Saturday, August 28, 2010

Early August in CO

Earlier this month, I headed to Colorado for friends' wedding. My first stop was in Denver, well because I landed there, but also to hang out with my aunt and cousin and her husband. My first day, we shopped along Pearl Street and ate yummy Indian food. My cousin and her husband recently bought a new house, which they have likened to the house in the movie Money Pit. The day I was there, we hung around the house waiting for the refrigerator-repair man, who never showed up or called!

I also got to run on the trail I love near my aunt's house, where every so often, I could catch a glimpse, through the trees and houses, of the mountains.

My other cousin lives in New Jersey and my aunt had heard all about the TV show, Jersey Shore. Wouldn't you know, lucky us, my aunt and I were able to catch the season premiere! Absolutely awful. Don't watch it! My aunt says her new grandson, Simon, will not marry a Jersey woman!

My friends' wedding was in Estes Park, CO. One of the pair had grown up in CO and had a family cabin in Estes, which sat up on a mountain and had an incredible view of the town and Rocky Mountain National Park. The rehearsal dinner was at the cabin and brought together friends and family. The wedding, at a beautiful resort in town, drew on the couple's backgrounds--and included Jewish prayers during the ceremony and dancing at the reception. Friends of the pair formed a quartet and played during the ceremony and before dinner. The couple's first dance was the tango. It was a fun, festive wedding.

It was great to get out of the city and breathe the clean mountain air, if only for a few days!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, Bofax, Ridgecrest, 7 Sisters, Mill Valley & back to SF!

A few weeks ago, I rode with a group from Sports Basement, a sporting goods store where I used to work. It was my first ride with the crew, which goes out every Sunday morning. After gathering at the store, the ride organizers told us what to expect on the ride. It is difficult route, 65 miles, with one climb that is pretty intense--4 miles and 2,000' gain. After the "pep-talk" I was second guessing myself & if I could make it. In chatting afterward, I guess many of the others in the group had felt the same! The problem is that once you go out, you have to come back--some way, some how. I didn't really want to pay for a cab to haul me & my bike back from Stinson Beach, but I brought my credit card, just in case!

This ride, as with most organized rides, was a "no drop ride," meaning that the group won't leave anyone behind. So, after every large climb or every 30-40 minutes, we regrouped to make sure we still had everyone. The ride took place in Marin County, which is one of my favorite places. It is just north of SF, over the bridge ,and it's like a whole different state/country. There are mountains, the ocean, hiking & mountain biking trails, wildlife, and incredible road biking. Whenever I get tired of the city & crowds, I head up there. I ride up there 1-2 times a week (not that I get tired of the city that often--it just has incredible cycling routes!).

All of the riders in the group did really well on the ride. I was impressed with the caliber of the crew; I definitely had to push myself to keep up. We rode to Muir Woods, along the ocean to Stinson Beach, took Bolinas Fairfax Road to Ridgecrest to Pan Toll Rd over Mt Tam. We cruised down Panoramic Highway to Mill Valley, met up with the bike trail and then headed back to the city! Whew! It took most of the day & I got back after 3pm! I am so glad I didn't chicken out. It was really tough, but the more hills I do, the better I'll get at them!