Thursday, September 9, 2010

Married, Riding, etc.

Been a while since my last post. Lots of great stuff going on. Lets back up a bit. Obviously had a great pre-honeymoon week in Tahoe that ended with the wedding. The ceremony was spectacular and everything went off without a hitch, except my old IPod Shuffle with the wedding playlist died at the wrong time. Fortunately, I also had the backup playlist on my Blackberry and just plugged that in. A quick trip to the condo for my laptop and we were back in business.
New job is going smoothly. Very big company with complicated systems and processes, but all is working it's way along. As the 2nd largest manufacturer of cookware in the World, chances are you have plenty of our pots and pans in your house.
Weather here in the Bay Area is unbelievable. I'd spent enough time shoveling snow and sweating through sticky summers in pouring rain, bugs, get the point. I'm very-much enjoying this. Few hot days over 100 but it's no big deal since the humidity is so low.
Riding so far is amazing. Actually better than i would have predicted. Road riding is just incredible. Traffic is much more tolerant with cyclist here since there are so many and it's just part of the culture here. I've done most of the local group rides, and there are many to pick from in the immediate area. There are several different group rides just about every day so you can take your pick. Some join up so you can start one and finish with another. The hardest ride in the area is appropriately named "the house of pain" and it lives up to that. I'm pretty fit right but not really race-fit. I somehow managed to stay in the first group but it was a hand-full. That was the fastest average speed over rolling terrain i've done since the days of the old "Simi Ride" in SoCal back in the 90's, when guys like Steve Bauer, Max Sciandri, Harm Jansen, Floyd Landis and just about every other Euro pro was out there.
I have Mt. Diablo right in my backyard so I climb that a few times a week. There are 2 ways up the the 1/2 point then 1 way to the top from there. A few different group rides go up either side to the 1/2 way point then down the other, or all the way up. I can do the entire climb from the "North" side in 60minutes, which is pretty respectable but nothing close to what the top pro's in the area can do. The climb up the "South" side is a bit trickier and I haven't really figured that side out yet I've only done it a couple times, compared to 20 or so times up the North side, and it's always been with a pretty fast group. Of course I was shelled both times about 1/2 way up. Granted, some of these guys have the fastest times up the hill so I can't feel to bad about it. The summit has some amazing view of the San Francisco bay, provided the fog hasn't obscured the view. The fog is pretty creepy here but cool.
Lots of MTB trails in the area and i'm still discovering them. The Mt Diablo area has a big network of trails and that is only a couple miles down the road. Even closer is the Lime Ridge Open Space. I just recently discovered this and its pretty big and has just about everything. I can ride out of my neighborhood and right into the area's large network of bike/walking paths that take my right to it.
Of course we had Lake Tahoe just under 3 hours away and we'll spend plenty of weekends up there. The mtb riding there is just un-describable. Plenty of cool road rides to. I finally did the 72mile lap all the way around the lake. Pretty amazing ride.
Besides Tahoe, we have Napa Valley very close and will be enjoying that very often.
We've already done a bunch of cool things in the area and it's only the beginning :-)

Lots of racing going on in the area but haven't hit anything yet. That will happen when it happens. Cross season is pretty big here and the first race in the area is actually this weekend. i'm not quite on the same schedule this year as in years past so my first cross race will not be until the middle or late October. We have a little Trip to take care of first.