9/2/14

Half Moon Bay Bike Glamping



Took advantage of the Labor Day Weekend to go on another bike camping adventure. This time we headed south to Half Moon Bay. There is a nice hike and bike camp there for $7 per person per night with hot showers for 50 cents. The campsite has several picnic tables and one fire pit, which makes for a nice evening campfire social. The campground was riddled with gopher holes but they kept to themselves. It's just a few steps away from Francis Beach, where you can rest and regroup. Not recommended to swim here, but there is a lifeguard tower farther south.



Getting there: We pretty much took Hwy 1 and followed the Google Map bike route, but with some modifications. Rode over a huge nail after Mori Point and had to stop and do some repairs. There are some annoying areas where there is fast moving traffic and a narrow shoulder. The answer to this is to leave early! My favorite part was the new Devil's Slide dedicated pedestrian and bike path with awesome views of the Pacific Ocean!



The last 6 miles or so is mostly bike friendly. The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is nice. There was a bridge out on the last bit so we had to take the detour on Pilarcitos Ave to Kehoe, then Frontage Road, Naomi Partridge Trail, then right on Kelly Ave. to the camp entrance. Total moving time was 3:18 and 34.6 miles with 1,751 ft. elevation gain. We got there in time to set up camp and see a beautiful sunset. For dinner, we headed to Tres Amigos and had delicious burritos to go and socialized with other cyclists around the fire at the camp. The next day we had coffee, homemade oatcakes and fresh fruit from Andreotti Family Farm at camp and went on a morning ride to explore the rest of the Coastal Trail. Some of it was paved but the rest of it is rough single track better suited for mountain bikes or cross bikes. I managed to do it on my road bike and then we took the road back into downtown for lunch. Another cyclist had recommended San Benito Deli so we enjoyed delicious sandwiches there on the outdoor patio with live music. Afterward, we lounged on the beach like beach bums all afternoon, enjoyed nice hot showers, then rolled back downtown to have Sushi. Now that's what I call Glamping!



Getting back: Feeling "lazy" and wanting to have more time to do other things on our 3-day weekend, we decided on the beeline to Belmont CalTrain via San Mateo Rd./Hwy 92. This is one long climb to upper Skyline, with some anxiety attack areas of little shoulder but mostly ample shoulder. There are a few shady pullouts to rest. This route is best done early morning, but we did it at high noon in the scorching sun and busy traffic hauling our gear and survived. You have to be comfortable at bike handling on hills, balancing your load, and moving in and out of your drops. Remain calm and cycle on! The descent down Ralston is pretty sweet with smooth pave. We made it to CalTrain in 1:20, 14.3 miles and 1,484 ft. elevation gain. There are better routes to take if you want to extend your ride and explore the hills more through the Parks and Preserves. It would be so nice to have more time to do a proper tour of the Pacific Coast by bike.

8/26/14

Swim a Mile, Run a Mile


Last weekend we had a fun new Water World Swim event called Swim a Mile, Run a Mile Duathlon at Crissy Field. It is a great intro to multisport events and can even be done as a relay. A portion of the proceeds went to Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. We hope to have another one soon. I was in charge of the bags and food, so I borrowed a big bike trailer from SFBC (Members have access to the fleet of bike trailers) to help with moving things around. The event takes place right near the bike path so I was able to shuttle the transition items to the spot in a few minutes by bike and get my workout in, too!

Photo by Ajay Raj


  

Our participants did really well. We have a strong bunch of young New Waves (front row) that have accomplished great things this year. Mitali is a multiple Alcatraz swimmer and has also done the Golden Gate Bridge, Anaya is youngest girl in the world to swim Alcatraz and Angel has done several Alcatraz swims and the Bridge to Bridge swim. She recently won her age group at Sharkfest Lake Tahoe. We have some fast people in our group. Golda Marcus, a 2 time olympic swimmer, was first one out of the water in 17 minutes! Everyone was done with the swim in 30 minutes. The unique aspect of the course is the currents that run East to West, then West to East, so the swimmers could take advantage of the push. Rebecca and Greg had relay runners and they decided to get back in and swim against the current to the start of the course, because they could! I am also proud of Shannon who who did this as her first open water swim. That is a major accomplishment! Pretty cool!

8/20/14

Bicycle Tour the Steeps of SF

I'm glad this appeared in my Google alerts, as it can be difficult to scan all the events pages to see what rides are happening. SFBC member-volunteer Sindy Cho put together a fun Steeps of SF Ride! Mike and I were looking for something fun and social, and this fit the bill.



I had done one of these a long time ago on different hills and on my mountain bike. My mountain bike was stolen, so I thought my road bike might work. I soon realized that my road bike was not well-suited to super steep hill climbing because of the inability to do sharp turns on the switchbacks. There is not much space between the wheel and pedal. I borrowed another rider bike for some of the climbs and found it to be perfect. Louis had a Trek that had the perfect geometry:


The route took us to the City College area. I kind of tagged along for the ride and did what I could and got some footage. We made a nice pit stop at the Alemany Farmers' Market for fresh organic fruit snacks

Well, at least I made it partway up the hill before putting a foot down!

Awesome views!






The Steep Riders! Photo by SFBC Events Planner Bonnie Walton
In the video you will see my friend Mike championing the hills. This year he has started biking to work on a regular basis and leaving his car at home. He realized it would save him money and stress, and now he bikes at least 50 miles a week and is in really great shape!

8/6/14

Santa Cruz Rough Water

After the marathon, I spent a whole week of recovery not running but swimming at Aquatic Park to get ready for the Santa Cruz Rough Water 1 mile swim. The water has been unusually warm this Summer, around 63°F at the Aquatic Park buoy flag and reported high of 67° F in Monterey Bay. No wetsuit needed. There I met up with our swim group, Water World Swim. Four of our youth swimmers won awards, and our coaches had really fast times. I was not in the best swim shape and I'm pretty sure I came in last, but it was a lot of fun and I did better than I was expecting! Finished in 34 minutes at endurance pace (I was expecting 45 minutes). Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a fun destination. The sun came out in the afternoon and we enjoyed a warm beach for a change, eating pizza and bowling.



We have been having alot of fun events at Water World Swim. The Alcatraz Touch 'n' Go, Around the Rock, and this weekend is the Bridge to Bridge Swim. Coming up is Swim a Mile /Run a Mile, another Island to Island, and our main event: Alcatraz Swim with the Centurions!

7/28/14

SF Marathon 2014

SF Marathon 2014

Marathon #11: SF Marathon!
Finish Time: 4:20
Strava

I knew it was going to be hard to PR on this, but I really wanted to do the distance on this beautiful course. I decided to let go of worrying about pace and just run. I looked at it like running a half marathon and then a training run. I did the half in 2:03 then kept slowing down. After we left Golden Gate Park, we left the fog behind and said hello to the hot sun. This really affected my running as I am heat sensitive and could start to feel my blood pressure and heart rate going up, a little tightness in the chest, dizziness and sluggish breathing. This alarmed me so I slowed down. What helped me was the 2 packets of S.O.S I brought. I started alternating it in my water bottle at halfway point and near the end. I also had some homemade gel and clif shots. I upgraded my hydration kit to a Salomon Sensibelt, which is very comfortable and big enough to fit my phone. Also got a gel flask with velcro so the flask doesn't pop out and get lost. I couldn't fit the extra gels in there so I used a Flip Belt and packed it with gels, and also stashed the empty packets in there.

begin rant---

I was really shocked at how runners with good intentions littered the course with gel packets. I can understand throwing it at the aid station, where it will definitely get cleaned up, but in between aid stations does not necessarily get cleaned and can end up in the bay and harm wildlife. The residents are going to complain now about the trash the race generates and will detract from all goodness of all the fundraising efforts. How hard is it to deposit trash in the many trash cans provided along the course?
---end rant

On a positive note, the water tanks at the aid stations was a great idea. No more tons of plastic bottles to clean up! Extra green points for that! I bring my own bottle for refills to minimize paper cup waste. I'm not so sure about the boxed water at the end of the race. In the end, it's still paper from trees and I found it really hard to drink out of it without it spilling all over me. The cartons had been pre-opened, which didn't work at all because they were opened completely. I ended up pouring it into my water bottle. I hope the water that was pre-opened wasn't wasted. Anyway, this is San Francisco, and we try to be a green city, which is why we are trying to minimize plastic packaging and plastic bags. I appreciated promotion of that message.

This was my first "minimal marathon". I wore New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail after running for a year in them. I got a new pair and didn't have to break them in very much before the race. Though the bottom of my feet hurt a little, my legs felt really good afterward, no weird imbalances or tightness. The bottom of the feet pain goes away the next day. I think these shoes are great for short to medium distance and trails. I might want to try a little more cushioning for marathon and beyond, perhaps the Fresh Foam.

Though it was hard to let go of the idea of PR, once I did, I felt free to run and enjoy the race. I feel like I am learning to run all over again, with different legs and new muscles!