Archive for July, 2012

Alex Italian Restaurant

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Just a very quick shout out to Alex Italian Restaurant in Rutherford – thank you so much for filling our water bottles today! My friend and I had had a challenging ride this evening … exploding tire … car crash and wild fire … running very late and running out of water. I hope you know what a significant difference your act of kindness made in our ride today.

Thank you. I am looking forward to having dinner in your beautiful restaurant, and hopefully soon!

Check them out:

Pork Tenderloin with Dried Cherry & Port Sauce

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with a Dried Cherry Port Wine Sauce


Pork tenderloin marinated with fresh thyme & rosemary, grilled to perfection and served with a dried cherry & port wine sauce, grilled zucchini & crimini mushrooms, and Forbidden Rice.

After that dinner, I think I’m ready for a century ride in the Napa Valley today!

Honey, Habanero, & Lime Scallops

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Honey, Habanero, & Lime Scallops

Methinks that even Chef Gordon Ramsay would approve.

Perhaps I should audition for Hell’s Kitchen …



Beautiful Morning!!!

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Wow, oh WOW! It is a beautiful morning for a ride. I am so thankful to be able to squeeze one in before work. So much to post – it’s been a busy couple of weeks.

Mountain biking in Angwin with friends

One thing is for sure, though. No more mountain biking. Well, never say never, but … riding that ends up with a visit to the emergency room, a broken collarbone, and 2-3 broken ribs … not really my style of riding. I thought I might end up in the ER, but I never expected to be the one driving someone else there.

I’ve got to get to work!

Rustic Peach Tart

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Before ...



... after

Coming Soon … Homemade Pizza

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Last night I was treated to some very special homemade pizzas. They were amazing. Here’s a sneak preview … I better check for permission first to post recipes and/or method!

Portabello Mushroom, Proscuitto, Goat Cheese

Pizza Margherita



By the way, the pizza chef knows not only pizza, but Kleins!

Klein Road

Klein Mountain

Klein Mountain

Klein Quantum Race, with a fixie


My First LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis Ride

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

June 24, 2012

I decided to ride from home to Central Park in Davis to start the ride. That added a few miles to my ride, but it was well worth it. I arrived before 7am, but that wasn’t early enough to get to the front. I was surprised to see so many riders lined up already. I tried to get towards the front of the lineup (where 100 mile riders were supposed to be), but I ended up starting out with a group of 65 milers, which I didn’t realize until much later in the ride. I didn’t know the difference, but next year I will! I will also get there much, much earlier.

As I stood there, I read the “In Memory Of” cards other riders were wearing. My card had a lot of names on it, as did some of the other riders’ cards; some cards had just one. Some riders had photos pinned to their jerseys. I stood there fighting back tears as I realized how much cancer had effected not just my family, but everyone else here in some way. We all had something in common: we were all riding to make some sort of impact, some contribution.

I was right in the middle of a large group of cyclists and I am not accustomed to this. I usually ride alone or with just a few other riders. I was anxious. The rider behind me kept bumping into my bike and I finally turned around to look. He was just chatting away with a friend, but I think he must have picked up on my nervousness and struck up a friendly conversation. A few minutes later I was trying to capture a few photos of the crowd, and one of myself, and he offered to take my picture.

After what seemed to be too long of a wait, riders were finally able to start. I desperately wanted to be off to the side, but there I was square in the middle of the pack. OK. I knew that whatever challenges I met during the ride today that I had to overcome them. Nothing could compare to what my family members had suffered during their fight. I had to do this.

Off we go.

Within minutes, I was passing riders. For me, this is a big deal. I’m not a very fast rider and this was a group of strong riders. Lots of teams, lots of groups. I knew I had to simultaneously push myself and pace myself to be able to finish the ride.

I cruised past the first Power Stop. By the time I got to the second stop, though, I was definitely in need of some food and water. There was a huge line for the facilities, and we all waited a long time, but there was friendly conversation among the riders and it was a nice chance to meet some of them. I met a couple of ladies who were turning 50 this year and their goal was to ride 5 centuries in 2012 to celebrate 50. I thought that was a great idea.

The next Power Stop was in Winters and it was time to start peeling some layers. I got some new sunscreen “sleeves” for my legs and it was interesting to try to figure these out. Apparently I did not pull them up high enough under my shorts, so within a few steps they were sliding down my legs. I had my very own wardrobe malfunction! I thought I’d fixed them, rode out of town, and right there in front of the CHP directing traffic, the dang things slid down my legs again. Ooops! Hey there, officer! Off the bike, hike up the legs of my shorts, pull the sleeves up as high as they can possibly go, and get everything straightened back out. That worked for the rest of the ride. They were surprisingly comfortable and effective, and much cooler than the long pants I’ve been wearing.

The split for the 65/100 mile ride was at the intersection of Putah Creek Road and Pleasants Valley Road. We had been told that if we did not make it to this intersection by 10:45 am that we would be redirected to the 65 mile route. That was just NOT going to happen. I would have turned in my bib had they told me I could not continue. I got there just past 10:45 and they said, “65?” and pointed me in that direction. I said, “NO! I’m doing the 100!” and I turned left. In that moment, I was convinced that I was going to be absolutely the last rider to return to Davis. That’s OK. I was going to finish this ride.

I’ve ridden Pleasants Valley Road before, so I am familiar with it in this direction. There’s a little bit of an optical illusion in a few places on this road. It looks like it’s going downhill, but it’s actually a slight uphill. This always slows me down through here. I kept pushing, pushing, pushing, trying to keep my pace and catch up with some other riders. I really did not want to be the last rider to finish. I started to stress a little about it (OK, a lot) and then I kept seeing my sister’s face – the expression she had the last time I saw her. She was terrified. She was in excruciating pain and nothing was really working any more to alleviate it. She couldn’t talk. She could barely move. She couldn’t even cry. She just looked terrified. I thought of my brother, and my father, and my aunt and my grandmother and so many other family members I have never even met and I could not let a slight incline stop me. I had to keep going. Eventually I hit stride again and even managed to pass a couple of riders along the way. After that, it was smooth sailing for a while. The route overall was fairly flat, just a few rolling hills. The wind cooperated for most of the ride. (For those not familiar with this area, THAT was darn near a miracle.)

My bike started to malfunction between Vacaville and Dixon. It wasn’t shifting properly so I checked in with the bike mechanics at the Allendale Road Power Stop. This kept me at the rest stop a little longer than I wanted, but it was well worth it. They did an awesome job adjusting my bike and it’s still shifting well – actually even better than the last time I had it tuned up. I think this might have been one of my favorite Power Stops on the entire ride. They fixed my bike AND they had the Honey Stinger waffles and gels. I also met a couple of DBC members I hadn’t met yet.

The rest of the ride was flat and steady, until the Pedrick Road highway crossing. There was a cute little hill up and over the freeway and then right into a strong headwind. Ugh! Luckily for me, another rider passed me just before we hit the headwind, so I got to sort of draft off him a little. I don’t usually draft because I’m just not very practiced at it and don’t want to We got to the last Power Stop just a few minutes before the train came through. While we were there, the train crossing stopped traffic and the last group of riders got stuck waiting for the train. I grabbed some water and a couple of Ginsting gels and headed back out. I was feeling pretty energized again and at a couple of turns that headwind turned into a tailwind, and it was wonderful. I think those last 5-10 miles may have been some of my strongest on the ride.

Then I rode into town and crossed the finish line. They called out my name. How did they know? Apparently each rider had a tracking tag attached to their bib so that they could use some tracking app on their smart phones so their friends and family could track them. How cool is that?

This year, 1,500 riders in Davis raised more than $900,000 for the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s programs and services.

I did not take many photos on the ride, but I’ll post some (or links to some) as they become available. Kruetz Photography photographed the event. My guess is that they’ll be selling photos.

The LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis was an awesome ride. It was well supported and well attended. I plan to ride this again next year. Care to join me?

Note to self …

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

When it comes to reheating leftover cheesy grits … the George Foreman grill … NOT an option. And, no, I am not going to embarrass myself with photos.

Coming Soon … my day

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Farmers’ Market … Ride … Dinner in anticipation of a good ride tomorrow

Details soon!