Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Running in the rain

It seems that mother Nature is trying to catch up on the hydro deficit of December to February now in March. We are getting soaked and so are the trails. It is good of course and the vegetation responds with an explosion of green mass. My nose, eyes and ears respond to the pollen amounts with tears and itching. Whenever there is a rain free day, I go to run some of the neighborhood trails, either the XC course or Edgewood Park. On Sunday, the wet weather started as a drizzle, but the forecast called for drier conditions in South Bay. We drove to Los Altos for a jog down memory lane, or to be specific, down the Steven's Creek trail. We found the trail to be now extended further west, to the level of Cuesta Park. We ran four miles out to the Computer history museum and back for a total of eight miles. We were soaked but after a while, it did not matter much. One lesson learned, though: guys, when running in wet weather wearing multiple layers, tape your nipples!

Monday this week seemed like the only dry day of the week, so I went out for a longer road bike ride to get at least some miles in before the Garda race. It was a steady pace mostly flat riding down the valley south towards Cupertino, but Los Altos hills on Elena and Redwood Gulch from Steven's creek to Highway 9 as well as Mt. Eden road hills added some variety to the ride.

First Spring 70-miler by jan.r.berka at Garmin Connect - Details

So what's next? Biking in the rain? Horror! Not unless I'm forced to! I hope it snows a lot in the Sierras this week.....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012 Biking and Running Events

At the beginning of 2012, I have scribbled some biking race names and dates on a large sticky note. This is an online version of that list, since the glue on the piece of paper is not holding very well and I am sure the note will get lost soon. It is by no means a "race calendar" or a list of races I am planning to attend, rather a reminder of how many cool events there are nearby and one could register for some, assuming the legs feel good, the race hasn't sold out etc, etc....

April 19-22     Sea Otter Classic

April 28     Garda Sympatex MTB marathon, Rive del Garda, Italy (I'm registered)

May 5     Tour of the unknown coast century (rode it in 2010, absolutely scenic and challenging road century, but I will be in Europe this year)

May 5     Boggs 8-hour (Bikemonkey event, another scheduling conflict, bummer, as I heard this one is beautiful)

May 13-15     Tour of California (not riding, going to watch it!)

May 15-30     A placeholder for a road trip with John?

May 19     Weaverville 6 hrs (Team Bigfoot)

June 2     SoNoMas

June 8-10     Hammerstein 8/24

June 16     Tahoe 4/8 hrs 

July 22     Tahoe Trail 100 (60mi)

July 28     Arcata 6/12 hrs

August 18     Annadel XC race

August 25     Kirkwood 9-5

September 1     Kirkwood 6 hrs Enduro

September 4     Kauai Marathon

September 29     Levi Leipheimer's Gran Fondo

October 6     Whiskeytown 9-5

October 14     Sugar Pine 50 miler

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break on the Divide

Spring break means a chance to experience winter and go skiing, since the signs of spring have been all around us since about the end of January here in Northern California. This March, in a strange whirlwind of events and news (mostly bad ones), we ended up in Keystone, CO.

It was Rocky Mountains skiing in style: we were upgraded to a 2-bedroom condo which could have easily accommodated six people and received discounted lift tickets from organizers of a conference I was attending. The weather was perfect, slopes nicely groomed, despite a general lack of snow, beer was OK, just the food, like in all American ski resorts really sucked.

We skied at Keystone, Breck and A-Basin (picture above), which I liked the most. On the way back to Denver, we drove over the Loveland Pass and the Continental Divide. Just running across the highway at 12,000 ft made me gasp for breath. I can hardly imagine riding a fully loaded bike up the pass during the GDR race, yet every year, many hardcore bikers accomplish that. Perhaps one day.... with spring here, it is time to get on the bike again.