Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's Sunday night already?

What I wish my to-do list looked like...

God. Not only is it Sunday night at 9:30 p.m., but I still have a spin class to write for tomorrow morning (6 a.m., no less).

Oh, and I haven't written anything about the fanatiscally fabulous weekend I just wrapped up.

I also haven't posted pictures of the amazing salsa I made last week (along with recipes, of course).

Nor have I written a race report for my first XC race I did two Saturdays ago.

Or the Ukiah Tri Race Report, which I MUST because it was the first time I'd ever placed in the overall category, so you know, that was an experience unto its own and must be written about.

I also haven't read anybody's blog for the past week (granted I was gone for 5 days last week...). How lame is that?

Most importantly to the current moment, I also haven't figured out what type of salad and appetizer and DESSERT to make for TOMORROW NIGHT when we have guests over (they're bringing the stuff to grill and a potato salad - it's an Oktoberfest theme). And, my dear readers, these aren't any guests. Oh, no.

They happen to be chefs.

At a very prominent restaurant in town.

Like, Michael Bauer (SF Chronicle food critic) rated their restaurant one of the top 100 in the Bay Area.

And I get to have them over for dinner tomorrow. Crap.

Why did I say yes to this again? I mean, I know they're friends, and they'll be totally cool, but STILL...

Deep breath. I made the list, now it's time to start checking things off, one at a time.

However, before I sign off to go start getting to my to-do list, I will write briefly about half of my awesome weekend - this morning's bike ride.

It rocked. Lee rode by my house at 7 a.m. and off we went. We went to meet up with Tim about 7 miles away, then we were off to...? I had no idea what Tim had in store for us, but I knew climbing would be involved.

So we headed west, and then hit Occidental Road. I thought " the big climb gonna be Graton road?" But then we crossed over Graton in my mind I was like "well that pretty much leaves Green Valley...and that leads, that goes to Harrison Grade. Uh oh. But maybe we'll turn RIGHT on Green Valley instead of left, yeah!"


We went left on Green Valley, which takes you to Harrison Grade. Any climb that has the name "Grade" in it sounds scary. I had gone DOWN Harrison Grade last month when I did the Tour d'Organics and thought "wow, this would be pretty gnarly to go back up."

So sure enough, as we rounded the corner and the little sign said "Harrison Grade", I whined loudly "OH NOOOOOOO!"

Lee said "you knew it was coming when we turned on Green Valley!"

I responded "yes, but I somehow didn't want to believe it! I've never gone UP Harrison Grade!"

Lee said "yes you have. In fact, you passed up Brian and I and went and caught Tim. You don't remember that?"

Apparently it had been a couple years and I clearly didn't.

But anyway, we climbed it and actually it wasn't bad at all. It's a somewhat technical descent, but going up wasn't too bad until the end, which had a nice-sized pitch. When we reached the top we were greeted with some blue sky (it had been foggy all the way out there), beautiful views from the top of the hill of vineyards and redwood trees as far as the eye could see.

What followed was the shittiest descent I've ever been on.

Potholes everywhere, dirt, gravel...I lost a water bottle and part of my cleat cracked so that when I went to clip back in after retrieving the water bottle, my foot came right back out! CRAP! But I went on and knew we had a ways to go so I dealt with it.

We ended up in Occidental and took my most favorite road in the world: The Bohemian Highway. Today was no different. It was simply stunning. We rode through the crisp fall air, zipping past redwood trees along the open road and very few cars to worry about. As we came over the hill toward Freestone I looked up into the hills and could see layers of fog simply lingering through the valleys. Pretty magical to see and as usual, I was so present in the moment and simply so grateful to live here and be able to ride and experience this.

So, after Freestone we headed back east over the hills (a few more good grunts along the way) and back to our meeting spot.

There, we met up with Kathleen who was up here to visit her mom. I really wanted to meet her because I love her blog (even though I'm so behind, sorry Kathleen!) and wanted to take her on a ride through Sonoma County since she's never ridden up here.

Tim and Lee were up for riding a little longer, so they came along too. I was a bit bummed that the fog was still lingering inland a bit, and was hoping it would've burned off by then because I wanted Kathleen to get the full Sonoma County experience!

Sure enough, though, the layers burned off and before we knew it, we were riding through the sun, looking across beautiful hills and vineyards and pastures and just enjoying the morning.

Tim suggested a great loop for us that was right about 26 miles. It was a great ride - thanks, Kathleen, for coming out to play!

I hit Norcal cycling on the way home to pick up new cleats (thanks, John!) and John and I talked about bikes. Like new ones. That I might buy. Hopefully soon. (Sshhhh...)

In total, I finished with a hair shy of 70 miles for the morning, and loved every second of it. I so love cycling.

Now, back to that spin apologies to all my blogger friends for being behind. I really do care.


Kathleen said...

OMG what an amazing ride! Thank you so much Sarah for introducing me to the joys of long stretches of smooth road (so glad I missed pothole hell)with lovely vistas and gentle inclines (also glad I missed that grade!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the morning - getting to know you - meeting Tim and Lee - watching the fog burn off - trying to keep a decent pace. I gotta get up there to ride with you more often!!

Thanks again for sharing your Sunday ride :-)

Anonymous said...

I need to join you for a ride again soon. I am tired of all the Marin haunts. Plus I haven't seen you in ages!

rr said...

SO beautiful, you made me miss the bay area..

Alas, no TJs here.. it's my favorite and they say they'll never come (I ask all the time!) because of the expense.. Whole Paycheck it is.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Sarah! I just started a running/triathlon blog on here so I thought I'd share. Yours is so inspiring! Maybe we could meet for a workout sometime. :)

triguyjt said...

Great Stuff Sarah...

what a gorgeous setting...


Rainmaker said...

Doh, now I just realized I read everything out of order (which, might be kinda obvious since you posted this about 10 days ago).

Either way - wow, I'd be a wreck if I had to cook for top chefs, or really any chefs. Yikes!