Friday: California One Youth and Beauty BrigadeI wrote up a little cue sheet based off some local knowledge and made my way over to Highway 1. I didn't mind the brutal wind because I was too busy looking out over the water (not taking pictures). I turned around in Davenport and proceeded to skip the best part of the loop, trusting blindly to the poor set of directions affixed to my handlebars. I could only retrace my steps and eventually with some frustration got back to the house. I am cursed with a poor sense of direction and abysmal navigational skills. My only hope when in new towns is to blindly foray into the wilderness until I develop some sense of place. Chrissy's commuter bike was perfect for that.
If I had taken pictures they would of course have looked like this.
Saturday: The SC Hustle
Ah, a Saturday morning group ride! Legend has it this one has been going on for thirty years. I arrived early and explained to a woman who races for Vanderkitten (yes, I was secretly excited) that I was a noob. She and everyone within earshot seemed very worried for my well-being because there were sprint points along the ride (duh) and I wasn't familiar with the area. "You do have a cell phone, right?" is code for: "When you get dropped, you can find your own way back, right?" Fair enough. Seventy people showed for the ride and I swam along in the sea of roadies listening to their absurd chatter: "I won this sprint last week." "Hold your line!" "So this clown wasn't doing ANY work, so I told him to either get the f@#$ off the front or help us pull in the break." "I've been on the rollers for three months getting ready for the so-and-so race." "I was the third person to buy Di2 and the president of Shimano called me..." (Yeah, really.) Anyhoo, after some tepid sprints (nothing is hard when you're sitting in a paceline the size of an eighteen-wheeler) we rolled into Watsonville. The sixty-milers took off for the mountains, which were wreathed in clouds; they beckoned to me. But I only had one bottle and didn't trust my own fitness, so I took the easy way out. Alas.
A rainbow over San Lorenzo River (or, more accurately, a rainbow over the part of town where the prostitutes live).
Sunday: Arana Gulch
Off-and-on drizzle hindered me from conquering Highway 1 so I returned the road bike to Beth and went for a little run down to the harbor. This was definitely one of those DAMN, NO CAMERA outings. I followed a tiny meandering dirt path behind the harbor and found myself in a wide open meadow ringed with trees. The sky was dramatic as the rain evaporated and the sun fought its way out, and there was no sign that this lush green space was in the middle of a city.
I'm up in Walnut Creek now, and I borrowed my aunt's (teeny tiny) Litespeed for some more exploring. I started in Orinda and in barely fifteen minutes I'd escaped the bonds of upper middle class suburbia and was meandering through dank wooded tunnels. Then the road turned up and climbed to Redwood Regional Park. It was a gradual, winding scenic climb like the backside of 215. I was way happy, and the descent down the other side was not bad either. Chastened by my pitiful previous attempts to make loops, I opted for an out and back, which more than quenched my need for scenery.The reservoir. Fyi, Oakland: I spit in it.
Tomorrow: Mount Diablo! (Dramatic music)