Friday, May 21, 2010

Prefumo canyon, morning visit

Stubborn fog clings in the oaks
Verdant, deep green circles the valley and chokes out the drying grass on steep slopes.
life-seeking leaves and grass that grew and gave up
parched mixes into veritable shades of browns and greens, dotting the hills.
Mountains, ancient and rocky, fight for higher air, beating up against each other, reaching upward.
A new valley now. Thick apple orchards swimming together in one whole piece.
New fruit waits for autumn hands to come,
to grasp and pull the sweet globes. Sticky juice prepares to run down chins.
Fog lifts as the valley winds south. Salty air smacks into the rich fruit-infused layer
and the dry grass gives off its unmistakable perfume.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's the Tour of California, and I'm not blogging about it.

Well, life seems to repeat itself, doesn't it? It's the Tour of California, and once again, I find myself without adequate Versus coverage to watch the race, and I also find myself madly trolling for men in the peloton who may have Versus coverage and who don't mind if I flirt with them to get me my TV-coverage fix. I NEED TO BLOG ABOUT IT. IT'S IMPORTANT. So far, I have some leads, but haven't yet found a couch on which to watch the race. It's only a week race--I need to act quickly.

One thing I will say: Ol' California--you threw a wrench into the race organizer's plans by letting some rain slip into the May forecast, didn't ya? Anomalous weather, for sures--but, at least the directors can take comfort in the fact that it's POURING at the Giro, so next year, ToC organizers can advertise it as the "drier" May race.

In other news, it's also my yearly bike shuffle time. I've been in this pattern lately of selling off bikes/frames once a year so I can upgrade for lighter carbon-y goods. The older and slower I get, the more I need to compensate by spending money to save grams, right? My latest purchase? A CARBON BLUR XC. Oh, yes, I did.

Orbea and Juliana frame will be financing this latest purchase. I now have a 23lb full-suspension bike--and if I upgrade the pedals and headtube, I can probably get it into the 22 lb range. If anyone wants to contribute to my "new brakes fund" (my 30th birthday is coming up, yo), I may break into the 21 lb range.

Watch out, spindly-legged college racers. You may be young and ripped, but I'm older and have more CARBON.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Big Sur Weekend and that pesky poison oak

So because SLO, in all of its perfection, isn't gorgeous enough already, a large group of us headed up to Big Sur, 70 miles north, for some camping.

This, friends, is Big Sur (and also some really bad photography. This is a WRITING blog, okay?):

Rugged coastline, mountains next to the sea that jut up 2,000 feet (or so) into the air, redwoods, and stunning beaches. For 50 miles. Oh, and no development, whatsoever. It's a special place.

The occasion was my good friend Chris's birthday. So Friday night, we packed up our various bikes, surfboards, food, beer, and camping supplies and caravaned up the coast.

Saturday started off with a 12-mile climb up Nacimento-Ferguson road. Most of us were on mt. bikes, so we rode down a "trail" that was sort of a trail. Picture riding down a very steep grassy mountain that feeds straight into the ocean. That was the top of the descent. Then we hit the "singletrack" section, which obviously isn't ridden enough, because it was quite overgrown with poison oak (do you see where I'm going with this?) and branches. But it was FUN. And because most of us believe we're invincible while on a mt. bike, we rode straight through it. When we got back to the campsite, our invincibility cloaks wore off, and we madly scrambled for Tecnu and water to scrub our poison-oak covered EVERYTHING. Annnd, it didn't work so well. But seriously, that descent was worth it. It's not every day you get to ride down a mountain that feeds you straight into the ocean.

We watched the guys hit their surf session after the ride:

On Sunday, Yukie and I decided since the boys were hungover and didn't bring their road bikes, they should drive home and we would ride. We enjoyed a stunning coastal jaunt, peppered (mostly) by a tailwind. Five hours later, we arrived in SLO.

It was a massively fun weekend. It was Big Sur.