Archive for May, 2010


May 29, 2010

I’m supposed to be taking it easy this weekend.  No long bicycle rides.  No big time exercise.  Just chill.

Does anyone realize how hard this is going to be?  My brain is constantly on fire with, “go! Go! Go! Go!”  I don’t know the first thing about slowing down.  I am at a favorite cafe and just slammed a large latte.

It felt relaxing, for the three minutes it took me to drink it.  I suppose ingesting caffeine at 6pm at night is also not a way to chill out.

My brain keeps leaping into Marin.  I should be heading up some hills or working on keeping my cadence even or just simply getting in the saddle.  But, the big event is next weekend and it has been suggested to take the weekend off.  I know this is akin to tapering (resting the muscles to improve performance before an event) and I understand the reasoning for it, but I don’t want to taper, I don’t want to take it easy.  I want to go!

And rationally that makes absolutely no sense.  I am about to embark on a 546 mile journey that will take me 7 days to complete.  Not doing a big training ride the weekend before makes perfect sense.  But I am no rational creature, am I?

I’ve got movies queued up in my Netflix, I’ve got relatives visiting tomorrow, I’ve got hair to be colored and cut, I’ve got laundry to do.  These things can be restful, right?  The movies will be restful.  I know that much, maybe not much else.

Although I will definitely be getting in another trip to Kabuki Springs this Sunday.  It only took me 3/4’s of the biking season to actually use it.  With my registration in the Aids Life Cycle I get free entry.  I had no idea how nice it would be.  So I’ll be sneaking in another soak. That too will be restful.

I can and have sat silent and meditative.  I have taken down time.  I am capable.  I think I’m talking myself into this, aren’t I?

Part of the discomfort, or dis-ease, if you will, is that I have a three day weekend and not enough planned to do.  I feel like I have too much down time, and too much down time usually makes me squirrely.  I like to hustle and bustle and move and shake.

Maybe I won’t even ride my bike at all this weekend.  Nah.  Resting is one thing, but walking is quite another!

Apartment Porn

May 26, 2010

My guilty little pleasure.  I find at times when I’m online sidling over for a little casual encounter with craigslist.  I’m not looking for a lover or a possible scrabble date at the local coffee shop.  I’m not interested in who has tickets to Wicked they want to get rid off.  I’m here for the apartment porn.

This is how it works.  I pick my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco, plug in what I think is an obscene amount of money for a place to live and then add on such exotic search words as: hard wood floors, crown molding, fire place, garden, parking, quiet and see what pops up.

And then I sit and scroll idly by the apartments and pick and choose which one I would live in and how I would furnish it and then the next thing you know I’m trying to figure out how to make my nanny salary really stretch, because I can almost see myself curled up in a leather club chair in front of my crackling fireplace with a book, and the cat, and a cup of tea.

I think it means not eating, ever.  But I would look fabulous in my new place, until they cart me away and give the cats to Animal Care and Control.

Then I try plugging in a more reachable goal, slightly less obscene, but still a good deal more than I’m currently paying.  I mean I’ve lived on Ramen noodles before, right, let’s see what I can fit in the budget.  And then I drool a little over the pretty wood floors and the view from the garden terrace for a bit.

And then if I’m feeling a little sadistic I’ll plug in what I’m paying now and see if there’s anything better out there.  Lucky for me, there’s typically not, I mean I have a pretty nice place when it comes down to it.

Although I am a little nervous about showing it off to the relatives who are coming to visit from Wisconsin this weekend.  Hard to explain how a studio for $1150 in Nob Hill is actually a good price.  And I can have my cats, and it’s got hard wood floors, and crown molding, and a claw foot tub.  Sure, there’s not a great view, except when I’m carrying my bike in from the side walk.  The view from my entry way is stunning, frankly.

I remember having a whole one bedroom apartment once with wood floors, a dining room, a closet, free laundry in the basement, a huge kitchen, a cute bathroom, a walk in closet in the bedroom with a freaking window, a back yard with garden space, and a garage.  I paid $750 a month and it included utilities.

Of course it was in Madison, Wisconsin.

I guess that’s how far I’ve come, dear San Francisco, I don’t bat an eye at paying over a thousand dollars for a room.  And I’ll pay more when the time is right to stay here.  Until then I’ll satisfy myself trolling craigslist.

Thank You

May 25, 2010

I decided to do the Aids Life Cycle for purely selfish reasons, I wanted to lose weight.  I figured I would be terrified to do the long ride without having done a lot of training and subsequently a great loss of weight.

What began as a completely selfish endeavor has morphed into an experience that I could not have fathomed.  Nor, since I have yet to do the ride, understand.  But I feel compelled to say thank you to all the people that have supported me.

For listening to me talk about what ever bicycle drama I was currently undergoing when someone politely asked how I was doing.  For all the shoulders, and a few floors that I cried on.  For the lovely lady at the Cheese Factory who leaped out of line to get me ice from their machine when I told her I had been stung by a wasp riding.

For all the training ride leaders.  Volunteers,  I keep reminding myself, that they are volunteers, offering to lead us less experienced, naive, bicyclists down roads and over hills in Marin and beyond.  Who have helped me cheerfully change a flat tire or five.  Or helped me get up a hill, San Bruno Mountain, Mt Tam, Marshall Wall, Whites Hill, the first few times I did Camino Alto (which now qualifies as my favorite hill, it’s just so nice and easy).

To everyone who sponsored me in little ways and big.  Sometimes it was a haircut, sometimes it was a hug, or a cup of coffee or a word of encouragement.  Because sponsorship to me was not just about raising the money to do the ride, it was about encouraging me to find my “bike legs”.

Like when Andrew and Christine and Thomas conspired to actually get me in a bike outfit.  I had been riding in Converse tennis shoes, women’s cotton tights (black) and blue jean shorts.  They hauled me over to the Recyclery and got me a pair of shorts, a jersey, some socks, and Thomas loaned me a pair of SiDI biking shoes.  Then he and Andrew put clipless pedals on my bike and hung on a new water bottle carrier and Christine patted my hand while I nervously clipped in for the first time.

Or Robb loaning me his road bike for 8 months until I got the cash up to get my own bike.

For all the people who sent in contributions from all over the country–Madison, Wisconsin, New York, New York, Hallowell, Maine…the Mission.

My awesome employers who not only where some of my first sponsors but also went to their employers and got contributions.  And the kids I take care of for still taking naps!  Sometimes the legs got to rest.

Special thanks to all the guys at Pedal Revolution on Shotwell and 21st who consistently helped me.  Either by giving me steep discounts on bike repairs or by encouraging me in my bike endeavors, and to Clancy for making balloon animals for the monkeys when we came in on one of my frequent stops to pick up my bike.

This is becoming a long Oscar award winning speech and I had no intentions of that.  But every time I go to summarize, another person pops in my head that I need to thank.  There have been so many.  I may have had absolutely horrible intentions for this ride, completely selfish, and self-seeking.  I admit it.  I am abashed by this and awed every time I see a rider in a Poz Peds shirt and realize how blessed I am with my healthy, beautiful body.

It is paradoxical that I have been given so much more than I could have hoped to receive.  Yup, I have lost some pounds, and I am certainly more fit.  But what I really want to say is thank you for the helping of humility, every time I could not figure it out, some one stepped in to show me how to place that tire iron on the wheel, or where was a great place to stop just to breathe and appreciate the view.  And the point, the point of why we still ride.

I have gotten a glimpse into the heart of the event and am so pleased to be a part of, a small cog, a little wheel, another person putting one pedal stroke in front of the next.  Thank you for the journey and I do hope that there is an end.  Or perhaps, a continuation, we ride now to find a cure, to help a human to find care and compassion.  May those rides come to an end.  May we then ride only in remembrance and celebration.

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