Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Weekend Full of Biking - And Fruit!

It has come to my attention that I am becoming a cyclist. First I got the road bike, then I got bike clothes, finally I got clipless pedals. Then I started doing crazy things like riding up the sides of Mount Diablo multiple times. Looking down from a perch over 2,000 feet above the surroundings, and flying down the hill, I just kept thinking about how I used to drive up hills like this and wonder why any person would want to bike up them. Biking up hill is super hard. Saturday's ride was 60 miles and more than 5,000 feet of elevation gain. The temperature was over 90. We did see some beautiful scenery though, particularly the one-lane road through Morgan Territory, and the views coming down Diablo on the other side.

Today Matt and I went to an event called Tour d'Organics. We participated in a 35 mile ride that involved three rest stops, all stocked with local, organic food. Two of the stops were at farms like this one:

We rode through some extremely beautiful country, as well as plenty of apple orchards:

Back at the community center where the ride started, we had an organic, vegan lunch replete with local entertainment. Overall, the ride was extremely well-organized, the food was great, and everyone was really friendly. We would definintely do this ride again - maybe a longer one next time! (Although the nice guy who fixed Matt's flat at one of the rest stops seemed incredulous we were on the 35 mile ride instead of the 16 miler, presumably because of Matt's bike.

This ride was up near wine country in Sebastopol, and we discovered that the Gravenstein Apple Fair was also going on, so we swung by after the ride. (Matt loves apples.) It was amazingly well attended, full of live music, crafts, and much food, particularly apples. There were also people showcasing their super old machinery like irrigation pumps, sprayers, riding saws, and more. We finally headed home after stopping at the local hardware store to use our two "Digby Dollars" from the ride on an apple peeler they had advertised out front. I couldn't believe how country the whole place felt.

After coming home, I headed out for a run, and boy was it tough. I'm thinking I maybe shouldn't have signed up for a half-marathon just a month after the bike event. I don't know how I'm going to start knocking out longer runs on the weekend. The 3.5 I did today was rough, and it has to go up from here. I may experiment with moving my long runs to a week day. Some day I will stop going on event commitment binges and just live a normal life where I don't bike 93 miles in a weekend. Someday.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Ironic

I just realized that the website of my blog is still "Who Needs a Cubicle".

Apparently I do.

Honestly, until this year, I hadn't had a cubicle since grad school. I'd been lucky enough to work out of my home or at jobs where I had my own office (once with a window with a view of the lovely Jemez Mountains) or worked in a huge open space with no one else around and views of the Pacific Ocean. A couple of times my office had no window, but it was pretty nice anyway. Once I even shared an office, but my coworker was great.

Then I went back to the labs, where I now share a cubicle. It's like I've regressed in life. Nothing but the noise of other people and the glaring electric light over head. No daylight gets to my cube.

But the good news is, at least I like my job so far. At six months, it's going on the 3rd longest job I've had since grad school. If Congress doesn't succeed in cutting our budget egregiously, maybe I'll be needing this cubicle for awhile longer. Too lazy to change the website links though.

Levi's Gran Fondo

I saw this video the other day, and it actually made me excited for the Gran Fondo. Up until this point, I have pretty much just been scared. I am a sucker for promotional videos though. At least this one isn't cancer-related, so it didn't make me cry.

Levi Leipheimer's King Ridge GranFondo from Bike Monkey LLC on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Beautiful Day for a (55 Mile) Bike Ride

Carquinez Bridge:

Benicia State Recreation Area

Briones Regional Park

So that's what I've been doing with my weekend. And now for a nap!