Monday, April 12, 2010

More Fun on the Tandem

On Saturday, Nimue and I did the Cinderella Classic metric century over in the East Bay. We were strong, passing many people, and got to explore some nice little roads through the still-green hills that I'd never been on before. Nim was good, though her main comment about the adventure was something along the lines of "We rode too fast, Mommy, and it made me cold!" Over the course of the ride she stole all my extra warm layers and put them on on top of all her layers -- by the end, she was wearing an undershirt, a jersey, a wool sweater, her windbreaker, my fleece layer, and my windbreaker! I on the other hand, was working hard enough to be plenty warm in just my jersey. Despite the fact that I could clearly feel Nimue's effort on the bike, she still had enough energy to be goofy at lunch, and ran around the yard like a mad thing after we got home.

66 miles and a couple thousand feet of gentle climbing

Because this was a females-only ride, Chad got to do the epic jolly 100 mile loop over and around Mt. Hamilton instead. Details may be forthcoming...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I went on an insanely gorgeous wildflower hike on Coyote Ridge down toward Morgan Hill this morning with some people from work. This area is normally closed to the public (due to lots of threatened and endangered species) unless you get in one these once-a-year guided trips.

The ever-ubiquitous California Poppy.

This area adjoins the Kirby Canyon landfill, making an interesting juxtaposition between the exuberant springtime flower explosion and man-made mess.

A checkerspot butterfly next to a piece of green serpentine. The soil from this serpentine supports all sorts of unusual plants and critters.

Took 175 pictures before the camera battery ran out on me -- there are quite a number of good ones that you may be subjected to at some later date...

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Bike High Lapse in Judgment

Sure, that clear spot over Sunnyvale will follow me around....
I got very wet yesterday.

On the bright side, today
a) it didn't rain after 8:30 am
b) I was smart enough to revise my original plan of going up Hamilton (there was snow up there)

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Never underestimate your kids. Here are just a few things topics that bring this to mind this morning:

1. Imagination

Fuv is a small monster born in a cactus flower in Arizona. He somehow found and attached himself to Nimue a couple of years ago and now lives in the nook under her bed. He protects her from all the scary monsters that inhabit the dark spaces of the night after bedtime. Quite a handy fella, really.

2. General coveting and nagging about getting new stuff

Nimue writes to Fuv when she wants things -- apparently he communicates with Santa, the Easter Bunny, parents, and anyone else whose arm might be twisted into acquiring coveted objects for her. She has said that she knows Fuv isn't real, but hopes the letter writing might be effective anyway.

In this case, she wants the bike because she had to wait patiently in the bike shop while I picked up my new bike yesterday. Chad very helpfully distracted her by looking at all the different bikes, helmets, catalogs, parts, etc. that were there to be seen.

Please note that Nimue's bike is NOT too small for her; I had to explain that new bikes are only acquired when the old bike is either outgrown or so many components are wearing out due to the sheer number of miles ridden that it actually costs less to just get a new bike than to replace everything.

Shiny new bike is sitting in the garage today because it's Chad's turn to get a weekend ride in. It's supposed to rain tomorrow and Monday, Tuesday I have to help in Nimue's classroom, Wed and Thur are full of work things, Friday is an early dismissal day, Saturday will be full of an organized ride that Nim and I are doing on the tandem. New bike says "Waaaah"!

(still need to get it a decent bag and water bottle cages, but Chad was quite nice last night and found and installed some temporary items)

Note the new bike's resemblance to Chad's...the Specialized Ruby/Roubaix is quite a delightful bike for the long distance hilly riding that I favor :)

3. Adventure prowess
Nimue (with her cousin's "Flat Stanley") at the Black Mountain Backpack Camp We rode mountain bikes in a few miles and camped up on the peak a couple of weeks ago; Nim rode her own bike in up the singletrack.
The following day, she and I rode the tandem all the way up Page Mill, which really does count as one of the "real" hills around here, with 2000+ feet of elevation gain and an extended section with a grade of about 8.5%. That was one of those weird days when the stars all aligned and she did the whole thing without complaining (the almost constant candy bribes helped...)
Next weekend brings the Cinderella Classic century ride, which she and I will do on the tandem; I'm hoping it doesn't rain.

4. Artwork (as always with Nim)
Bat skeleton she made for a school project with her friend Rowan

Anteater drawing made just for fun (Don't ask me why anteaters; I have no idea....)

and of course, Fuv