Gearing up for the Grizzly Peak Century!

East Bay Ride
View from Grizzly Peak Blvd.

This weekend I aimed to prep for next week's Grizzly Peak Century by riding most of the course. I did the Pinehurst - Grizzly Peak Loop and the North Loop. I am planning on doing the car-free start so I will miss the first part, but will have tucked away some miles and climbing in just getting to Tilden. At first I was worried about doing this ride unsupported, but there are plenty of restrooms and water stops: Sibley Visitor Center on Skyline, on Wildcat Canyon Rd. in Tilden at the Island Picnic Area, Pinole, and in Briones at the Archery Range. The Orinda BART has a nice big restroom that you can pull your bike into it and a water fountain. My last water stop was at East Bay Coffee in Pinole and that got me to the end of the ride.

 My Strava

Against my better judgement, I had a bulletproof-style coffee in the morning for breakfast. I usually run on carb fuel, but decided to try it. I wasn't quite feeling it, so had another 2 cups while getting my bike packed. When I was sitting on BART, it really started to hit me and I had the most uncomfortable caffeine anxiety buzz while trying to sit still on the train. Maybe next time only one cup! It did seem to provide me with ample energy.

East Bay Ride
Get ready to fly down San Pablo Dam Road

It had just rained so there was a lot of debris that had washed out into the roadway; wet leaves, branches, twigs, grit and gravel. I had to stop at one point and unclog my fork of wet leaves that had got packed in there. It was a bit chilly, and I had almost wished I brought the long pants. I think I will stick to the leg warmers that I can peel off because it did get pretty hot later in the afternoon on the Bears. All the climbs were manageable, with some really fun descents. Expect to work. I think the worst is Mc Ewen! It is a sudden change in grade and is pretty steep! The first part is 12% grade according to Strava.

Snacks at East Bay Coffee in Pinole

I finished the 75.8 mile ride in leisurely time of 7:43 (moving time 6:18) with a bagel lunch stop at East Bay Coffee and felt pretty strong, so I think I can survive adding the south loop. I used Osmo, Hammer Perpetuem, and then an S.O.S. as post-ride recovery. I ate Bullet Proof Coffee for breakfast (my bad), 2 packs of Clif shot blocks, half a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a bagel with cream cheese, OJ, and a Rip Van Wafel for lunch. I'm looking forward to all the good rest-stop food at the GPC!


Cinderella Challenge 2015

Cinderella Challenge 2015
It's been a while since I did the Cinderella ride, it is such a nice one! I just wanted to go out for a day on my bike, and this was the perfect bike therapy. I even got a good climb in on the Challenge Route, which I needed to do to get ready for Grizzly Peak Century. I did 3 loops of Hawk Hill - Marin Headlands loop to prepare, plus spinning. I have already done a couple long rides in the winter, so distance is not a problem.

86 miles,  7:27 moving time, 8:28 elapsed time.

I started the ride at 8am after taking BART to end of the line at Dublin/Pleasanton. The ride is a pretty packed parade of princesses, so we were riding at a mellow pace. Even with that, I barely made the cutoff time to do the challenge route.  Here's a clip of my favorite part: the descent on Patterson Pass Road.

It was a hot day, so I brought along some extra S.O.S. I loved the route, the vibe, and great support of the ride! I saw the SAG vehicles often and the course is well marked with pink arrows and lots of other cyclists to follow so not to worry about getting lost. Just have a great time!

The expo was well stocked with cute clothing, jewelry and accessories. I purchased a nifty bike stand from Stand4Cure.

Ride notes: 
  • I had my Speedfil tank (equivalent of 2 bike bottles) plus one extra insulated bottle for electrolytes and carb drinks. I made sure to start the electrolytes 2 hours into the ride before the climbs
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal and banana with tea
  • Check-in: Quarter bagel with peanut butter and a coffee
  • To first rest stop: 1 pack of shot blocks, 3 bottles of water
  • First rest stop: 1 small Luna Bar and Chocolate Bread! Layers come off
  • To second rest stop (lunch): 2 SOS (there is water refill after the first descent on the challenge route) 1 pack of shot blocks, Granola bar (carb up before the climb), 3 bottles of water
  • Lunch at 2nd rest stop: pasta with pickles, bread and cream cheese, with chocolate chip cookies and m&ms for dessert, refill 2 bottles of water
  • To 3rd rest stop: 1 Hammer Perpetuem drink (orange flavor), Lemon drop
  • 3rd rest stop: Ice cold lemonade and pretzels! Top off tank with 1 bottle of ice water
  • Finish: Hot minestrone soup, veggie wrap, Hammer Recoverite drink, cookies and tea
  • Diligent sunscreen application
  • Things I would bring next time: I had a Limefuel battery pack but forgot charger cable and backpack battery for GoPro, UV protecting arm covers, & eye drops!

Cinderella Challenge 2015


Spring Training

Spring is here, and with that comes a lot of changes and personal challenges, such as being single again. For those that enjoy spending most of your time biking, running and swimming, not going out and staying out late, waking up very early in the morning to stay on track of your goals, then you know it can be a challenge to find someone who understands that and is supportive and possibly enjoys that also. Relationships run their course and you cross the finish line together with some some happy memories and mementos. If you're not on the same pace or going in the same direction, you split ways and have to keep moving on your path. Perhaps you will cross paths again later. I used to be sad that no-one was ever waiting for me at the finish line, but then I realized there WAS someone there, the best in myself is always waiting there for me.

I've been finding peace running on trails in the Presidio. I decided to mix it up a bit and put some long rides on the calendar. I look forward to spending alot of time on my bike and doing things I haven't been able to do in a while.

RunningSpinningRunningSpinningRestLong RideSwim



Raw Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites

Raw Peanut Butter Trail Mix Bites
2 cups toasted okara from organic soybeans
2 cups Farm Fresh To You trail mix
1 cup peanut butter (slightly melted)
1 cup ground flax seeds
Honey and maple syrup to taste
3/4 - 1 cup liquid (water or juice)

Mix and let absorb
Then add 1/2 c coconut oil

I also couldn't resist adding some sesame seeds and shredded coconut!
Spread into a pan like brownies and let cool in the fridge for half an hour.
Cut into squares or bars. Enjoy!

23andme and diving into the Deep Web

It was my birthday month, and so I celebrated by getting a 23andme DNA test. This sent me on a journey back in time to find my ancestors an...