Monday, March 1, 2010

two bridges, one week

So after our first training ride, we were rewarded with a Sunday dinner at the home of JD & Sue- Dave's former boss lady turned co-worker and friend. We drove (a car) over the Bay Bridge & they treated us to delicious homemade beef stew and tales of AIDS/Lifecycle. Sue & JD have done it twice, loved it, and JD has actually become a road racer since. Like, that's his job. Nice!
Dave & Sue at her bday party last year. We square danced in Oakland & it was awesome.

Sue was soooo nice to lend me her Bianchi road bike! If I had to shell over the dough for a bike like this, I'd be hungry and crying. JD is sponsored by Cliff Bar and helped us (me) temper our hunger & crying-moments-to-come with a massive bag of Cliff goodness:

 Oh! And Sue lent me these arm warmers. They are fantastic- a little bit 80s/ballerina/tres sportif. Love them! Thanks a million, Sue & JD for a delish dinner, lovely company, and kickstart to torture sporty fun!

As the week continued, Dave & I took a trip to Sports Basement. I foresee many trips here in our future...
Honey, why don't you fix that tire while I model my cute, new biker hat.

On Saturday's training ride, I was super nervous. Dave had a mock trial event so I was on my own.  (Dave co-coaches a high school mock trial team with some other court staff. Go Lincoln High!) It was raining Friday night & I secretly hoped it would be lashing in the morning. I hydrated, went to bed, and woke to this:

looks pretty rainy to me... I'll just sip this coffee & hope it clears up. wink, wink.

And it did clear up. Shit. And I put on those hideous, but thankfully, thickly padded biker shorts. And I dressed up like I was a biker. Fake it 'til ya make it! Right? 


But I went to the group and I stretched in my stupid stretchy pants and I let the ride leaders know about my fear of struggling up a hill, only to slowly start rolling backwards, picking up speed, faster and faster, until falling into the sea forever. There was another woman in the group that had the exact same fear.  We were lucky the ride was almost rained out because so few showed up & we got extra attention.

I was all the way in the back of the pack when we started and the loveliest sweep rider, Kurt, sang me through the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Most of the time he sang this song, and he sang it better. Kurt did not know me or that once upon a time I knew a beautiful young person who was infected with HIV and he took his life off this bridge. Facing that bridge for this purpose and with this song was so perfect:

The Parting Glass

O, all the money e'er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm that ever I've done,
alas it was to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit
to mem'ry now I can't recall;
So fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.
O, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away.
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wished me one more day to stay.
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
Goodnight and joy be with you all.
If I had money enough to spend,
And leisure time to sit awhile.
There is a fair maid in this town,
That sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips,
I own, she has my heart in thrall;
Then fill to me the parting glass,
Good night and joy be with you all.
And I biked across and Kurt yelled for me to shift down and I flew up this hill, which ended up being the least of my worries but still felt great! 

If you look closely, that iddy biddy town is San Francisco.

And we biked to Mill Valley:

Snack time & calling Becky to thank her for her very generous donation!

A few of the ride leaders.
Harvey is the ride leader on the left and he talked me all the way into Mill Valley. I can't say it enough, the ride leaders are the best! They are all volunteers who are so into the ride that they want to help even the newest of the newbies. 

The ride back was "challenging" to put it nicely. The Sausalito Laterals are no joke. I had to stop a few times going up these bad boys. If the ride leader, Joseph, had not been there with me, I probably would have cried, thrown Sue's bike into the Pacific and tried to swim home while being eaten by sharks. But we worked through this and I feel like Joseph should get an award for his patience. Every few minutes, I'd say, we're almost home, right? Only a few more miles, right? More than halfway, right? No, I don't need to stop for electrolytes. Can we stop & have some electrolytes? He is generous:

Feeling a tad windswept but victorious! 
27 miles.