Friday, February 26, 2010

Lucky Charms IS NOT fuel

I gave the Fremont Freewheelers another shot yesterday morning.

First impressions: (I'm going to be honest here.) These people are weird! Their clothes are WAY too tight, they have WAY too much crap on their bikes. Some of them are wearing backpacks. (Perhaps I am a *bit* of a minimalist) A lot of them don't look like they could walk a mile, let alone pedal 25-35 miles. The ride leader showed up in a pink cape and yellow feathers all over her helmet with flowers growing out of it! The group was celebrating her birthday, which was Monday. The schedule said the ride started at 9:00 at Don Edward's Refuge Park, so of course I showed up eight minutes early. Two people were there. Within 15 minutes, another 23 people showed up. A few of them I recognized as customers from my store.

Let me back up just a little bit. A few weeks ago, while I was at work, I met a girl that was a member of the Fremont Freewheelers and we chatted a little about the group rides. She recommended I go to either a Tuesday or Thursday morning ride. A couple of weeks ago I showed up for the Tuesday ride and nobody else was there. With my work schedule, this was the first Thursday I could join.

Okay. After everyone checked in and introductions were made, we were ready to roll at 9:30. Because I met Vanessa at REI, she introduced me as such. WELL, from that point forward, I was the REI girl. People were rolling up next to me all day with questions about REI. At least I didn't feel like an outsider. I felt very welcome with this group. I also felt like it was a total PR day for REI though.

We rode over the Dumbarton Bridge and regrouped. That was at mile FOUR. As we were climbing up and over the bridge, I easily passed the majority of the group, calling "on your left" as I did so. I wasn't trying to, it was just my comfortable speed. As soon as we regrouped on the other side of the bridge, suddenly I am known as the "fast REI girl". I'm okay with this. A couple of miles later, we regrouped again. Mile six, mile 10, mile 12, mile 15, etc. We regrouped A LOT! I get it. Let's make sure we are all together. But, c'mon! We are adults. I can SEE the rest of the group. Let's GO! We rode all the way over to Portola Valley and did a few great climbs along the way. We had a "coffee stop" at mile 17 in Palo Alto at The Prolific Oven which actually turned out to be the birthday celebration for the group leader. I was hoping for a protein smoothie of some kind but this place doesn't serve them during the "off season" so I *had* to settle for a brownie. This "coffee stop" lasted almost half an hour. At 1:00 p.m., (2:25 actual rolling time) we were back at the car. The ride was 26 miles total. 3.5 hours is a very long time to cover 26 miles. I started my morning off with a bowl of Lucky Charms, thinking it was going to be a 25-35 mile ride with a coffee stop - half of that would be 12-17 miles - that would take an hour, give or take - I could refuel then. WRONG! At least now I know. Eat a bigger breakfast AND carry fuel!

Will I ride with this group again?

By the end of the ride I had chatted with probably 15 of the group and they are nice people. Only one man I can see butting heads with - an older guy that is a 'Mr. Know-It-All' type. But, that's alright, I can ride away from him. LOL So, the answer is YES! I will pay the $20 annual fee to hook up with some of them for group rides during the week. What's great about the Fremont Freewheelers is they have a ride (two or three on weekends) every day of the week! So, that will take care of my riding by myself problem, right? And hopefully, after a few more rides, I can acquire some phone numbers of the faster riders and we can hook up outside of the group rides.

Wednesday I tried the running thing again. Much better than Monday! But, how could it have been worse? Boomer and I hit the Alameda Creek Trail for a 5.5 mile run. It felt great!

The trees are blooming and it smells SO nice. This trail does have pavement, if you go beyond the two miles, in the western direction. I just stay on the dirt portion, next to the pavement.

Our turn-around point. He's waiting for me to tell him which way we're heading.

Tell me please, how bad of a gangster are you when you're spray painting snowmen underneath overpasses? Hmmm? And, P.S. Mr. Gangster - I totally adore snowmen!

I'm signed up to do a 20k race in Oakland hills tomorrow. A storm is blowing in here with force right now. I'm not sure if I (or my running partner) am committed enough to pull this one off. We'll have to see how it goes the rest of the day and tonight, with the rain.

MED2010 Accountability:
02/23 - 1.5 mile walk, "24SET" class
02/24 - 5.5 mile run, "CAMP24" class
02/25 - 26 mile bike ride
02/26 - 3.5 mile walk
Until later.............


trailmomma said...

Boomer is adorable! The run location is pretty . . . well minus the snowman! HA

Funny about being the REI girl and what an um, interesting group to ride with. The regrouping would bug me.

My Peanut's best friends dad works at the REI here in Sacramento, his family's nickname on my blog is Mr. Mrs. and baby REI ha We're HUGE REI fans ... well at leat our credit card is! :-)

aron said...

i wonder if they have some of their rides as "faster" rides and dont regroup so much? i just know that with our team, they have certain rides that are for certain people and paces, etc... maybe they have some like that so you are more challenged? still so glad you found a group and had people to chat with :) seems like riding is SO much better with people!

i hope i see you tomorrow :)

LDub said...

heck yeah FAST girl ;)

show em who is boss

Katie A. said...

Good for you to stay positive! Love it!
And man oh man am I a sucker for Boomer pics!!!
We need to make a date for a run!! I don't know if Sunday works for you or not - I hate being a flake but I know I shouldn't committ with the lack of sleep pending!
Also, I was looking at the PCTR site and there is a race on 5/16 in Big Basin that I thought maybe you and I could go/do tother - what do you think? Let's chat!
Happy Friday!!!

Katie A. said...

BTW, I eat Lucky Charms alllll the time! My fav!

Judi said...

that ride sounds hilarious. good for you girl. :)

Irene said...

It sounds like it's more of a fun and casual bike riding group, instead of the hard-core racer type of group. I suppose the regrouping thing is a good thing, just to make sure no one is hurt or gets left behind. Cool that you're the "fast REI girl."

Even if I by the bulk sized box of Lucky Charms, it doesn't stand a chance of even lasting a weekend. Lucky Charms are magically delicious. ;) I've never tried carb loading with LCs, but I would supposed I would need the entire bulk box to constitute enough fuel.

Have a great weekend, and I hope you stay dry!

René said...

Sounds fun! I'll settle for brownies anytime.

Kristi said...
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Kristi said...

While I'd get frustrated with the regrouping too, I had an experience on the other end of the spectrum. A friend and I went out with a group, got put with the 'faster' riders, got dropped, and got left behind! While we had a route sheet, one of the turns wasn't on the sheet and we got lost. Luckily I had my iPhone and could pull up a map to get us back to the car, but sheesh. Maybe that's what soured me on group rides?!?!

Good for you for giving it a shot Ms. Fast REI girl. :)

Lisa said...

Personally, I don't think I would ride with a group that regroups that often, but to each his own.

As you mentioned, that was a loooooong time for 26miles. And you have a plan to maybe find a few riding partners for some faster rides, so it's all good!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Wow, you were in our neck of the woods! Next time, you could swing by Zombie Runner for coffee and snack! It's a little ways south, but not far for a strong rider like you!


Glenn Jones said...

Now you have me worried! I joined a trail running group today where the people are a little more, umm, eccenctric, than my road running club. Oh well. At least they're friendly!

I can also tell you I did *not* have the intestinal fortitude to go out and run in the storm today!

Southbaygirl said...

did you run the PCTR??? Did you??

I hate to say I might have shown up with feathers in my hat....but I am weird I admit it!

I'll be back up running San Fran July 25th! My sister is coming over from England to run the first half as well! We'll be up on the friday this time!! Woot!

Shells said...

love the photos! what camera do you use and how do you carry it with you running? I love that you can take all these awesome photos and put them on your blog!!

inkskin said...

LOL! Feathers in the hat- sounds like an interesting group to get to know. Good to hear it will work for you.

Ewa said...

'Weird' people or not at least you had a good ride. Will you be trying to fit in by growing flowers out of your helmet? :)
Alameda Creek Trail looks nice. I will have to check it out.
How did the 20k go?

Ewa said...
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Anonymous said...

I am so nervous about riding alone, but also such a wimp when it comes to finding a group. Glad you went out there and gave it another shot. I am not sure what your weekend schedule is like, but perhaps we could meet up for rides and I can try and keep up with you :)

Anonymous said...
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Stuart said...

LMAO very honest write up, but 3.5 hrs to do 26 miles! I am admiring your patience, is there a Freemont HTFU group you could join?