Tuesday May 30, 2006

ALA Breathe Easy Bike ride a success!!

After 100s of training miles, the American Lung Association's Breathe Easy 65-mile bike ride was a huge success! Team Salty Dawgs raised nearly $15,000 for lung disease research & prevention! (and with a few last second donations still coming in, I think we'll make $15,000 before the week is up).  The ride was incredible - it was windy, but not too bad.  It was so beautiful! I've finally mastered the art of drafting, so with my friend Richard's help, I was able to complete the ride without destroying my body this time.  It took me 6 hours and 13 minutes this time, but the ride was actually 66-miles this year - so that's a slight time improvement over last year.

I hope to get pictures from my teammates soon & I'll let you know when they are up on bubb.org (my woefully out of date website).

We spent the weekend at the Larson Family Winery's Captain's Cabin - wow, what a treat!  The home is beautifully decorated, and no modern convenience was overlooked.  The wines, which we were able to taste across the path from the "cabin", were wonderful as well. I would have to say the Wingo White & the Pinot were my favorites. This is a family run winery, and it truly shows.  We were all treated like family while we stayed, chatting with folks in the tasting room - even singing showtunes with Bob.  The family dogs were ever present and incredibly friendly.

Monday May 22, 2006

65-mile bike ride, here I come!

It's just days now until the American Lung Association's 2 Rock Breathe Easy 65-mile bike ride.  I haven't been able to get in nearly as many or as long of training rides as I did last year, and fundraising has been a lot more challenging.  Take yesterday, for example, I was planning a nice 45 mile ride in Hecker Pass wine country - but it poured rain most of the day!  This isn't why I moved to California!  Well, I guess we can't always have perfect weather :-)
 
Rode my bike into work today, for probably the last time before the big event on May 27. I hope to get one more mountain bike ride in tomorrow, then I'll be resting up.  I'll have to have a word with my cat about letting me actually sleep through the night! (really, I \*don't\* need my armpit kneaded at 4AM!)

Wish me luck, and if you can, sponsor me!

All money raised is tax deductible & goes to fund research for lung cancer, emphysema and asthma - 3 lung diseases that very intimiately affect my family.

In addition to all this training, I managed to squeeze in an audition for Saratoga Drama Group's season auditions last night. I screwed up my song a bit, but turned it around  at the end.  When I finished singing, I was asked if I could tap dance. I replied, "No, but I can fake it - I smile so big you won't know what my feet are doing!"  Well, I got a call back to the tap dance auditions. Ummmm... now, can I learn to tap dance in just a few hours?  we'll see.... ;-)

Friday May 05, 2006

Spring is finally here!

The rain has finally stopped here in the SF Bay Area, and I've been able to ride my bike in on a much more regular basis.  Flowers are blooming along the bay shore trail like crazy - it's beautiful!  Shoreline park is a bird sanctuary, so it's cool to see lots of different species hanging out in the very large park.  Today, I saw some pheasants and tons of geese.  The geese today were quite puffed up and were hissing as we approached, because they have lots of baby goslings!  Last week I saw an egret that had caught a rodent, and a pair of burrow owls just hanging out.  I knew the burrow owls the moment I saw them, after years of listening to the Dead Milkmen's "Stuart".

With the dry weather I was also finally able to get out on my mountain bike this week.  WOW!  Mountain biking is much harder than road biking.  I went down to Los Gatos with a few other mountain bikers & road up St Joeseph's hill.  It was so hard, with my heart rate constantly spiking into the high 180s, but I did it!  Now I can't wait to get out on my mountain bike again - soon!

At this point, though, I just want to make sure I am in shape to do the American Lung Association's ride at the end of this month. I know I \*can\* do it, but I want to do it without hurting myself again!

Monday May 30, 2005

Bike for Breath a huge success!

Wow!  It's done!  We started out bright and early leaving the hotel parking lot at 7:15 AM to register and pick up our jersey's and t-shirts.  After a quick rendevous at the car, we were off by 7:40 AM to start our 65-mile ride!  Here's me and Danek Duvall getting started.

It was a cool and incredibly windy day.  I didn't see the sunlight until well after noon.  This was the longest bike ride I've ever been on, and I'm quite happy with myself that I was able to finish in 6 hours and 8 minutes (including rest stops).  It was an amazing ride in a beautiful part of California.  My team, Team Salty Dawgs, were the number one fundraisers.  I should've gotten a picture of us with the trophy, but after the ride I was a bit tired and just thinking about eating lunch. 

Happily, I wasn't too sore or too tired, until I got out of the car after the long drive home.  Then I discovered I had tendinitis in my knee \*ouch\*.  But after only hobbling around for a couple of days, I'm already feeling much better.  I'd like to get back in the saddle again, but will be passing on road bikes for awhile and get back to my mountain biking. :-)

More pictures can be found on my website.

Monday May 23, 2005

Training continues!!!

I did 45 miles on Saturday and another 13 on Sunday.  Not as much riding as I was hoping to get in this weekend, but it was hot and I got hungry :-)    I'm going to have to do some serious climbing on Saturday as well as just sitting in the saddle a long time.  I figure that the 65-mile bike ride will take me about 5.5 hours, perhaps more, depending on how hot it is.  I will finish the ride - it means a lot to my mother, and a lot to me.  The Bike4Breath group has been very supportive, too.  It should be a ton of fun - the Salty Dawgs ride on Saturday! Argh, matey! 

watch this space for ride photos...

Monday May 16, 2005

Sun's employees are amazingly generous!

I am currently raising funds for the Bike4Breath's 2 Rock Ride (I'm doing 65-miles!) and I am just amazed at how incredibly generous Sun employees are.  Even in these tight times, not one person I've asked for a donation has said no.  And I've just been flabbergasted at just how giving each person is. Wow!!

I did two training rides this weekend.  First was just starting from home, going to the Alpine Inn, down to Sun Menlo Park, and home again - \*whew\*.  Yesterday, I went to Hecker Pass in Gilroy, started out at Fortino Winery, then road all around through that beautiful area, winding through Morgan Hill and getting back to Fortino just in time to pick up a couple of bottles of their wonderful Zinfandel. 

I did just about 60 miles this weekend.  I have to somehow work this up to 65-miles in one ride in the next two weeks. Yikes!

Tuesday Apr 26, 2005

First game of the season - a win!

So, I'm too busy this summer to actually commit to any softball team as a full time player, but I am a sub on two teams.  Last night was my first time playing with the Menlo Park 'Freaks', and besides being very cold outside, it was an excellent game.  My fielding didn't totally suck, and I actually got a hit \*and\* got on base \*and\* progressed a runner (instead of one of us getting out).  Pretty amazing.  All the same, I need to get to a batting cage if I'm going to play anymore!  My hitting was ... well... subpar.  Fortunately, this was a really cool team to play with and everyone was very supportive.  That's critical for me, because I'm not a serious player (obviously) so I'm only playing to have fun, and fun it definitely was.  We won, 18-10. Yippee!

Other than softball, I've been riding my bike a lot.  Just rode it 5 days in a row, at least 20 miles on each day.  I need to get close to 60 before the big Bike 4 Breath ride at the end of May.

Tuesday Feb 08, 2005

Trail Etiquette

So, I was riding on St. Joeseph's hill this weekend, and as I was about to overtake a couple of walkers, I called out the standard "On your left!"  Well, the walkers didn't move and continued to take up the majority of the trail.  I was afraid I'd clip one of them as I passed, so I called out again and slowed down.  Yet, as I got closer, neither of the walkers had moved, so this time I yelled out "On your left!"  One of the walkers turned to me and shouted, "We heard you the first time!"

Hmmpf.  In case it's not obvious, faster users of a trail  not only announce their presence as a courtesy, but also for everybody's safety.

Still, had a great ride.  It was much more difficult than it should've been, which means I need to get out more.

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Valerie's former weblog. The new one can be found at http://bubbva.blogspot.com/

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