Two days ago, I rode in the marin headlands offroad with my cyclo-cross bike. I had forgotten just how exciting it is to ride those trails. The views are just exquisite!
But what excited me almost as much as the scenery is the fact that i actually made it up all the climbs!!! The gradient alone of the steep climbs in the Headlands which hit about 20% would have been challenge enough for me considering i hadn't been on anything this steep in a long, long time - although there was the ride up the Koppenberg last month! But added to it was the dustball quotient on the trails due to the few-month drought and the recent re-grading of the trails. Wow, it was a real balancing act to stay on the bike at 5kph (3mph) for 15-20 minutes at at time.
I was also glad to have survived the tricep pain of having to tug on the bars with the arms ever so slightly bent in order to scoot back far enough on the bike to keep the rear wheel on the ground!! Note to self: next time, be sure to replace the bald tires.
I started my ride from the Tennessee Valley Parking lot in Mill Valley and headed up Coastal Trail, down to Muir Beach, up Highway 1 overlooking the Pacific Ocean, continued up Coast View Trail which has the most breathtaking views of the area, back down the trail, up it again, back down all the way to Muir Beach, up Green Gulch Trail, along Coyote Ridge, and back down the trail to the house. For those of you who've never ridden in this area, I HIGHLY recommend it!! It's definitely one of my most favorite places to ride. It is even more picturesque than la Roche en Ardenne (except for the castle) and most of Switzerland - if i dare say so!
Yesterday, I was kinder to the cross bike and kept it on pavement. We went up north through the little towns to Pt. Reyes so i could visit my favorite bakery - the Bovine. But don't let the name fool you - they have quite a few vegan pastries! My favorite is the morning bun. But since it is only offered on weekends, i had the maple oat cookie instead - YUM!! Then we headed back towards San Francisco via Highway 1. Again, i was treated to the most amazing views. Even though the ride was a little challenging due to the exhorbitant amount of climbing, i was like a little kid in a candy shop (OK, i guess i would be just as excited to be in a candy shop at my age!) Anyway, it was a blast to ride through familiar territory. I even got to pee behind my favorite bush.
Right now i am just finishing up this Sunday's article for the Marin Independent Journal (I am a columnist for them.) It's on "Don't ever lend your bike stuff to others." I recently lent my fixed gear - which i thought was indestructible - to my best friend. Turns out i was wrong - it was destroyed in more ways than i thought possible! Hopefully my experience - along with my tips to avoid uncomfortable situations like these - will prove useful to others.
And after that, I am meeting with my #1 sponsor - VANDERKITTEN! Hope they bring me one of those cool jerseys they sell on their site! It will be the first time we meet in person. It almost feels like a date - nervousness, not sure what to wear, etc! How exciting! Actually - now that i think of it - dates are a lot easier; you just have to show up in any old clothes, bring your popcorn and watch him perform for you. And if you like what you see, you can stay for the encore!
Above is a photo of me on my way to get my haircut by Maniche in Bon Air Beauty Salon. I was so afraid to go to a haircutter in Belgium where they straight-blade your invisible beard and send you off with a mullet, that i waited until i returned to CA. I guess the photo would have been more dramatic if i weren't wearing a head scarf.
Thanks for reading!