Thursday, March 29, 2007

I got up this morning and wasn't in a hurry to get on my bike because they were complaining about how cold it was on the news. Big mistake because today was gorgeous in the bay area. I took a great ride over lunch out to Holly Park and then around Bernal Heights. Here's the view looking down San Jose Ave towards downtown:

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Ouch! not flattering lighting for Joseph. Where the hell's my make up guy when I need him??

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I love Bernal Heights. It's so pretty there. But some of those hills are not for the squeamish or those afraid of heights. Here's the view down into the mission:

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I took a little longer ride after work. I headed up Marin Headlands but turned aroound at the top and came down Conzelman rather than heading down to Point Bonita. Here are a couple of awesome shots of the bridge, one from the Presidio:

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and one from Conzelman.

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I headed back into the city and over to the San Francisco AIDS foundation to meet Jeffrey Shapiro, the new AIDS Lifecycle director. I only stayed about fifteen minutes, partly because Mimi was hungry and waiting for dinner and partly because, after all that riding today, Joseph was also hungry and waiting for dinner. I saw Wilfredo as I was leaving and he's grown his hair out. He looks like a supermodel. Pics on that later. Here's super ride leader Julie Brown and my cycle buddy Kari Boatner.

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Julie's also training for the AIDS marathon. I don't know how she does it. I barely have time to finish watching my programs before a new magazine arrives and then suddenly, it's naptime. You see, I'm a Bizzy Gal just like Mimi.
I couldn't ride in the morning on Wednesday because I had to take Jeff to the airport. He's in Austin for work. I hate it when he leaves town. Mimi's in a panic. We're sheltering in place. After work, I rode through North Beach. Here's a pic of pretty Sts Peter and Paul. Have you even noticed those two are together an awful lot?? I'm just saying.

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Then I headed over to fisherman's wharf. Here's Alcatraz from Aquatic Park.

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Then through the Marina into the Presidio:

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Finally into the park. The Conservatory of Flowers was extra pretty. It must have known I was coming:

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Finally I went through the Haight up over 17th street back to my house. 17th St is quite a hill. Thursday: more biking.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sog City

I tried to beat the rain today. I headed out at 6:45 and headed up Corbett on the same route I took on Friday morning. It was misty but dry when I left the house but it was already pretty wet by the time I hit the top of Corbett. I hoped it was fog and when I headed down towards the ocean I'd get under it. WRONG. IT was soaking wet for the rest of my ride. All the way down Taravel to the ocean and then all the way up geary. I took this picture at Sutro Heights Park. Look at the bags under my eyes! Well in all fairness, some of it is the horrible tan lines I'm developing from my sunglasses.

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I took Balboa and Cabrillo back into town and snapped a pictue of Saint Ignatius at The University of San Francisco before I headed into town on Golden Gate. I don't spend a lot of time on any of these roads and they were soggy but entertaining. Just like me.

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At lunch, Chris was nice enough to take me to REI to pick up my membership sale loot. The important purchase was new tires for my road bike. I went with the Continental Gator Skins. The best tires I've ever used. The ones they're replacing have a jaw dropping 5000 miles on them which is completely unheard of for road bike tires. And the performance? Awesome. I averaged about one flat per state when I rode cross country last year. I recommend these to all the riders on my training rides. Because nothing sucks the confidence right out of you like two or more flats in a single day. Just ask me-- I had that day yesterday. My other purchase was a new geek watch. I went with the Origo multi function Granite Peak watch that has a thermometer, a barometer, an altimiter, and a compass on it. Conversation with my cube mate Bruce whose dry wit is legendary:

Joseph: "Look Bruce the watch knows it's raining outside"
Bruce: "Great! Now you don't have to look out the window."

True enough but it's awful cool and my old watch was falling apart and needed to be replaced.... Here's a glamour shot of Chris and Sofi from today. I hope they go out of town again soon. I had such a great time dog sitting her and Mimi, despite all the complaints, loved the company.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

I rode about 80 miles today. I left the house at 6:30 and rode scott to Sacramento to Arguello to Lake to 25th ave and then went through the Presidio past Baker Beach down to the Sports Basement for my lifecycle ride. It was very, very wet but luckily it dried out pretty quickly. We rode out to China Camp State Park outside of San Rafael and then up Lucas Valley Road into Nicasio Valley and then back to Fairfax and back to town. A lot of us had a tough day. I had two flat tires. Two! The tires on my road bike used to be awesome. They're Continental GatorSkins and I love them except that the I bought the ones on my road bike before I rode cross country last year and they have about 5000 miles on them which is a lot more than they should have. I ordered some new ones from REI and they weren't in before today's ride thus all the flats. I saw a lot of other people's flats as well and I also saw a rider with a broken chain on a brand new bike. My friend David, putting it perspective noted, "Better mechanicals than physicals". Ain't that the truth! Here I am in my capacity as pointer. Four years of college to get skills like this!

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Despite all the drama I thought today was fabulous. I hadn't been to China camp State Park before and it's a beautiful stretch along San Pablo Bay. I'm hoping to get Jeff out here this summer. Will likely involve threats.

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Lucas Valley Road is always a treat. Here are Kurt and Sandra at the lunch stop:

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The sun finally came out again when we were in Fairfax. I was in the store getting a soda when I heard a tremendous boom coming from outside in the direction of my bike. It was my front tire going explosively flat but I didn't care because there was this car full of huskies keeping me company while I waited for someone with a spare tube:

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Ben and I were treated to a glorious view while we were waiting for a rider at the top of Camino Alto:

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At the end of the day, we ran into my friend Nathan's pal Nhon. He's doing the ride for the first time with his friends and they're going to do great.

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I'm hoping the rain will hold off long enough for me to get a ride in the morning. And I'm hoping my new tires are going to be in at REI soon because I'm not riding my road bike again until there are new tires on it. Stay tuned!

Chris and David took us out to the legendary Brothers II restaurant to thank us for watching Sofi.  Nathan and Daniel joined us for a barbeque spectacular.  I sat as far away from the meat as possible and enjoyed my Bi Bim Bop washed down with several of the big comedy sized OB beers.  The tofu soup was even vegetarian.  It was incredibly delicious and I ate until I was practically immobile.  Luckily Chris had driven.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday has been a fun day. Mimi had to go to the groomers to beautify. Here's how she looked when she was done-- a lady!

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After we dropped her off, we went to the grocery store and then we got mani-pedi's. Jeff got his toes painted a ladylike wine color.

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I went for a OPI polish in frosty orange called "Melon of Troy"

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Then we went to lunch and then I went for a walk while Jeff watched a movie. The weather was awful. Cold and foggy and drizzly and windy. Yuck. I managed to get Jeff to go for a bike ride after Mimi was finished. How did I accomplish that?? I told Jeff that he was getting on his f*ing bicycle today if that meant I was going to drape his corpse over it. See, communication is so important in a marriage.

We biked through the Mission to Precita Park at the base of Bernal Hill. It's one of the prettiest small parks in the city and often overlooked.

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Then we headed down to the Embarcadero and then Mission Bay to check out the new UCSF campus. It's very ambitious and very pretty. It's kind of weird the way this dense, populous neighborhood is popping up seemingly overnight where previously there was nothing but abandoned warehouses and trash piles. The population seems to be mostly coeds and homeless although there are far fewer homeless everytime I vist that area because it's developing so fast there are fewer and fewer places for them to go.

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Friday = Bike Bike Bike

I had a great ride on Friday morning. I went up Corbett to Portola and down Laguna Honda to Dewey then to Taravel and then down to ocean beach. Sunny at my house, socked in with fog at Laguna Honda and then sunny at the beach. Ocean beach was beautiful and it was a beautiful ride up the coast.

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I headed up the big hill at geary and took a great picture of the Seal rocks.

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Then I took Geardy down into the twenties and then Clement to Arguello and then Sacramento down to Gough and then Clay up over Russian Hill and down into the financial district. Here's a pic from the top of Clay looking down into the financial district:

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I didn't ride after work. Instead I cleaned bikes for many, many hours. Bicycle maintenacnce isn't such a big deal when you stay on top of it, but when you do not it will eventually be a long, messy, greasy job. But now my rode bike and my commuter bike are pretty clean and I've resolved to clean them more frequently so it isn't such a big job again.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

I spent a lot of time of my bike today. I got up a little early and was out the door by 6:45. I took Corbett to Portola again but this time I came down Woodside to Dewey to Taravel into the Sunset. Then I took 15th avenue up to Golden Gate Heights. Such a cool neighborhood and easy to overlook because it isn't easy get to. Then I headed back to Golden Gate Park. This time I went to Stowe lake which was very pretty in the morning:

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From there I headed to the Rose Garden which had not a single blossom in it and then into the Richmond. I went to Seacliff and then through the Presidio past Baker Beach. The Marin Headlands looked so much nicer this morning than they did on Monday when they were socked in with fog:

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From there I headed down to Crissy Field and then into the Marina. I stopped at the Palace of fine arts for a couple of touristy photos:

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Note to visitors. The locals in the Marina can best be described as mouthwatering.

From there I went into work. I biked home for lunch and it was warm and pleasant. I took the long way to my Thursday night class at City College through the Mission, around lovely, house-proud Bernal Heights, past Holly Park, through St. Mary's park and then up over Silver terrace up to McLaren Park. Pretty, dowdy McLaren Park is one of my favorites in the city. It's unfortunately ringed by some of the toughest neighborhoods in the city and best enjoyed during the daytime. But at the top of it there's a beautiful overlook where you can watch planes taking off from SFO. Delightful!

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I headed out Persia through the Excelsior over to city college for my class. There's quite a view from my building:

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I'm pretty beat but I was comfortable all day and had a great time. I think I was smelling pretty rank by the time my class ended, but luckily there weren't a lot of people sitting near me. Probably not a coincidence.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hello Spring

This morning was cold but sunny. I got up early and took Corbett to Portola to Woodside and then down past pretty Laguna Honda Hospital to 7th Avenue and then through the Sunset into Golden Gate Park. The park was especially beautiful this morning. The Shakespeare garden was very serene:

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Here's the recent De Young museum rising behind a much older sculpture. Interesting juxtaposition.

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Then I cut over to the Presidio to check out the restored wetlands by Crissy Field and then I went to work

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Over lunch I went and got Sofi and took her to the Marina by Pac Bell Park. Sofi's such sweet dog and everybody loves her. Such a contrast from my dog Mimi who snarls at everybody and will likely be indicted on war crimes before she's six. I told that UN tribunal that she'd testify, but only in private and not under oath.

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As you can see, Sofi excels at the action shot.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I woke up this morning and it was raining. But I went biking for an hour before work anyway. I took one of my most favorite routes to work: Eureka to Noe Valley then Diamond up to Diamond Heights then Diamond Heights Blvd to Portola to Twin Peaks Blvd up to the viewing platform and then down into the city through the Haight. The climbing was tons of fun. The viewing platform was empty. The guy who took this picture couldn't quite figure out why I wanted it because it was way too foggy for any view:

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Then I very slowly and carefully headed down the mountain to work. It rained most the day but luckily cleared up in the afternoon and the sun came out. I went after work out sutter into pacific heights and then Washington to Arguello and the Lake to 22nd avenue and then I got on Geary and took that out to the ocean. It was so windy that I was getting sand in my face above the cliff house and when I got down to the great highway it was practically blowing me over.

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I headed down to Lake Merced where te weather was a little bit more agreeable:

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Then I headed over to Sloat and then Saint Francis Wood to Portola to Corbett and home. Here's the nice view pic I couldn't take this morning because of the fog:

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I felt good today. Definitely over being sick. I did a lot of climbing today and it was really fun. More of the same tomorrow! Note to all you catty bitches who noticed I'm wearing the same fleece and jecket as yesterday: I totally did laundry last night.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fog City

I wasn't happy with my performance yesterday. I was sluggish towards the end and I was wiped out when I was done. I attribute this to being sick and being off the bike because I was sick. But I'm not sick any more and my solution for these woes: more biking. I biked for an hour before work, I biked over lunch, and then I biked for a couple of hours after work.

Before work I went to the Presidio and then the Marina. Took a couple of tourist photos:

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San Franciscans will always take your picture for you. I'm sure that when the big one comes, you could walk up to a man trapped under a beam with blood spurting from a wound in his head and ask him to take your picture for you he would say "move a little to the left so you can get Alcatraz in the background." and then take first one picture and then a backup one.

Over lunch I went through China town up over Russian hill to the bike shop and to get a gear adjustment and then over to Chris's to visit with him and little Sofi for a while. Delightful! There was a huge anti war protest in the financial district today and 45 people got arrested. I showed up towards the end of the protest and caught this puzzling sight. It's Gandhi in effigy but it totally reminds me of the Kind from those Burger King ads. How conflicting!

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After work I just wanted to go home and lay around but I knew I needed to put a few miles in on the bike. I did the Marin Headlands and they were foggy. Way foggier than the city was today. Here it is laid out before me. Yuck

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And when you get to the very top, there's this crazy downhill down towards Point Bonita where your way up over the Pacific and in the fog, when you can't really see where you are, it's terrifying. But fun. There was no point to taking pictures up at the top because it was too foggy to see anything, but once I finally got under the fog I took a few pictures.

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Had a nice ride home and dinner tasted delicious. I think it's the rides that you have to talk yourself into the whole time that are the most rewarding. It's easy to go biking on a pretty day. But schlepping your butt into the foggiest place on earth because you know you need to -- now that makes you feel like you've done something. Note to new riders: you might think that those of us who ride a lot never want to skip biking and just go home and sit in the hot tub. Think again.