Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day on the Ride + Friends of ALC

Hello Friends! Clay here.

You may (or may not have) noticed that we haven't posted in a while. That's because we've been too busy cycling! Seriously folks, we are not kidding. Since we last posted, we have started riding on both Saturdays and Sundays. It's officially that time to see what it feels like to ride two days in a row. We are also officially getting stronger. And that feels good.

We've been getting cozy with Marin County as of late. We've been up and around the towns of Mill Valley, Larkspur, Fairfax, Corte Madera, Point Reyes, Nicasio, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael....well, the list goes on. Let's just say it's official: we love Marin (good thing we chose Mill Valley as our wedding location next year!).

This past weekend we had our best ride yet. AIDS/Lifecycle hosted a simulated "Day on the Ride" where 400 riders descended upon Mike's Bikes of San Rafael to meet up and ride together through Marin exactly as we might do this June for the real ride to Los Angeles. And it was great. Not only was it gorgeous and hot (we love the heat!), but it was extra fun because we got to ride with so many of our friends. So, this post is actually dedicated to "Friends of ALC".  And we don't have photos of all of them, but here are three of our favorite friends with a little story of each.

This is Kas Neteler with Lisa. We love Kas! She's been part of the ALC community for many, many years. I met Kas on an Orinda training ride 5 years ago (and we did the ride together in 2007 and have been friends since), and Lisa actually met Kas ages ago through friends. We love hanging out with Kas and her partner Joy and just talking for hours. Kas does great impressions and always makes us laugh. We are excited to tent next to her this year on the ride —it's her first ALC ride in 5 years, too. Oh, and she she was so generous to lend us her double sized Aerobed for the ride!

This is Bob Golden. Bob is our newest friend. We started training with him several months ago. Bob is a dentist living in Alameda. And he never exercised much at all until his 24-year old daughter (Eryn, on his right), introduced him to the AIDS/Lifecycle community. He did his first ALC ride ever last year, and tells us that his first training ride led to the longest incident report ALC ever had to fill out (flat tire, accident, getting lost....you name it!). Now, Bob is hands down one of the strongest riders in ALC. He is consistently one of the first riders to finish, and he's become Lisa's favorite training partner (besides me, of course). He is helpful, friendly, silly, and super fun to ride with.

This is Matty Millspaugh. We love Matty! I have been friends with Matty for years and it's so great to be able to ride with him again this year. Matty was the driving force behind my first triathlon (Wildflower) two years ago. What can I say? He inspires me. Matty has been riding AIDS/Lifecycle now for 11 years. He's a top fundraiser and at this stage, he's about to reach the $50,000 mark for all the fundraising he has done for the Foundation over 11 years. We're so impressed with all he does and we love riding with him, too (though, we really can't keep up anymore). And he's also one of the most generous and caring people we know.

Here are our other friends on the road -- we so love enjoy saying hello to the cows as we bike by.

Don’t forget to visit our official fundraising pages! We’ve both already reached our minimum goals, but it’s not too late to support us or check out how we are doing.
Clay’s ALC Page
Lisa’s ALC Page

As always, thanks for reading our blog and supporting us! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tour de Agriculture: Davis-Vacaville Loop

This past weekend took us up to Davis, CA, where we had a nice weekend planned with our dear friends, Maris and Sacha, who recently moved to the area to attend graduate school at UC Davis. They live in the cute little town of Woodland, where we got lots of R&R at their adorable house, complete with two cats and two ducks. Wilfredo joined us as and didn't know what to think of the ducks!

{OCD and Bumbles, the ducks}

We got lots of rest Friday night and rose early on Saturday to get this ride done so we could spend more time with Maris and Sacha. Thanks to the Davis Cycling Club website, we found a route very easily, printed it out, and were on our way. The ride kicked off in a medical center/strip mall parking lot near a Starbucks. One thing we’ve learned from all this training is that Starbucks is ACTUALLY your friend. They do not lock their restroom doors and they do not look twice when you clomp on in with your cycling shoes. And they always have water, bananas, bars, etc., so we were fine with this sterile location to start.

{Lisa ready to roll}

When we woke for the ride, it was 38 degrees. Above is Lisa at the start of the ride and it’s about 43 degrees. Ouch. When we got started, the ride took us out this very long road with a terrible headwind, so we were getting pummeled with what we call “the air conditioner” at 8:30am. Luckily over time we have gotten pretty tough and have also learned how to dress in layers. Soon enough we turned left on a county road and sailed along just wonderfully. Actually, at any point on this ride one turn could either mean super harsh and windy or super easy and flying. It was all flat at this stage so we were doing just fine. Some of our early morning views of miles of orchards were really surreal.

The area of Davis is a farming community and is mostly known for its contributions to agriculture and veterinary care. Davis is also known for its university, liberal politics, and cycling culture. So we were definitely feeling at home.  

At mile 28 we arrived at our first rest stop in the town of Vacaville. Neither of us had ever been to Vacaville in all of our years in California, and we really didn’t feel the need to stay too long. We found ourselves at another Starbucks and ate snacks before hitting the road. Luckily, it was starting to warm up quite a bit. A side note: we were riding on Historic Route 40 for a lot of the ride.

Heading out of Vacaville is actually when the fun began in my opinion. The hills finally showed up and we had some amazing scenery. We were out on a long windy road called “Pleasants Valley Road” and it was pleasant all right. Mind you, it wasn’t “Pleasant.” It was “Pleasants.”

And at this stage in the ride, we started seeing a lot more cyclists on the road and we were able to strip off some layers, relax into the ride, and enjoy some much-needed sun. And what would a bike ride be for us without the farm animals? In no particular order here are the animals we saw on this ride:

A Pig
(And a ladybug rode on Lisa’s shoulder)

 {Lisa stopping to take some photos of the miniature horses!}

The Putah Creek Road area was next and equally as gorgeous. We blew threw the town of Winters without stopping and really started picking up some speed. It may have been the tailwind, or it may have been our moods, but together we were some speeding bullets at this point, riding around 22mph. It was so fun!

Finally, about 7 miles out of the town of Davis, we jumped onto the coolest bike-only path ever, and it was just such a treat after riding alongside cars most of the day. We loved it (I think Lisa called it “good stuff”). Finally pulled into our end point and back to the Starbucks parking lot after 60 miles and 4 ½ hours of ride time and we were so happy to be done. As usual, we were ready to eat! This was definitely one of our “easier” rides so we just enjoyed it. We think we’ll tackle something harder next week.

Don’t forget to check out our official fundraising pages! Though we’ve both already reached our goals, it’s never too late to support us!

Clay’s ALC Page
Lisa’s ALC Page

As always, thanks for reading and supporting us!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tour de Marin

  {Lisa and her shadow before heading out + Clay posing at China Camp outside San Rafael}

Hello friends! 

Thank you AGAIN for visiting our fundraising and training blog! First things first: 

GOOD NEWS: Lisa has reached and exceeded her fundraising goal of $3000. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. It's not too late to donate, though. You can continue to donate to Lisa here.

Clay is getting closer and closer, but she still needs your support! She's got $460 left to raise (as of the time of this blog post!). You can help her get there by donating here.

Okay, so you may have noticed that it's been two weeks since we last wrote, and that's because we got rained out the weekend of March 24-25. So we decided to take the weekend off to recover. We pretty much laid around and watched movies that weekend and it was AWESOME.

But then it was back to reality yesterday when we decided to make up for lost time and ride 75 miles with our friend Matt. Two of his friends (and fellow ALC riders) also joined us for part of the ride. We were really nervous about going this distance when we a) hadn't ridden more than 20 miles in two weeks and b) the last distance we rode was 57 or so miles. But we decided to go for it, and we're really glad we did.

This week's ride was in Marin County (instead of the Easy Bay where we have been riding a lot lately). We started and ended in Sausalito. And here's how it went:

Sausalito --> Mill Valley --> Corte Madera --> San Rafael --> China Camp --> Lucas Valley --> Nicasio --> Pt. Reyes Station --> Olema --> Samuel P. Taylor --> Lagunitas --> San Geronimo --> Fairfax --> San Anselmo --> Ross --> Larkspur --> Corte Madera --> Mill Valley --> Sausalito

We left the car at about 9:15 am and got back to the car at about 4:30 pm. We spent over 8 hours out there, and just shy of 6 hours on our bikes for the 75 mile trek.

It should be noted that the weather yesterday was spectacular in West Marin, which is where we spent most of the day. It was indeed windy (and thus cold), so it wasn't the easiest ride, but the scenery was beautiful and the sun was shining brightly.

{Cows in Nicasio + Lisa riding on the bike path in Samuel P. Taylor Park}

As many of you know (especially if you read this blog), one of the things we both love so much about riding is seeing all of the animals as we go. Yesterday was no exception. We entertain ourselves as we ride by discussing what the cows are talking about as they graze or why some horses wear coats when it's cold and others go naked. 

Yesterday's ride included several tough climbs including Camino Alto, Lucas Valley Road into Nicasio, Sir Francis Drake out of Olema, Whites Hill and Camino Alto (again). So we were pretty spent when we got back to the car, but we were also really happy.

For one thing, we did it. This was the furthest Lisa has ridden her bike since 1999. And the furthest Clay has ridden in 5 years. And it was actually fun. And we didn't feel like we were going to die afterwards. Guess that's why you train, because after awhile (even though it's always a little bit painful) it does get easier.

{After the ride}

Oh yah, and we each burned over 3000 calories, so we had a big dinner when we got home!

This coming weekend we are going to visit our dear friends Maris and Sacha in Davis. We'll do a ride out there and we are really looking forward to it. We'll be sure to report back afterward.