back and forth

My two lives. My late night/early mornings life of mad crafty energy, where my fingers itch to create and my mild mannered day life of teaching, biking, tennis and the love of my life!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Zone

Did it on Thursday. Hit a backhand, and I saw the ball in my positive point of contact, as if it froze in the air for just a little longer than possible, and it was a perfect backhand. And then it happened again. The two forehands I hit well, it was the same thing. It hung there, right in front, at the + point of contact. WOW! So I look at the forums, and there's this 'arete' site, and he talks about it.

Coach mentioned it once. Focus on the point of contact. And I need to know where the court is. Of course I do! I've practically grown up on the darn thing, even if I 'left home' for many years in between.

So, do I want to practice hitting in the Zone, or do I work on top spin? True, I need some topspin. But the Zone even more. I can practice that before my private lesson with very handsome Coach, and see if I can work on the mental aspect. It would benefit the topspin stuff even more, yes?

Oh, and rode last weekend, 54 miles to a crepery. One of the guys fell. John. He ended up with a cracked femur, and perhaps a cracked rib. Glad we insisted he be picked up from the lunch place, even afte he rode 6 miles more to get there! He must be in his 70's, although very fit. Nice man. Ouch.

Monday, I hope to ride with Nathanie. And Thursday, I could ride an early Cantelow with Russell, but I don't know if I want 'bite' on his dangling offers so much. Nice man, but young and not my type. And then Saturday, very excited about riding to RHPhillips again!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Eat to Live

Hmmm, back to being a vegetarian? Well, I WILL keep eating fish, maybe chicken and seafood, but steak and processed meat is losing appeal. I wonder if the kids will notice.

I guess Sharon Sk. is having that effect on me. And cycling isn't enough. I want 'healthier' and this book is always mentioned on the bike forums. And my garden is in bloom, and it's easy now, since my taste buds have gotten really excited about tomatos/lettuce/basil/corn mixes I make and eat. And my craving for beans. Why not go with it?

According to him, my ideal weight would be 100. Yikes! I'm about 116-117 now. That's alot, although I see that bit of fat on my stomach. It would be interesting. And it seems a perfect way to get healthier in my later years.

Next GC I get, from my credit card, goes towards that book. I can certainly eat like that now, it would just be very cool to have the supporting facts.

Nope, no riding today. Only 102. It's cooler.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Missed riding today. Felt deprived and grumpy. Daughter didn't have 1, but 2 flats on her new bike! Very thin thorns that she must have picked up on our last ride. By the time they were fixed, it was too hot to go, another 106 day. Yuck.

Even observing my kids teenage relationships is enough to cure me of men. So much drama, so hard, so many issues. I have my goals, that I don't really want to relinquish. Like paying off my mortgage in 4-5 years. Life is simpler, and I have fewer illusions of relationships.

...but am I just arguing against myself as Sharon does about being happy in a house she can't be satisfied with, and obsesses over other houses, yet injects every other sentence, '...but I'm fine where I am.'

No she's not. Am I? Can't tell.

It's like dieters who never stop thinking about food. Or alcholohics who are always thinking of then next drink. True, mostly I think of bikes and money.

55-65 is a long ride. 30-35 is kind of short, but okay. 20 is so short, it's almost not worth it. 100 miles, I don't know if I want to! That's 6-7 hours on a bike; my butt/shoulders/wrists don't need that kind of suffering, and it's much nicer to do that in a week-end, like I have been, with no suffering!

65-80 miles a day would be okay for touring. I think I should wait for a trike until I pay off the house. It would be my big reward. Pay off the car, then give it to Gabbi if she doesn't have one of her own by then. Buy a small pick-up truck to carry the trike if necessary. Then save like a demon for retirement. I'll still have 13 years of work after to throw into retirement accounts.

Seriously. I figure it out on a calculator almost every night. 100K locked in ladder CD's, then max 403b, Roth, and more.

I enjoy my male friendships. That's enough testosterone. When I pay off my mortgage, I'm taking Al the Wiz out for lunch, my treat. He's the only one that would truly appreciate it. Emp would be jealous, and mad. Same with High Priestess. So it's a plan.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

2nd try

Went for a 2nd go at Cantelow. I thought with a granny gear, I would surely make it to the top. But it wasn't to be. Of course it got up to 104 degrees, and I had added a rack and trunk on my bike. Heck, I felt the weight difference on the flat! But I think it was the heat. It was that last incline again, and I felt my heart pounding, but it was my core temperature, I thought I was one of those thermometers that was about to blow. Way hot.

Rode with an older and very fit friend from tennis. She suffered from the heat too. I stopped, and I thought she was going to ride by and wait for me on the top, but she had to stop too. We had to stop on the flats on the way back to town, it was so hot! I actually ran out of water after I got to the edge of town. It was 58.55 miles.

Tomorrow I'll go on a club ride of about 35 miles to recover. It's still supposed to be 104, but it'll be maybe 2 hours on a bike, not 4! And all flat.

My goal is to make it up WITHOUT STOPPING! I did the rest of it better/faster, since I was more familiar with it, and only one part gave me trouble before the last incline. And down was easier too! Sat way back on the saddle, and lost that 'oh god, I'm going to roll over the handlebars any moment' kind of feeling. Anyway, I had to stop doing down - 2 bikers where going up, and a big ole truck trying to go around them, and took up MY part of the path, so I got off the pavement, and let them by. Really slow, not scary, like when that white truck raced past 2 bikers side by side, and nearly did a head-on into me. That provoked an anxiety attack the next time I went by that section, although I brushed it off at the time. The mind/body reactions are a funny thing.

Love the trunk though. It's comforting to an earth sign. A place to put things. Awesome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Weight is such a bear. It's hard! Weight and age go hand in hand, and I feel I've gotten a tenuous hand on the weight, and doing it has helped the aging aches and pains, but I know I can hold it off for only so long, before it gets a grip on me. Inevitable.

Had a small cruising ride with a girlfriend yesterday, just 11 miles downtown for lunch and back, she wants to ride to lose the 30 pounds she gained in the last year from pre-menopause and hitting that around 40 bump, where the body seems to go downhill, along with everything else. I had to empathize: she was hoping for some quick tips, easy fixes, but I confessed that I've ridden over 240 miles in the last 8 days, and hadn't lost a pound.

It takes a major lifestyle change. People that say 1/2 of walking a day? You gotta be kidding. Try hammering for over an hour a day, sucking gels and water, and maybe you'll see a difference in a few months.

I seriously had to eat less. A lot less, than what I got away with before. And now, boohoo, with no more Cheez-Its/chips/yummy salty and deep fried stuff (I'm a salty girl) and putting in serious hours, I only maintain.

I hope she can do it. But there doesn't seem much inbetween. You have to be 'buff' or you end up overweight.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I did Cantelow!

I made it up!! I can't believe it. Russell suggested that I write something for the DBC newsletter, so here it is:

First Time Over Cantelow
I didn’t start the day planning to go over Cantelow; no, it’s on my list of things to do later this summer. Later, was the key word.
At Starbucks, there was Russell the ride leader, RAAM Dan, Joe from Woodland, John Whitehead and John #2. As we rolled out of town, we were joined by a few others. Pros always talk how their legs feel…well, mine felt only average. But the miles went quickly, and we were soon at Putah Creek Café, being served coffee, scones, pancakes and other yummy fair on a perfect Saturday morning. Talk of hills came up. Big ones. Local ones. Coastal and Lake ones. I confessed to being a strict ‘flatlander’ and thinking of doing Cantelow, and maybe I’ll ride out and LOOK at Cantelow. John W, never at a loss for words or wit, asked if anyone had a camera, to take one of those touring pictures of me in front of the ‘Cantelow’ sign - and then diabolically suggested that they lead an unsuspecting me up the West side, where you don’t actually ‘see’ the climb, and then after I while, I would be up and over.
A quick peak into the new Winter’s bike shop, and 4 of us head out. Fine, I think. I’ll pretend I’m just on a little country ride, and not heading for the looming hill of my vertigo dreams. Legs still feel average, I should have eaten all my muffin, and shoot, I can’t seem to keep track of the turns we’re taking. On the nth turn, I begin to realize that I have set myself up to go forward anyway, since my innate lack of direction has conspired me to continue after my Cantelow guides. Rats! I try not to think about it. And it’s pretty, riding along the mostly empty roads, and the occasional considerate driver.
We go on, and on. And of course, most of my riding issues tend to be mental, rather than the legs. All I know is that we’re far from home, there’s a hill ahead, and maybe I could always call Nancy Hall’s cell phone number if I have to, to save me from…ah. Cantelow. So this is it.
We turn onto Cantelow, and it’s, well, just fine. Shaded, a gentle rise, a few turns. Maybe I can do this. Ack! A rise! Pant, pant, pedal, pedal, then a flat section to catch my breath. Heck, I’m still moving, and I’m still in my middle gear. RAAM Dan rides along, then says he’s going to ride ahead and come back. He stands on the pedals, and is gone.
So it goes. Up, pant, pant, don’t look up, and pretty soon, I’m at a flatter section. I become aware that I’m the ONLY one panting up this darn thing, and the next moment of awareness comes when I realize my bike won’t shift to the granny gear. WHAT?! I take a bid on Cantelow, and I have no granny gear?! I think of the 8th stage Tour stage happening today, going up a real mountain, and how I’m really a weenie, and surely I can do this in my middle gear at 3mph…
And I do! Until the last incline. I slow down (if that’s possible), my mind goes into a seesaw. Should I walk? Ride? Walk? Ride?…and I tip over, and ‘walk’ wins when my foot hits the asphalt. Dan rolls down, and, the ever consummate roadie, pulls out a tool from his jersey pocket, and fiddles with the adjustment screw. I have a granny gear! Silently, I dub RAAM Dan as my ‘bike angel’ of the day, and he encourages me to get back on for the last turn to the top. I try, and stumble, as the pedal spins easily in the lowest gear, and I have him give me clearance as I push down again, and I’m up! I’m moving! I’m at the top!! Wahoo!!
Next on my list of things to do? Go out and LOOK at Cardiac…

Friday, July 08, 2005


So I'm thinking...the Emp has a garden, same plants, starts which I gave her, and my garden is a forest, with HUGE tomatos and sunflowers and plants, and it can't just be the bunny pellets and chicken manure and compost. Or even the coffee grounds, because she does it too. We had the same weather, the same I'm thinking. After I read this:*
I started 'blessing' the rain when it fell in my yard. Thanking it, sensing it, appreciating it, loving it. And it fell and fell,and I spent many evenings before falling asleep, thanking the water that fell and soaked into my ground. And now I have an amazing garden. I've never had tomatos so big, or so many.

You bet when I go to TN, I'm going to thank all the water there that Mom T touches! And next time I water.

Oh, and Emp said that my men concerns are all part of the 'fun' and go for it. Of course. She's not the Emp for nothing.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

DZ is hysterical!

Read Dave Z.'s blog - the guy is so funny. His post on 'taint' care is a dance between 'cringe-to-much-information'/rofl/hot visions of seeing him air-drying in the buff!

He's a Sag and it shows. He's funny, young and one hell of a talented rider. His one question interviews, his word play, and he can ride a bike too!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New tennis partner!

Actually, the day started with a ride. N and I went out to Solano Lake Park, and did that darn hill twice! I HAVE no legs, but it was interesting the process of getting legs. Practice, getting familiar, the mental aspect. It was a blast! I could one day like hills. We did about 48 miles. Went to Cabo and had lunch and lots of water and iced tea (the guys there were awesome and kept our glasses full) and watched the Tour on their big screen.

That evening, S, J and I played Australian doubles and some singles. I tried calling N too, thinking she should meet S because he's sweet/responsible/super smile and she's athletic/wonderful/sane/beautiful, but she's leaving to travel, and couldn't come. S wasn't too happy when I asked how old he was, to see if their ages were close and he said, "Well, I'm over 21." I laughed and said, "Fine! I'll stop trying to match up my friends...." Still think they'd be cute together.

Anyway, coach finishes up his classes, and asks if we want to play a set off doubles. ??? "I get to play with him!" My dibs on the coach! It was fun. He's GOOD> powerful backhand, places shots, really showed power, which he has to hold back when he teaches 5 classes a day of kids and learning grown-ups. I think he had fun. Won 6-2. James, especially, made more errors than usual, playing against coach. I actually put some volley's away, and didn't screw up too much. I think he'll play with us on Thursday too, since Dennis will still be gone. Coach is damn cute too.

... so much for aging out of men.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

...the guy spinning teacher

One of the first spinning classes I returned to, so did the teach. It was Bryan, with the nice smile and biker's body, back from Europe. He went to Belgium to race, and kept a journal! It's here:

Really fun to read. Has a good class too. It's just about the only time other male roadies show up in the summer in the gym is in his class. Winter, yes, lot's of them. But then they all disappear, and it's back with the ladies of the gym, with only a few with biker's tans. The rest of the breed are on the road.

I go so I can lift too and keep my bones in my old age. Jeff coming back, though. With his heart rate monitor, he determined that he gets a harder workout in 1 hour than on the road for 1 hour.

Okay, okay, I'm done. But I wanted to add Bryan's link, and if I don't do it now, I'll forget.

...ya mean, NOT for my eyes only?!

Took a double take...a comment?? Someone found me??! ...ah, dichotomy. If I were a good Buddhist, I've just been handed a gift towards enlightenment. But I'm not, because there are no good or bad Buddhists, so I'm back in the dust, when I'm not.

I rode today! My 16 year old decided to join me, She-who-hates-to-ride. Amazing. It was 97 degrees, and 33 miles. Geez, she's awesome. Then she and her boyfriend packed about 150 kiddie bags for the Davis Crit happening in 2 days for me. I hope they drop off a bale of hay at my house after the race for mulch...

Gonna ride to Solano Park tomorrow. Nathanie and I are going to do Cantelow on Tuesday, and she mentioned a tour in Napa in August. Go for a 65 mile day sounds great! Wish daughter were 2 years and legal so I could join in on the fun at the San Juan Islands...

I sold the wheel. I have $800 towards the trike in the bank. Now I have to find one...

Catrike Pocket please, with rack, mirrors, flag and lights.