Anticipation is a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen. : the act of preparing for something. Anticipation is a thing in the Napa Valley because when the grapes start appearing on the vines every year, there is anticipation about what the vintage will be like.
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’
Carly Simon sang those words and they keep running through my head as I ride past all the vineyards awaiting my start date. My anticipation has more to do with being excited about the adventure that is fast approaching. So what do I do in the meantime? Continue training/preparing, of course. People wonder what my training looks like. How do ride a bunch of miles without really going anywhere? Well, I have several loops/routes that I know every inch of by now. I repeat them as many times as I need for the miles I want. Take a look…
My 1-mile loop. I sometimes do several of these when the weather is lousy. I did 20 of them New Years eve morning to help rack up the miles for my Rapha Festive 500.
My 4-mile route. I’ve done so many of these, I’ve lost count.
My 5-mile loop. I did this one 24 times for my 24-hour challenge.
Picture taken mid ride every hour for 24…
This one is my typical 20 mile out and back.
The next one shows some of the hill repeats I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. It’s about 9.5 to 10.5% for about a half mile. I do 3 to 5 of them and then finish off with my 4-mile loop. There is a small spot at the bottom that gives your belly a tickle that I love. We used to say the back roads of upstate NY had tickle belly hills on them because that’s what it felt like if you drove over them fast. And don’t tell the husband, but I usually get over 40 mph coming down the hill. What a rush!! 🙂
And last but not least, there’s Partrick Road. It was when I climbed this road back in September that I started thinking I could ride across the country. It gets up to about a 13% grade in spots and stays over 9% for 3 miles. I rode it today – probably the last time before I launch – and saw lots of improvement! I think I’m ready! Happy Mother’s Day!
I’ve always been drawn to barns. Something about them intrigues me. It might be the history they seem to hold, or the way the sunlight seems to perk up their old worn out siding. It might be that I grew up in rural upstate New York and they tended to be landmarks on the way to places. I remember one I was always drawn to because it was so pristine looking. You could see it off in the distance, just after Rochester, on the way home from Buffalo. It might be that I have really fond memories of visiting Kandi’s family farm while in college. We got to witness baby Joey (calf) being born one year. We always picked corn right off the stalk to have for meals. And her mom made the most delicious barbecued chicken with a white marinade that I’ve never been able to recreate. It was probably the open pit method that I just don’t have in town.
Here are some that I’ve seen on my cycling trips around the Napa area. And I’ll be sharing barns that connect with me as I move ever so slowly (relatively speaking) across america starting in less than 25 days! Oh my!!
Am I a bike snob? I think I might be. It’s definitely not because I have a very high end road bike – I’m certainly not in the class of the Trek Madone or Specialized Venge! And it’s most definitely not because I have the best looking cycling kits or ever judge others for theirs (you can ride in whatever makes you happy!) Maybe it’s because I believe in bike trail and road etiquette. Maybe it’s just because my sag wagoneers think I am, at times, due to my rants post ride.
Some random thoughts that may make me a bike snob. You be the judge…
Can you at least nod or wave to a fellow cyclist on the road? (Unless of course, I recognize the panting and struggle of being in the middle of a steep climb while I am zipping down the hill on the opposite side smiling from ear to ear. In that case, no need.)
Roads/Paths are generally two ways. Stop taking up the whole thing riding/walking five abreast and doing a slow weave so you can chit chat with your group while not paying any attention to others coming up behind you.
Definitely don’t litter! I can’t believe I even saw you tossing that banana peel on the ground! And don’t leave your punctured tube there either.
Keep your dog on a leash!
Don’t cut off cars or ride erratically and give all cyclists a bad name.
Don’t be a moron and ride in all black without any lights on your bike at dusk.
By the way, most days now, I actually enjoy riding on the Vine Trail. Tourist filled weekends, not so much, but on week days, it makes for a nice flat 20 mile loop from my house, and regulars on the trail are great!
I work for a health care organization for which Live Well Be Well and Thrive are taglines, and they take them to heart. Employees are encouraged, not pressured, to have healthy lifestyles. They were part of the reason for me getting my own health and fitness back in line. They offer a variety of programs to help employees learn and take action. For the past few years they have even sponsored a Pound for Pound challenge where for every pound of weight employees lose, they donate a pound of fresh produce to local organizations. We even have Live Well Be Well Coordinators for each of our facilities. We have Andie and she’s great! She has infused a ton of enthusiasm, fun, and variety into our program. Today, she organized a bike ride that I was happy to join. I rode 15 miles to get to the start. I rode with the group for 20,
and then rode another 53 to get back home. Not too shabby, given the 4700 feet of elevation that went along with it.
So…It looks like Scoobert is going along for the ride in June. It seems as though he behaves rather poorly if he is left behind for several days. He really does enjoy car rides and since he LOVES going for walks, he will definitely give the other sag wagoneers something to do during the day. Besides, he knows lots of tricks to keep them busy.
Oh yeah – training – I did get in a few miles this weekend. Saturday was chilly, windy and a bit damp. Sunday was one of those perfect days that we seem to get a lot of in Napa Valley. I sure can’t wait ’till I stop going in circles though!
It’s a weird thing. I am very absent minded. Once something gets to my long term memory banks, though, I never forget it. Ask anyone who really knows me. I never forget birthdays, obscure anniversary dates, phone numbers, names, words that were spoken, treatments rendered, etc. I can still see doodles on pages of my Anatomy class notes. The problem is, it has to get there because my short term memory seems to be for naught. I can’t remember five things I was supposed to pick up at the store. I can’t remember to bring a book to a friend. I can’t remember my purse when we leave a restaurant. A year from now though, I’ll be able to tell you what was on my shopping list, or what page I read something interesting on, or what I ordered in the restaurant.
It’s funny. When I rode my bike in the eighty’s I never worried about remembering anything. We didn’t have cell phones. I had a small, first generation cycle computer that told me my speed and distance and started automatically. I didn’t really think about safety (I was in my twenties after all) so I didn’t have lights or safety vests or reflectors and what not. I did wear a helmet. Today though, is a totally different story. I have a satellite tracker (to keep my husband and friends happy). I have a fancy Garmin cycle computer that has info about everything, including maps. I have lights on the front and back of the bike. I have reflective bands. I have multiple water bottles. I have repair tools/kits. I have a cell phone and ear buds – yes I do occasionally like to listen to low volume music in one ear. I probably have other things that I’m forgetting.
That brings me to checklists. Checklists are great. And I’ve decided I pretty much need one (or two) for my bike. Otherwise, I forget to charge the aforementioned equipment. I forget to bring one thing or another. I forget to turn the lights on or I forget to turn them off when I’m done for the day. And it goes on. Checklists are part of my life too, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before now. I am a private pilot and you use checklists before/during every flight. I help my husband who teaches CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and checklists are a big part of being prepared for and responding to disasters. I work in healthcare where checklists are used routinely to make sure the right patients are receiving the right treatments. I even make out a weekly grocery list these days.
And so, for peace of mind, I have created my bicycling checklists. I have one (would you believe it) for take off and landing (start up/shut down of various electronics). And I have one of things I should bring along when I’m planning to be 50 or more miles away from home base.
Now if only I could remember to check the checklist!
Well, the days are finally showing more consistent signs of Spring and I was able to get a nice leisurely 40-miler in this morning. It’s hard though. I want to stop everywhere and take pictures. I did manage to get a few in.
My favorite cows – different from the dairy cows in NY
Lillies in the ditch
Mom and Dad
I hope this is a good sign for nice weather in the upcoming weeks. Getting soggy isn’t bad but it is getting a bit old. It’s been good training though. I’m pretty sure I will run into some rain somewhere this June.
Today marked the first day of Spring. I’ve been living in California for 27 years now and I don’t ever remember a year when it rained so much in March, much less the first day of Spring. Mind you, I grew up in upstate New York where this weather would be welcomed. I went to college in Buffalo where we seemed to have precipitation 300 days/year (actual average is 93 days). And I worked in the Chicago area where the wind chilled you to the bone – so I’m not exactly a weather weenie. But come on! I have to get my mileage up. Counting today, I figure I have about 72 days left to get my act together if I’m going to make it across America.
So, I went out and rode. Got a quick 20 in after work. A bit soggy, but not nearly as cold as it was in December! An added plus was that it was at least still light out. Looks like this week will bring more of the same. Good thing I won’t likely melt!