Friday, February 22, 2008

Promises to be a Wet One

Leipheimer maintains Tour of California lead
Friday, February 22, 2008

Levi Leipheimer pedaled to a dominating individual time trial victory and extended his race lead Friday in the fifth stage of Amgen Tour of California. Leipheimer (Astana), of Santa Rosa, Calif., completed the windy 15-mile route in 30 minutes and 47 seconds at an average speed of 29.202 mph.


Okay I have never, never, ever averaged 29 mph. That's just crazy and with winds too, folks this is why you won't be seeing me in a professional bike race anytime soon, not in this life time anyway.

So the winds are up because a storm is creeping up on us here in the SF Bay Area, set to pounce Saturday afternoon and go on all through the night into Sunday noon. Saturday morning, tomorrow, is the first workout for our triathlon beginner group TAG. If we are lucky, we will get this workout in before the fireworks start. I always volunteer for TAG and I plan to be there myself. This first workout is about the Bike, Coach Neil will do a lecture, followed by equipment check then a short ride around the parking lot before taking them out into the streets. Hand signals will be learned, proper riding etiquette will be reviewed and safety pointers will be taught. As a volunteer it's my job to make sure people are okay and help those who need help. Hopefully we won't have anyone falling over with their bike due to new bike clips, falling because they forget to unclip their feet after stopping - there's always one in the group. It will be alright, I have a soft spot for beginners. My first street ride on my road bike I fell over three times because of those damn clips and that was in the parking lot with a bike wrench looking after me. I still remember what he said afterwards "kind of crazy you kept falling but I was impressed you used your body to shield your bike from scratches". It got scratched anyway.

Sunday I will have to play it by ear. I relish running in rain and mud but I'm not so sure about the wind gusts that they say can reach 60 mph, maybe even more. There's a particular ridge in the Marin Headlands that is quite exposed and on windy days you feel like you're going to get blown off. You're only on it for 10 minutes or so but I can only imagine what it would be like in a storm. Hehehe maybe I should go find out. Those who have run the Headlands Hundred and the 50-miler know this ridge. Wind coming from the ocean, whips through the valley floor and up and over this ridge. In the summer months you have fog flowing over in the late afternoons, like river water over rock. My other worry is trees, I don't want to get knocked out by a flying branch. However, there aren't a lot of trees in the Headlands before the Mt. Tam area so I should be ok. Maybe I'm just worrying too much. This storm is supposed to be fast and furious but mostly done by Sunday noon. I plan to leave at 9AM so I should catch the tail end. The Headlands promises to be muddy, debri strewn and if I'm lucky, filled with standing water everywhere. Why that's just a trail runner's paradise. Nothing like running past cafe's and shops after a good day at the trails, all muddy and wet. Like a mountain biker sans the bike. While my feet are prone to blisters from wet shoes, it doesn't bother me for runs under 50 miles. I'll have to dump the music though, out in the open the sound of a storm is deafening without walls to block the wind. Besides my iShuffle will never make it (will Apple ever make a sport version of their players or will they forever subject us to expensive third party accessories? - probably the latter) The trails, so much to love in any weather.

7 comments:

  1. That is a good question about the iPods. I love my Shuffle but it's a mess after being bounced around and dipped in Gu, etc. I want one of those bike ones where you mount in on your bike and don't have ear buds in. Wouldn't that be sweet? Your bike ride sounds awesome.

    If you send your address to my Gmail I will send you a box of thin mints buddy.

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  2. -spams7:51 AM

    Don't hurt yourself please!

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  3. Stay safe, Rick! Those winds can cause a lot of problems. Take it easy out there if you go running.

    29 MPH average on a bike? Good grief. I am not even sure if I could hit that speed on a sprint! Those guys are impressive, no doubt.

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  4. 29 mph, ohhh yeah I do that ALL the time :P

    Be careful out there homie! Oy, oy, oy sounds scary (to a wimp like me) LOL

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  5. Be safe out there in this weather :) I'm enjoying being cozied up inside with the rain and wind pounding outside. I'm hoping to venture out for some kind of run myself tomorrow, though, so perhaps I'll be braving some of the storm too. Hopefully it'll be on its way out by tomorrow!

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  6. Riding with TAG is nice for the social aspect, but if you want to get better on the bike.... they're not exactly the HOP ride. :)

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  7. I hate wind! I hope it wasn't too bad.

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