. My goal for this week was to pace myself. I hooked up with a group of riders that generally waited for each other and did the ride with them most of the way. I had a good time riding with them and getting to know them a little. I decided to cut my last break short so that I could get back home and get ready for my self suspension bondage performance at the Art of Restraint, a fundraiser for Femina Potens, later that night.
Back at the expo, I got a quick fitting from Mike’s Bikes and adjusted my seat forward and down a bit. The guy fitting me was nice, patient and explained everything. Even gave me some posture tips that I had heard before but never really could do with my seat too high. I applied his advice and tips from a fellow rider on my next ride and felt even more amazing about climbing hills!
Nicasio Loop (68mi)
It was super hard to get up at 6:00 after performing late at the Art of Restraint the night before. I may have to cut down my late night obligations for training. After some coffee, I felt okay and ready to take on the day. The ride to Nicassio was beautiful and I felt super strong climbing Camino Alto, White’s Hill and that hill up to Nicassio. I was feeling pretty tired around mile 55 and realizing I still had to ride up Sausalito lateral to make it home. In the end, I made it and stretched a bit in the Sports Basement parking lot. I went home and pretty much plopped in bed and played online. I really didn’t have much energy for anything else. Hoping to get even more riding in in the next week!