The first part of the weekend had a kitchen theme. cyclistrick's surprise gift arrived, and I forced him to open it, because I knew we needed it for the weekend. Saturday morning, he opened the new pizza stone and got it all prepped to use on Saturday night.
Later that morning, we headed out to do some volunteer work with people from our church. We knew we were going to be 'gardening' or 'deep cleaning'. When we arrived, we opted for the cleaning. We joined a team deep cleaning a kitchen built in the late 1950's or early 1960's. By the looks of it, it hasn't been deep cleaned since it was put into action. Yuck! We basically got assigned to deep clean and reorganize two sets of cabinets. I was regretting the weight training from the day before as I did deep knee bends several hundred times with stacks of dishes in my hands! By the time we did our 4 hours there and ate some lunch, ran a couple errands and did grocery shopping, it was time to forget about throwing in a bike ride, too.
I iced my back when we got home as Rick did some preps for our Provencal pizza. I'd seen the recipe in Cook's Illustrated and wanted to try it. It was a simple pizza with caramalized onion, olives and a tiny garnish of anchovies and thyme. Vegan types could easily remove the anchovies and still enjoy it. The pizza stone did it's job and it was yummmylicious! Of course, a smattering of goat cheese on the top might also be good :)
Sunday, we decided to remove ourselves from kitchen duty and go for a long, adverturous bike ride. It seems during training times, I get in a rut and do the same set of routes over and over, because I know the terrain and approximate time to complete them. Now that it's fall, it's time to try random things that are new again. So, today, we headed out to Los Gatos for a climb to Skyline we've never tried before.
We got in some CX practice, too! They had closed off the lovely, well-graded cement ramp up to the dam on the Los Gatos Creek trail. So, we had a nice run up on the very steep dirt trail to the right of the dam. Then, I got to practice my remount before diving into the single track along highway 17 up to the Bear Creek overpass. We crossed over the freeway and headed for Black Road, which looked like a fun climb.
It started off fast and furious. The first 1.5 miles were pretty steep and I was making ample use of the 24x34 gear on the touring bike. Then, it slacked off to a mellow climb until we passed Gist Rd. I thought "hey we must be close to the top", but we weren't. This was about 3 miles in. Then, it got steep and steady again. At one point, I had my sternum down, spinning my legs wildly, looked down and I was cranking out a vigorous 2.7 mph. Yee haw! It then seemed we were close to the top. We passed a big trail head. I thought we must be almost there, so picked up the pace. But no. It just kept on going. So, I had to tone it down again (in order to stay away from the anaerobic summer intensities). Finally, we reached the top and stopped for a snack and photo op and minor adjustment to Rick's seat. I think the climb totaled about 5 miles.
An older gentleman came up from the one-lane portion of Skyline just as we were stopping. He said "Oh, you came up Black, good for you". I said "Yes, it was a first time, and it was pretty." He asked "Pretty?" And I replied "Pretty steep?" He then laughed. We then slogged up the much more gentle grade of Skyline for another few miles before making the happy descent to Highway 9 - our first real descending in over 25 miles. Going down 9, the cars were pressing us, even though were were going 30-34 (speed limit of 30). We even passed an accident cleanup and they kept pressing. I haven't been that uncomfortable on a descent in a while. I think we finished the day with a blazing 12 mph average. But, it was a lot of fun and a perfect fall adventure.
Our next adventure will be to connect Montevina with Bohlman/On Orbit. Again, this will likely require the touring bikes as there is a good section of dirt between them.