Monday, February 28, 2011

The Central Coast

Pismo Beach, January 29th...
Once again, I have fallen behind in posting. Between work schedules; a trip to Pismo Beach; and then this past weekend a trip to Utah for the Walk to Emmaus Retreat, there just hasn’t been much time to do any writing. The picture folder keeps filling up, and eventually I get around to sharing my latest landscapes with you.

Pismo Beach, long, flat, and quite shallow for 100 yards out!
A beautiful Cammelia...
Our trip to Pismo Beach was a lovely weekend away to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. We enjoyed touring to Solvang, the central coast of California, and had a nice browse around San Luis Obispo. We enjoyed not having a schedule, a computer, and basically just had a nice relaxing time.
A Callalilly, At the Mission of San Luis Obispo
My training schedule has been a bit disjointed, but I have been getting some work done. Three days a week I do spinning intervals on the ‘Tri Bike. The DVD’s that my sister Sue gave me are particularly evil, and it has taken quite a few attempts to complete a 30-minute session without hitting the “pause” button! Later this week I am going to attempt a spinning workout, then switch shoes and head out for a 15-minute run. That’s how triathlons progress, so it will be a good experiment.
And a magnificent Magnolia tree that was covered in flowers!
I also have been more consistent in riding to work. Here in California, the price of gas has skyrocketed, and the gouging due to the unrest in the Middle East has just been outrageous. So, the higher the price of gas, the more I ride to work!
A file photo of the pool. I forgot to bring the camera!
Speaking of riding the Surly, I swam tonight. I rode the Surly down to the pool and got in around 1100 yards. It was a lovely evening, chilly, around 45 degrees, but no desert wind! It was pleasant to swim in the gently steaming pool, and only 3 lap swimmers too! I am making progress, but the stamina for intervals longer than 200 yards is just not there as yet. I can swim a 30-second 50, but I can only do it once!
And of course, a Curlew...
That’s the news for now; enjoy all the nice pictures from the Pismo trip.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Tailwinds and Taillights

Your's Truly...
Well, I finally got off my lazy butt and got back to the routine of bike commuting. There really hasn’t been any valid excuse for not commuting. We have had barely any rain since the grand snow event on January 3rd and the wind has been almost non-existent. I guess the chilly 25-degree mornings kept me away. No excuse at all as I have ridden in those temperatures for years.
The battery mount for the headlight...
What got me started back on the road was a photograph on a cycling blog I read. The picture of the rider with the frost building up on his beard was enough for me to get off the snide and get moving. As I was putting on my wool base layer at 5 AM, I could hear the vinyl fence creaking in the wind. The wind? Where did that come from? By the time I made it out to the morning news, the high wind watches were all posted for the Antelope Valley.
But it all worked out! On the ride in I enjoyed a marvelous 10-15 mph tailwind. Nothing more fun than spinning easy at 19-20 mph! Of course I worried about the high wind watch and the payback headwinds that the afternoon would bring. But then FROPA happened. For all you non-ATC types, FROPA means frontal passage. FROPA occurred about 8 AM, and by quitting time, the winds had switched 180 degrees out of the east and I had a lovely tailwind to push me home. A double-tailwind commute; Almost unheard of in cycling lore, but I’ll take it!

My new blinkie. I was told by a co-worker who passed me on the way, that it was so bright, he thought it was the Sheriff!
Along the way, I was able to perform my civic duty and pick up some things off the road as I breezed along. It reminded me of a long ride in 2008 or so, where over the course of a 30-mile ride, I picked up a knife, fork, and spoon!
A nasty nail, a crisp dollar, and some lead for Jon!
And, finally, as I was near the house, coming through the neighborhood, I came across two Mormon missionaries riding their Walmart mountain bikes. They were friendly and greeted me, and I returned the favor by greeting them and giving them a quick rendition of the Utah State Aggie fight song. Ranked #17 in the country, we are still loyal here!
More news later this week.