Archive for May, 2018


Century #2: Pescadero Loop

MVIMG_20180519_122301.jpgIt was a stunningly beautiful Saturday Ride. Just over 100 miles and 7500 feet of total climbing for this last ride training for AIDS LifeCycle 2018.

We started in San Francisco and hugged the coast riding through Pacifica and Half Moon Bay before arriving in Pescadero. The winds were behind us pushing us forward and keeping the sky clear enough for the stunning ocean vistas. We stopped in  Pescadero (2 miles inland) for a delicious meal and light stretch before turning back around.32883729_1017210975104927_4923802382749401088_n.jpgAbout 10 miles after Pescadero, we turned inland on Tunitas Creek Road for the big climb of the day. It’s 5 miles through a (thankfully) quiet road alongside a creek and under a dense forest canopy. This hill was tough but I was tougher. I’m not a particularly fast climber so I was alone for most of the climb and I welcomed the time to meditate. Fortunately, I was also well hydrated so I had to stop to pee at least 5 or 6 times; I used each pee break as an opportunity to reset and catch my breath. In fact, I was so well hydrated, I also had to stop and pee on the way downhill, breaking my well-earned descent on the other side of the summit! We made another stop in Woodside for another refuel and stretch before riding the last 30 miles home.

Believe it or not, the last 30 miles were the toughest! Heading back home in the other direction those winds turned into headwinds (ugh), the fog had crept up above the hilside, pretty much obstructing any warmth we could get out of the sun that will still out but hiding. And while not nearly as steep or challenging as the hill I’d just completed, my legs and lungs were already completely spent.

This was taken before that big climb – see how cheerful I still look back there?MVIMG_20180519_122423.jpgAs I struggled for these last 30 miles, I went back to my meditative mind and started my gratitude list:

  1. See that bearded guy taking the photo? That’s my friend and team mate, Adam. He rides about twice my speed and is an incredibly strong rider. But, he’s also kind and keeps slower riders like me company, cheerfully carrying conversation and support as needed. He gave me caffeniated gels, played music and kept my pace while I struggled through those 30 miles and through it I was too tired to say thanks. In fact, when we got to SF and was about to part ways, I may even have rushed through our goodbyes – I was afraid if I stopped too long, I might not be able to get back on the bike. But, he’s not alone in this behavior…
  2. See those incredible people on the Pescadero photo above? That’s about 10% of Team ALCAholics. EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE TEAM is incredibly strong, kind, compassionate, giving and soooo loving on our rides. I am so inspired to see them taking that same approach to their lives in general and know that it is a privilege to be in their company to get to soak up all that energy up close.
  3. Just the day before this ride, I received a package in the mail and received these very special socks: 33170050_10157441902464829_8624833524857307136_o.jpgIf you didn’t know, that’s my daughter, Kaye’s, face. They happened to be a perfect match to my team colors from last year so I chose that to wear on the ride so I could wear the socks right away. They gave me joy all day everytime I saw them as I bent down to stretch or squatted to pee. I was also definitely still laughing (mostly on the inside) thinking about them on the home stretch.
  4. I ALMOST made it all the way home, but about 102 miles into the ride and 2 miles away from home, I had to make another pit stop. By then, it was just my team mate, Patrick and I so we stopped at a Peet’s for hot cocoa and a wee. When I finally made it to the bathroom I knew that my legs were done and I would not be able to talk myself back on the bike that day… thankfully, McKay (best husband ever) was home and able to come to my rescue. I know just how fortunate I am to have his support while I take away most of our date time 6 months out of the year to go on training rides. It’s even sweeter to know that when he’s in town I also have a ride home if needed. Extra bonus surprise when I fianlly made it home: I had a Hello Kitty Sticker Book waiting for me. That’s true love, folks!

Though on the outside, I really couldn’t express joy or happiness during the last part of this ride, repeating this meditation in my head is what kept me going; without it I might not have finished 100 miles. So, now I’m glad to have this (actually, eventually) happy memory to reflect on so I can go back and tackle Tunitas Creek. again. with less exhaustion. Next year. Maybe.


Team ALCAholics 2018 Guerneville Retreat

This weekend almost 1/3 of our team gathered together over the weekend for a team retreat. This is my third year on the team and every year our team membership makeup is a little different – there are some who have been doing AIDS Lifecycle for at least 5 consecutive years, others who have just signed up a few months ago, some of us in between and even others who took a break and are back to ride this year- and with such a large group in flux, the retreat is a great way for those who can attend to get acquainted, form friendships, and bond before our big ride.32425902_10155778208617734_6483371356581789696_o.jpgThis year, our retreat was held in Guerneville, CA, a gorgeous valley town between Northern California’s wine country and the Pacific Ocean with a river running through it. It’s only a few hours away from San Francisco so, for me, it was an easy drive up. I also carpooled with a couple of team mates to help the time pass and have more time to get to know them better.

Most of the participants were Bay Area based, but 2 members from Los Angeles drove up and 2 of the Bay Area riders took the day on Friday to ride to our weekend homes. Our large group managed to fit in 2 houses that were about .25 mile apart, but we spent most of the weekend gathering together at either house for meals, hanging out, riding bikes and soaking in the hot tub.32349399_10155774438322734_3701919010632237056_o.jpgSpeaking of riding bikes, our 50 mile Healdsburg loop took us through one scenic winery after the next. About 25 miles in, we ran into some roadblocks that had been put up for an active IronMan triathlon that happened to be in the cycling portion of their race. I was carried away with excitement as I watched every racer that rode past us and made a mental note to channel their intensity during the parts of this AIDS Lifecycle where I might need a little extra oomph. 32349343_10155778208037734_5542886519347347456_o.jpgBy the time we finished our ride, I had enough time in the day to shower, relax, hang out in the hot tub and play a card game before dinner (I was terrible at it but it was super fun). Our enormous dinner serving put me in a food coma and I ended up getting so sleepy that I decided to go home and go straight to bed right after.

I woke up almost 10 hours later with enough time for another quick dip in the hot tub before turning our leftovers into breakfast and heading back home. It was a great preview to who I’ll be spending my week week on the ride. I’m so grateful to be in the company of such amazing people and look forward to the week of riding coming up!32405627_10110114950235463_5890626995984793600_o.jpg

p.s. thanks to my team mates Winston, Tam and Duby for taking these photos!


A Chill 90 Miler

Coming into my third AIDS Lifecycle I no longer feel the same tension as I did in my first or even second year riding. Over the years it’s been replaced by my excitement about doing the ride and spending the week with some amazing individuals, some of whom I’ve been able to spend time with and get to know these past 3 years.2018-05-05 07.51.10.jpgWhen I trained for my first year, I was more worried about how many miles I was increasing every weekend ride and trying to figure out nutritional and hydration needs during each ride. I was also figuring out my pre- and post-ride routines and how I could manage to stay awake long enough to shower after a long ride.

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From an athletic perspective, I still have a lot to figure out and learn. But lately, I have been enjoying the difficulty of climbing hills and riding into a light headwind (let’s not get crazy; I still hate riding into strong winds, will still cry when it rains and definitely will still give a hard pass to riding in snow but y’know – baby steps) and knowing it’s going to be a challenging day almost gives me some relief to know and I can start to focus on and enjoy the company I’m in instead.2018-05-05 08.04.13.jpgI forgot to take a picture, but my chill state was gifted a nice surprise at the halfway point when I ran into another friend who was on a different ride with some other friends. I also helped change someone’s flat and sat with someone for a bit while he recovered from a leg cramp. I was having a pretty fun 80 miles ad really enjoyed getting to spend time with different folks at each rest stop.2018-05-05 16.10.30.jpgI felt so relaxed at the end of the day that I decided to take Sunday off and go on a date. I hope your weekend was equally spectacular!


NC Spring 2018

Hopped on a red eye on Thursday night for a whirlwind extended weekend to see family in North Carolina. Almost as soon as I arrived, we drove to Asheville and took a walk through the downtown area. The street we walked had a lot of great shops that had cool vintage finds and fun fashion. 2018-04-27 16.38.49.jpgLuckily, I’ve been practicing a personal carry-on luggage only policy so I managed to resist MOST of the temptation. I DID give in to an adorable color-shifting unicorn pillow to add to my office couch collection.2018-05-01 07.55.20.jpgWe walked the art galleries in between stuffing ourselves with delicious meals, but the prize goes to Whit’s frozen custard – if you’re lucky enough to have one of these near you, stop reading this and GO THERE NOW!

After coming back from Asheville, I managed to squeeze in a 17 mile bike ride before enjoying a picnic by Salem Lake (thanks for making all of that happen, Debbie!). We also managed to round out the visit with a couple of meals with more fam in Raleigh, but I was so immersed in the visit I forgot to take pictures! Oops!



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