“With the sun sparkling off the waters of Uvas Reservoir and an endless blue sky as the backdrop, Scott and Susan Francks alternated sentences. The couple’s voices, along with the occasional squirrel scurrying past, broke a serene, peaceful silence of a perfect morning last Friday. Their words sent the mind swirling and offered imagery complimentary to the setting.
‘We are so fortunate to live in this area,’ Susan said, palms up raised to the sky. ‘Once we started cycling we realized how much unexplored territory there was.’
The Francks dipped their feet into the cycling world in 2004 when a friend introduced Susan to the Tierra Bella Bicycle Tour, an annual biking extravaganza that will celebrate its 35th spin Saturday.
‘We really enjoy Tierra Bella,’ Susan said. ‘It’s what got us into cycling.’”
–Josh Weaver. “Tierra Bella: Ride On.” Gilroy Dispatch. April 10, 2012. Gilroy California. Web.
I am blown away by what this guy does on his bike: amazing bicyclist in Scotland
Bikes and art and social activism: beautiful mix. Check out the video: Scrapertown.
I now have twenty-three Disney pins that feature bicycles. (One depicts an exercise bicycle, and another shows just the front of a bike attached to a float, but I’m counting both.)
No tricycles. No electric bikes. No motorcycles. Those don’t count.
To view a picture of the pins, see
On Sunday I rode the 100K Strawberry Fields Forever bike ride. The route cuts a gorgeous swath through Santa Cruz County over roads both urban and rural, through fields of strawberries and lettuce, past sloughs and ocean, redwoods and eucalyptus, with a stop at Gizdich Ranch where pie and a live three-piece band sweetened the day.
Midway through the ride, just before lunch, there are two HARD hills. The grade on the first must be 15%, and it maintains that for longer than I care to think. I nearly broke down and joined the parade of people who were walking their bikes up those hills, but pride kept me mashing the pedals and sucking air like an old horse.
Pride’s a sucker’s game. The effort I expended on those hills sapped me: when I got off the bike at lunchtime, I saw black spots in front of my eyes and felt dizzy, and near the end of the ride, going up Hazel Dell (a moderate climb of several miles duration that I’ve done on shorter rides without problem or stopping), I stopped three times to rest before continuing. Pride be damned.
I didn’t buy a jersey, but here’s an image from the club’s website.
Jersey for the Strawberry Fields Forever XX ride, 2009
An update: I now have eighteen Disney pins that feature bicycles.
Claudia Comay and I drove to Santa Rosa yesterday, bikes strapped on the back of her car and ready to ride in the Santa Rosa Cycling Club’s Wine Country Century, but the rain made the prospect just too unbearable, so we turned around and drove back home. Oh well. Better luck next year. Unless this strange weather continues.
I rode the Chauncey’s Century yesterday, a 100-mile trek from Gilroy to Los Altos. The route was relatively flat, but the headwind in the last 20 miles was brutal.
For nine of the last 20 headwind-cursed miles I helped pull the pace line, but then I was dropped when I couldn’t get back on the line after one of my turns as leader. That was a relief: even though I had to contend with the wind without a buffer, I got to ride the remaining 11 miles at a more comfortable MPH.
Key word in the preceding sentence: “more.” My shoulders and neck were in WAY greater pain than usual, and my right hand was definitely numb. Comfortable I was not.
But no matter. Another benchmark done. Whoo-hoo!
My odometer, showing 101.15 miles
Yesterday I finished the 64-mile route of the 2009 Tierra Bella with a numb right hand. (And, yes, aching shoulders.)
It was a beautiful day: poppies and lupine sprinkled the green hillsides, the sun was shining and the breeze was gentle, and the motorists who drove past us on the road were friendly. The ACTC support–from bicycle racks to nutbread–was excellent.
Here’s the patch.
I just finished the 65-mile Cinderella Classic. My aching shoulders! I’m not in as good shape as I was this time last year. Hmmmmm . . . .
Maybe I ache more because I forgot to wear a Cinderella Disney pin this year.
Here’s a picture of the patch they handed out at the end of the ride.