Monday, June 28, 2010

No Trip To NY Either..But It's My Baby's Birthday

In this year of canceling plans--both my in-laws are seriously ill so my wife had to reschedule her vacation and add family leave to go back east to help arrange assisted living--and then had to even suddenly leave earlier when her mom took a turn for the worse in a situation that was bad to begin with. So the anniversary trip to NYC we planned since my bike accident is down the toilet. (Which had taken the place of cycling and camping out at Crater Lake)

Meanwhile my "baby" turned 21, and had been pestering me for (what seems like) 21 years to take her drinking. But first another, albeit minor, cancelled plan. We were going to the Giants game so I tried making her a tee shirt with an on line tee shirt retailer (sounds like Razzle), but at the last minute Schmazzle said we couldn't make the tee shirt as we were violating the celebrity rights of the Giants announcer--even though the tee shirt was not being used for commercial purposes, sports announcers are exempt, and we're NOT using their actual photo. Yazzle full of crap--but hard to argue with an on line retailer, even if they never read California Civil Code 3344.
Ia) Any person who knowingly uses another's name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any manner on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling... ***

1) A person shall be deemed to be readily identifiable from a photograph when one who views the photograph with the naked eye can reasonably determine that the person depicted in the photograph is the same person who is complaining of its unauthorized use.

(d) For purposes of this section, a use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness in connection with any news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account, or any political campaign, shall not constitute a use for which consent is required under subdivision (a). ***

Thanks for nothing fn Zazzle
Wife got a flight literally right after the ball game, so she got to spend some time with the birthday girl. All the scrambling and cold weather put a damper on getting Jessie a beer, and the next day in the wine country she pooped out after 2 tasting rooms. But she is doing great--really getting a lot out of college in a field she's real interested in. And I can't believe I have no more minor kids.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Late Spring On Diablo

Got cleared to ride on June 3rd. I was hoping it would be warm by the time I could start riding as at the top of Mt Diablo it is usually 20 degrees less than at the base (always a slight chance of an inversion layer where it is actually warmer), with wind chill (and sweating from the climb) it seems like 25-30 colder. Me being a cold wimp, unless I am training I don't go up unless it is 83 degrees at the base.

The last two weeks I went half way to the Junction four times and to the top twice. Unfortunately, except for the weekend (beautiful mid 90's with the mountain clogged with Death Ride trainees), and one evening, it has been cold. Unfortunately, I still can't stretch out my arm and stand on a climb for more than 25 revolutions.
Pumpkincycle fans thrown out of the World Cup--with one sporting the NEW Diablo Cyclists Summer Jersey.

Oakland Pumpkincycle fans not to be outdone by world cup fans.

Last weekend I was a little nervous going in as our club ride was going over Morgan Territory--overall not that bad but with a few semi-steep hairpins that are perfect for standing. I bypassed the first rest stop (a regroup stop at mile 8), and continued up solo as I don't have enough self control not to chase when in a crowd. Warm day but stayed cool in great--light new Diablo Cyclist Jersey, which used to be dark blue and now is a beautiful peachy-orange. Tree lined Morgan Territory was beautiful, windy day but hills to the side buffered the wind, and sat for most of the climb. At the end of our 45 mile route some people suggested going up the easy side (South Side) of Mt. Diablo. Nice and warm and feeling good, and I opened it up. Just before hitting the Junction Super Joe (2nd in Eastern Sierra Double a few years back) comes roaring by, I yell at him for attacking the handicapped, so he slows and we ride in together.

Next day Joe and Johnna, later has done all the passes of the Death Ride a half dozen times, want to blow off the Club ride and go straight up Diablo to the top. Pace to 1,000 is killing me and I'm about to drop off but Joe slows and then we follow Johnna's pace. Felt good until last 18% ramp as didn't want to stand on it--where I usually really pull my arm. ***

The next week Ward, Johnna (who went up Diablo early at 48 degrees), Christine, new Steve and I did a hilly 75 miler, starting off on the Diablo Cyclist club ride--though we made the beginning hard by going up the 18% (Steve was yelling out the gradient--someone told him to be quiet) Muur de Moraga. It was cold and windy and since Skyline hasn't been paved in years my injured elbow and back really hurt. We dropped down through Tilden Park and the bonus mile group then did the Bears--paved road, it was warm, and I got happy fast and opened it up on the hills. Then we out to Crockett (stopped off at the worst market ever, unless you were looking for organic Marlboro's) and up McEwan, which also has grades @18% but new Steve learned to keep that info to himself.

Finding the 2 warm spots on the ride over the Oakland Hills and then to Crockett--Diablo Cyclist Bonus Mile Group look resplendent in their orange tie dye jersey--the one's in white aren't bad either. Frank Zappa Bridge in the background.

Meanwhile certified Lance hater Dr. Dave was racing his recumbent on the San Jose Velodrome--Lance showed up, gave Dave "the look," and al la Filippo Simeoni the pelaton begged Dave to get in the back in the pack to Lance wouldn't chase them down. Besides teaching Dave a lesson Lance no doubt had to get some practice riding his 'bent on the Roubaix velodrome.

Mark Mervich photo.

The next day was an easy father's day breakfast ride where some of us went half way up Diablo where we got to see the Rivendell Steel Lugged Classic Car Show and drivers wearing seersucker shirts. Then some of us forgot our bottle at the Junction so Ward and I rode back up to get it--40 minutes for a $3.99 bottle so now we know our time is worth $6.05 an hour.

So a few metric century rides and a few times on climbs--now I have to start extending as Mt. Tam Double is a month and a half away and after this weekend I'll be off the bike for a few weeks as daughter turns 21 and then off to New York on a baseball pilgrimage vacation.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Comeback Time-It FN Hurts

Being injured is a real strange reality. You're hurting and you cant do what you want to do, or even the 2nd or 3rd choice. And as most social connections are via cycling, that disappears also.

"Any time when a guy goes on the disabled list, he doesn't feel like a part of the team"-Justin Speir, California Angels (7/12/2007)

"Being on the disabled list certainly gives you a perspective and a certain understanding of people who have been injured. "It's like you are not part of the team. You're away from the team. You just feel pushed away. I'm not glad I went through the experience. I'm glad that I have a perspective now that I didn't have before."-Cal Ripkin, Baltimore Orioles (4/13/2000)

Took lots of walks and read lots of books. B ut one month felt like one year. After one bout of feeling sorry for myself was going to buy a fancy Digital (big/ heavy) camera--years ago (B.K.=before kids) I used to walk around with a Mamiya medium format camera and develop my own film/ prints. I went back to the store 3x and read reviews and was ready to buy the camera when I got hold of myself and knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel and I wasn't ready to do something I plan to pick up again at age 75, though I now felt that old.

Besides missing the Davis Double, most of the Wine Country Double Metric and the Stockton Delta Century (on a fixed gear), all which were supposed to be the perfect lead in for the Alta Alpina 8, I also missed some great Club self supported century rides. While I was gone there was much hilarious cycling attire--thanks to the gang for the Lion of Flanders theme on their Mt. Hamilton from the hard side ride, though the funniest one may have been the jersey created by the self promoting guy who would play "the maestro" on Seinfeld.

After 5 weeks physician cleared me to get back on he bike, but I'd have to take it easy. New bone chip in elbow still hurts and can't really extend my arm fully out. Of course first club ride is a 60 mile climbing route (elevation 3000') that winds up in the Oakland Hills. Ride started out flat which was good as needed to get "sea legs" back--also have to put about 70% of my weight on my good arm. Second part of the ride is where the climbing starts, mostly gradual with some nice short steep pitches--the kind of stuff I like a lot. Well.....I jumped out of the saddle on the first climb and extending my arm on the bike was NOT like being on the trainer--it hurt--and so did the weight I put on it on the downhills. For the rest of the ride I was climbing like Professor Dave on the 'bent--sitting my ass down." Ride took its toll but gotta start somewhere--next week will be easier. As Patti Smith says "glad to be back."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dirtbags Baseball

Still on the mend and off the bike though went on the trainer a couple of times last week. So visited daughter in Long Beach over Memorial Day and we wanted to take in a Long Beach State baseball game—their team (really) is nicknamed the DIRTBAGS. We expected a large raucous stadium filled with college students—but as graduation was a few days prior not to many collegians in the crowd. Instead, true to their nickname, seemingly every senior citizen DIRTBAG in Long Beach was in the crowd and sitting near us—and we bought the box seats so we were sitting next to many of the regulars.Some of the more entertaining DIRTBAG fans

1) One burn out wearing a pizza man tee shirt (aka wife beater), backpack, and glaucoma glasses. When the amphetamines kicked in he'd leap onto the railing, block everyone's view, and yell in a foghorn voice "take your time…..have fun……be relaxed…….take your time…….have fun…….be relaxed."

2) If John Candy was still alive he'd resemble a guy who came up to us with a carton of California Rolls who came over and wanted to know when we were picking up the chicken BBQ we had won, and we could take some California Rolls now if he could have a piece of chicken later. He couldn't believe we were not claiming out "lucky prize" of a bbq dinner for 8 (hot night, daughter is a vegan, wife and I limiting our calories)

Rest of the game we'd see him ambling about with his endless box of California Rolls.

but the winning DIRTBAG was

3) JOE—truly the DIRTBAG mascot. A "plump" disheveled guy dressed in a Long Beach State baseball jersey,and hat he'd walk by every inning and say "hi, hi, hi, hi" and wouldn't leave unless you gave him a rousing "HI" back. Oh yeah, he'd walk around with two laminated cards about a foot long—one of a babe sticking out of her bikini, another one falling out of her evening dress. Between innings a staffer brought Joe a guitar and he air guitared to an Elvis cut playing over the PA.