Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Success - First Worthy Hill Work on the Eagle!!

Well today, instead of riding at day break and getting caught in traffic, I worked our ride with phone calls and email. Toward that end, I gave that effort a lot more passion than if I were to have waited until after my ride had put me on an endorphin high. And it showed me how the admin for our journey needs a me that is running on high octane. 

I hit the far warmer road at 1:30, did an errand downtown and headed for the hills.  A far bigger chunk of them than  I had been doing until today. Up Alpine Road I blitzed. Easily! This is notable because on my regular HiWheel,  the 3 to 6% grade is a noticeable amount of work at five or six miles an hour and I was probably going 10+ mph!

At the turn for Arastradeo Road I stopped to take off a few layers of extra clothing. And as I did, none other than the legendary Jobst Brandt rolled by. I was already talking to a curious cyclist who as I was to find out was 80 years old. So when Jobst stopped, he spent the next ten minutes explaining to us a lost art, how to patch a bike tube the correct way. And he was very animated and passionate about  it as the picture to the right shows.

I would love to have talked longer but ahead of me stood an ascent that I was dying to undertake. And it was not at all hard!! Whoaaa. Granted this was the easy direction of Arastradero for most cyclists but on my regular HiWheel, it was a colossal undertaking to get to the top where the view at the left  above can be had. Nor was this part of what is called 'The Loop' finished. I still had the descent to be on high alert for. I say 'high alert' because even though legs over the steer tube is an extreme adrenaline rush, I still had to make sure my connection to God was a strong one. This is so because if a tire were to come loose or if any mechanical problems were to crop up, there is noting to step on or any way to get off short of crashing. Indeed, success at such an effort is all about surrender. To God!!

With my new found confidence for hills I took on the steeper side of Page Mill, from the 280 freeway to  Foothill Epwy. And I nailed it too! The key was getting out of the saddle well before the climbing began in earnest. My feet and pedals still need a better connection but I am getting it down. Yahoo!! At the left you can see the view and the downhill that awaited me.

When I got into town and stopped at Molly Stones for a refreshment, a fellow named Hap greeted me, "You're on a different bike". When I told him that I was going cross country and that I would need this kind of HiWheel so I  wouldn't have to walk the hills, he said, "are you taking donations?"

I was surprised and said, "Well yes". He pulled  out a five as he said I've seen you on these bikes for years. In the rain, in the traffic and sun and your always smiling. How can I help your ride?"

An unemployed teacher proudly wearing the hat for his Alma Mater USC, he took a business card and said he would get back to me with ways he could help! Before he left he suggested that look into a helmet mounted camera and solar charging arrays that mount on a back pack for the GPS unit and camera I expect soon to have.

Hap reminded of the goodness of people  I can expect when  I get out there on the road. And here in Palo Alto I now see that I have to be out here for the community to see.  But not before I get at least 20 miles  in my legs.

See all of you tomorrow!! 

Note: This ride is not about me but it is a celebration of all the people who have helped me get back to wholeness physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. This as I stand on the shoulders of giants to enjoy the privilege of riding this bike, the only Eagle in active use west of the Mississippi ... THX 4 all of U!!

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