Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home alone!

Jeff's out of town until the 6th of July.  The dogs think armageddon is upon us.  The house has assumed a gloomy pallor kinda like Tara right after the burning of Atlanta but before as god as my witness I'll never be hungry again.  But it's only a week to go and I'm sure he'll be back before I lock myself in the study and begin hoarding cats. 

Pride was a lot of fun last weekend. I went out to the beach with Nick and Jason and Cat and their dog Trevor who had lots of fun frolicking in the dunes and playing in the water and totally made us forget that it was about fifty five degrees and really foggy.  Then we walked back through the park.  I saw a lot of stuff I hadn't seen before.  There's a pretty new pond and path that they've put in that evidently already comes with a ranty old man.  We also met a twenty year old dog (either a small samoyed or a large spitz) and its owner who seemed the dogs relative age in human years.  I ended up getting on the train at 14th st and went home to feed the dogs and myself.  Then I went to Dolores Park to meet my friend Vic and his cure friend Sean who was throwing a dance party at a restaurant by the pride celebration the next day that I was unfortunately too wiped out to attend.  Then I went and visited with Chris and David downtown.  We hung out for a couple of hours and then went to the castro.  It was crazy.  Lots of suburban fags running about and way too drunk for 10PM.  I went home pretty early.

I had to get up pretty early for the parade.  I rode with Different Spokes and we were really early on in the parade.  Right behind "Mikes on Bikes" and ahead of the Cheer SF folks.  The mikes on bikes were an interesting bunch.  Some of them were nude.  One of them was wearing the plow_king outfit down to the crown.  It was awesome.  A few of us got invited to their post parade orgy.  Alas, my invite must have gotten lost in the mail.  The parade is pretty short for the paraders--  only from spear st to 8th st so we were done pretty quickly.  But it's really fun to be in the parade and there were a LOT of people out to watch.  After, I hung out at the booth for a while.  I concluded that we were the best looking bunch of all the groups in the "jock block" section at pride.  Close runner up were the scuba boys.  At the tail end were the karate guys because a couple of them were hanging out in briefs (and they really, really shouldn't have been) mystifyingly reapplying sunscreen every ten minutes like it was the first part of some mating ritual that I was absolutely not going to wait around to see how it ended.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I only took three pictures the whole lifecycle but luckily other people were a little more vigilant.  I'll be fleshing out my ride narrative in the next couple of weeks with pictures from other people.  Thanks Brook for the pics!  You're the greatest!

Monday, June 12, 2006

I spent most of sunday unpacking and getting situated.  I'm back in San Francisco for the rest of the year which I'm actually excited about because I've been gone so much and it's good to be back.  I was on my bike by 10am on Sunday morning running errands and doing hills.  Aren't I nuts??  This ride was really fun for me because I love my bike and I love biking.  But not everybody on the ride feels that way.  For every person who's like me who looks forward to the training and the riding there are two people who hate their bike and hate training and hate riding and are only doing it because they're alive and somebody they loved is not.  The day they cure AIDS these riders are going to be the ones putting there bicycles in their driveways and driving over them until all that is left of them is flattened metal and carbon.  These are the riders who impress me the most.  I hope I was helpful enough to them. 

Day 7 - Los Angeles - 60 miles

I looked for my bike for 49 minutes at bike parking before finding it.  Ouch!  Next year I'm paying more attention to where I leave it.  The ride was fantastic, fast through Ventura to Oxnard past Pt Magu and then through Malibu.  I got in before eleven.  My pal Nick was such a champ for collecting me.  Let's review all the things he did:

1)  Got up at 6 am on a saturday

2)  Flew down to LA

3)  Rented a car for the day (convertible!  swanky!)

4)  Collected me withing ten minutes of me getting off my bike

5)  Took me out for indian food which was so good

6)  Took me sight seeing at these beatiful canals around Venice beach

7)  Got me to the airport in plenty of time

8)  Got me drunk at the bar

9)  Dropped me off at my place in san francisco. 

Good job Nick!  You're a quality pimp. 

Day 6 - Ventura - 80 miles

Fun Fun day.  It started with a very slow, very gradual climb up over some coastal mountains followed by a screaming descent down to the coast.  Then a fast ride down the one into ventura which has my favorite campsite-- right on the beach.  I ran into my friend Elise from the paradise ride in 2002!  She was riding and looked fabulous!  There were a lot of former paradise ride alum on the lifecycle this year.  Too bad they aren't going to put that ride on again because it was so much fun. 

Day 5 - Lompoc - 41 miles + 8 bonus miles

Just because this day is short doesn't make it easy.  There were two significant hills this day.  The first one was one of my favorites so I did it three times (the bonus miles).  Don't think I'm crazy, Ben did the second of the hills (the easier one) TEN times that day.  It's a tradition for this day for the riders to dress in red or better yet to wear a red dress.  I actually saw a drag queen in like five inch heels, one of which had cleats.  Amazing.  I didn't do that.  I wore a red sleeveless jersey and my red armwarmers and liberally applied some red rouge to my cheeks which prompted some woman at pit one medical tent to say to me "I'm very concerned about the sunburn on your cheeks".  Yikes!  Guess I won't be wearing it to work.

Day 4 - Santa Maria - 97 miles

This day has a lot going on.  It started with coastal hills to Morro Bay.  We hit the halfway point for the ride about twenty miles out of Paso Robles which is where I took the only pics I took all week.  Then, we headed south through San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach.  And Pismo beach is so pretty and the terrain so easy that you think you're done.  But no, there's still hills, a crazy sidewind, another rest stop, and a wild tailwind before getting to Santa Maria.  Winds weren't as hard as last year, but then again I was pretty early.  I couldn't get up to 30mph with the tailwinds coming into Santa Maria.  But I tried.  Lousy 29.5. 

Day 3 - Paso Robles - 78 miles

The camp in Paso Robles is very hot and everything is a bit of a walk which makes this camp problematic.  But I had a great ride day.  I did get a flat but it was as I was coming into camp at the end of the day so I didn't have to fix it on the road which was nice.  Camp was very hot and I was very tired and I went to bed early and left my tent door open which has evidently resulted in some photos of me sleeping on top of my sleeping bag wearing boxer shorts that didn't turn out to be as full coverage as I would have hoped.  No it won't be in my thank you letter.

Day 2 - King City - 103 miles

This day is kinda flat and really long.  We headed up the Salinas valley from Santa Cruz and stayed at Kind City at the top of the valley.  There was an awesome tailwind at the end of the day which is always really fun.  The campsite is also really pretty.  A couple of riders got food poisoning, presumably from popsickles, but I wonder if it's because they were swimming in the river.  I had really wanted to go swimming but I get so focused while biking there's no way I can stop for more than ten minutes and swimming is out of the question.  Well, maybe next year.

Day 1 - Santa Cruz - 78 miles

Beautiful day, fast ride down the coast.  I saw Barbara from America By Bicycle from my tour last month coming down Skyline Blvd and said Hi.  They're supporting a ride up the coast.  Man they're on the road a lot.  It was foggy pretty much until I was coming into Santa Cruz and then it got pretty warm.  After setting up my tent, I infiltrated Cosco in search of diet coke.  They must have been onto us after I left, because they kicked out Dave and Michael when they went over because they weren't Cosco members.

Day 0 - Registration

I rode my bike to registration which was fun because I went over McLaren Park and stopped at the viewing area which was looking pretty.  And then that crazy downhill through Sunnyside projects where you're hoping nobody's feeling like target practice.  Registration was pretty quick and we got out of there without too much drama.  Ride leader jersies look great this year.