Fitness by Farzan

Fitness/workout ramblings from this San Franciscan bike enthusiast/Personal Trainer/Strength Training Professional/Coach/racer gal!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sometimes I just got to try something different...... and WOW, the world of car handling on the racetrack is amazing. I finally bit the bullet, made the commitment, shelled out the $, and joined the AUDI car club's 2 day driving skills/handling performance course this weekend at Infineon raceway. I took my little black Audi A3 2.0 turbo and participated in classroom sessions, parking lot drills as well as a decent amount of track time driving with an instructor up and down that technical course. In between driving sessions, I got the passenger seat of some very faaaaaaaaast and smooth accomplished drivers. Yowza...I am now brain dead and overwhelmed with apexes, tracking in and out as well accelerating when you naturally don't want to (like around turn 11) ...

Now, I know the capabilities of that little sporty car, know much better the limits of it's performance....

Looking forward to getting the chance to learn more and do it I better start saving the $$$ :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bonjurno Papa!

After 2 weeks of living the Vida dolce I learned:

1) Gran fondos begin with incredibly fast speeds. with 199km to go, 30+ MPH just didn't seem to be in my game plan.

2) It's best not to covert Celsius to Fahrenheit. You really don't want to know how hot 41 degrees really is.

3) If you here the word salita it means you are going to be climbing.

4) Pasta is a lifestyle and espresso is a food group.

5) Everyone's Grandma rides a bike.

6) Dolce and Gabbana is national attire.

7) It's wonderful to have such a great friend look after you :) Thank you, Davide!

Saturday, June 09, 2007



Just for fun, I took a little road trip to Carson, CA to participate in women's day at the ADT Home Depot velodrome.

Unlike Hellyer, the track is wood, ony 200 meters and got some steep 45 degree banking. It's a bit intimidating when you stand above and look down but then again, it's just as intimidating when you are on the apron and look up!

The feel of the wood floor is completely different from concrete and oh-so nice. We were drilled that in order to ride at the rail, you need to maintain a certain speed as not to slip.

However once you get going and venture up to the blue line, it all makes good sense. Once I got my courage and speed up, the rail was a must.....Holy moly what a rush. I had a blast.....The hypnotic rhythm of pedaling in circles, the speed and power that flows from the legs is definitely a form of cycling like n
o other.....I can't wait to go back...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chucho and Bebo Valdez, Father and Son

Beauty from hearts to hands

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Colony Collapse Disorder?

Ok, this is strange but it seems a great number of honeybees (drones) are dying off in incredible numbers.

This is not good. As pesty as they are, Bees play an integral role in the food chain to pollinate lots of crops.

Scientists seem to think it is due to a single spore parasite but others want to link it to low level radiation from cell phones etc....


Saturday, April 21, 2007

If George Harrison raced bikes
he would have been a Velo Bella

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In Case You Watched the Sopranos Last Episode And Wondered what that song was at the very last scene:



The fucking cops are fucking keen
To fucking keep it fucking clean

The fucking chief's a fucking swine
Who fucking draws a fucking line
At fucking fun and fucking games
The fucking kids he fucking blames
Are nowehere to be fucking found
Anywhere in chicken town

The fucking scene is fucking sad
The fucking news is fucking bad
The fucking weed is fucking turf
The fucking speed is fucking surf
The fucking folks are fucking daft
Don't make me fucking laugh
It fucking hurts to look around
Everywhere in chicken town

The fucking train is fucking late
You fucking wait you fucking wait
You're fucking lost and fucking found
Stuck in fucking chicken town

The fucking view is fucking vile
For fucking miles and fucking miles
The fucking babies fucking cry
The fucking flowers fucking die
The fucking food is fucking muck
The fucking drains are fucking fucked
The colour scheme is fucking brown
Everywhere in chicken town

The fucking pubs are fucking dull
The fucking clubs are fucking full
Of fucking girls and fucking guys
With fucking murder in their eyes
A fucking bloke is fucking stabbed
Waiting for a fucking cab
You fucking stay at fucking home
The fucking neighbors fucking moan
Keep the fucking racket down
This is fucking chicken town

The fucking train is fucking late
You fucking wait you fucking wait
You're fucking lost and fucking found
Stuck in fucking chicken town

The fucking pies are fucking old
The fucking chips are fucking cold
The fucking beer is fucking flat
The fucking flats have fucking rats
The fucking clocks are fucking wrong
The fucking days are fucking long
It fucking gets you fucking down
Evidently chicken town

John Cooper Clarke

Monday, April 16, 2007


A few months ago I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air when Ishmael Beah was being interviewed.

I listened in amazement. This young man who sounded so genteel an spoke so eloquently had a quite a tale to tell. Not only did he have to deal with civil war in his country, losing his family as a young boy, he was also a victim of being enslaved as a child soldier. At the age of 12 he was carrying an AK-47 and made to kill. He is definitely more than a survivor. He is that one in a million who can overcome such horror, rehabilitate both physically and mentally and flourish to regain his inner good.

I finally picked up his book this past weekend and although it is an amazing story, I find his descriptive writing style very effective in reenacting this tragic time and at times find it very intense.
if you get a chance check it out. It certainly will make you thankful for what you have...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Vonnegut lives on

cold turkey

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's amazing what you'll find when you do a bit of surfing....

Kitty gone on the photo to get full effect.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Some things are just worth waiting for

It's been nearly a year since the last season of Sopranos aired. We were left hanging knowing there was one final season.

Well, here we are, episode 1 and in true Soprano form Tony still show
s he's not a force to be reckoned with.

One down eight to go, Sundays are gonna be a good for another 8 weeks. Then we gotta kiss it goodbye.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Life goes on In Kathmandu

September 29, 1986 was my 26th birthday and here I was in Kathmandu with Steve just counting down the days for monsoon season to ease up so we could go back to India. "It's your birthday" Steve says "you can do whatever you want". Hmm I think, well You know how I love all those girly things like beads and bangles and colorful hair ties. Can we go to the Bazaar??? "Of course" he said hoping I would be satisfied with all the local colorful wares. I was in heaven. We ventured down to the local market and took a visit to the bead wallas. There were countless stalls all selling beautiful strands of any and every color bead you would want. I become paralyzed with the color choices. I had to decide what colors I wanted. After this brief stimulation overload, I finally decided on a couple simple colors. Then I had to determine the length. At that point, the elderly shopkeeper took them and wound a beautiful yarn clasp and tie around them in order to take them on and off with ease. Very clever.
Off we went to another stall and I found a few hair decorations I could not resist. Then came the glass bangles. I was in girly heaven. As we walked around the corner, I heard a familiar sound of music blasting from a stall. The song was Waiting in Vain by Bob Marley. Oh how perfect. I had to have the cassette. We would play it over and over again while in the hotel cafe drinking afternoon tea listening to it on their stereo. We sat and ate Apple pie with ice cream, with Bob Marley serenading and played cards. Somehow this birthday seemed so fun.

On our daily walks we would often encounter lots of animals especially dogs. One dog in particular stood out. I would see him almost daily and it seemed like he would acknowledge us too. He was a smallish stout dog, sort of cream colred with reddish ears and in a strange way reminded me off a pig. He had one funky eye and always looked sort of discombobulated. I named him "the Pigdog". After a while I'd call out to the Pigdog and he would take notice yet was to old and lazy to move. I snapped this pic before leaving Katmandhu. For all I know Pigdog was some sort of deity. Well maybe for me.

It was the first week of October and all of a sudden the skies cleared and we could se the surrounding snow covered Himalayas afar in the distance.. It was time. Monsoon was over. We could return to India. I was elated. As much as I enjoyed Nepal, my heart was in India. I had so much to see and experience there. I was ready to go back.

We got our things together, said our goodbyes and flew back to Delhi.

Onward to Nepal

We had spent the last 2 1/2 months in Kashmir and Ladakh and it felt like to venture back to North India. Given it was only September, It was still monsoon in most of India, so it would be wise to go back to the hills. We flew back to New Delhi, met up with some old friends who lived near the area of Humayoon's tomb. Jim was an American expatriate who lived and worked in Delhi who married Faroza, a beautiful strong willed yet gracious Muslim Indian woman. They had a small child who was cute as a button with a demeanor to match his contagious smile. They lived in a modest rooftop apartment and greeted us with warm hospitality. There was another couple staying with them who had migrated from Afghanistan. The woman had a small infant which was probably only a few moths old. I remember seeing her swathe the baby tightly in cloth almost making him look like a mummy. The baby seemed to like it as it was secure and warm. Apparently this is a traditional ways of baby care but something I had never seen. It made lots of sense to me. I have heard that it has caught on here in the USA. (20 years later)

Our new plan was to head to Nepal, stay until mid October so we could return to India post monsoon. We would make a base in Kathmandu, look up some mutual friends who lived there and take a small trek near the Annapurna circuit. sounded good to me, although I was
a bit weary about the trek.

Kathmandu was just how I imagined. Bustling village like city with Asian/Indian style architecture. Darbar Square stood out with it's stone streets and
pagoda like towers. The bazaars were brilliantly colored with merchants selling all sorts of fabrics to bootleg western tape cassettes. There were numerous pie shops and it didn't take me long to make the munchie connection. Kathmandu had become a hippie haven in the 1970's. Many people stayed. Steve, his brother and another friend had traveled to India and Nepal in 1969 driving overland in a VW bus through Iran and Afganistan. Yes, it was a classic hippy thing to do and somehow he not only survived it but has numerous tales to tell. Perhaps someday he will write about it....
Anyhow, on his journey in Nepal he helped plant apple trees along the trails to the high Mountain village of Jomson which is the gateway to many treks. The altitude is high and the terrain sparse much like Ladakh. The people are Buddhists. It made sense for us to go there. However this time we had a different kind of plan. We would take a bus to Pokha
ra about 130 miles, and then take a small prop plane to Pokhara. We would then walk back down to Pokhara a 4-5 day trek and in the tea house along the way. This certainly was going to be EASY compared to the Ladakh adventure. OK I said. Why not?

The plane ride was AMAZING! It was a small plane that sat about 12 people and there were only a few others besides us. As we took off and started gaining altitude, the magnitude of the Himalayas became obvious. We were now flying in between these glorious 20,000 ft. master pieces. I was in awe. Besides being some of the highest mountains, they are also considered the most sacred in the world...At 26, I felt honored to see them.

The trip was short and we landed on some random flat patch in the rustic village of Jomsen. It looked so much like Ladakh. We found a tea house to stay in and gathered our thoughts. sure enough there were Apple trees. The small saplings Steve had helped planted nearly 20 years befrehand had survived and were bearing fruit. He was elated.

We set off the next day. This was night and day from my last trek. There were hundreds of people along the trail and each village had many tea houses restaurants and definitley catered to tourists. I can't imagine what it must be like today (21 years later)...It was a zoo. The tea house had extensive and hilarious menus offering things such as Takoes and Swiss Rosties. The spellings were as humerus as the offerings. Now you know anything ordered was to be some sort of rendition of dal and rice but it was worth the entertainment to see what would come. Takoes?somehow Mexico and Nepal are soooooo far
away. :)

With the amount of tourists, the trails and guesthouses (especially outhouses) were not so clean. Oh how I longed for the remote boulders of Ladakh. We proceeded on. As we descended in altitude the terrain became lusher, green and downright tropical. We found our way back to Pokhara. It was quite a letdown compared to the rugged adventure and solitude of Ladakh but it was certainly interesting and wonderful to see the apple trees of Jomson.

We spent a few more days in Pokhara, then headed back via bus to Kathmandu. We were to stay another month.
Since we were to stay that long we negotiated a monthly rate at a Nepali/American hotel that was located a bit out of the city. It was built in the traditional Nepali style. The owners decided to make it into a type of Buddhist retreat with Tibetan artwork/tonkas as well as an extensive library of Buddhist literature. The restaurant served wonderfully clean fare as well. This was the place for us. We had brought our instruments so it seemd like a great place to practice our music. Every day in the afternoon, the rains came down hard. It was like clockwork.

Steve had a friend who lived across the river toward the Swaybunath temple. We called him and visited him regularly. He was also an expatriate American who played Indian music who decided to relocate in Kathmandu. He had an American wife and child who were content living that lifestyle. His life was easy, expenses were low and that worked for them. Through them we met some other crazy musicians who all shared this crazy mentality. One man in particular, Henry stood
out. He was a gregarious dark haired German man who had a passion for drumming. He happened to be very close friends with Steve's first cousin which was another one of those 5 degrees of separation. All I know is that the chemistry was good, we all enjoyed playing music, sharing stories and laughing. ah yes, life was easy. There were a lot of crazy expatriates, some who felt a religious inclination to love there. One fellow in particular (I believe he was referred to as FirePit Harry) did his 9-5 thing doing religious pujas and rituals. Go figure!?
To each his own.

One day I decided to venture the walk to Swayambunath. I wanted to climb the steps of the temple and observe the rituals. At the base there are loads of monkeys. I was warned beforehand to be careful as the monkeys are notorious for stealing things (especially food) from unsuspecting tourists. I kept my eyes opened wide. sure enough I saw some mon
keys. However it was the tourists provoking them! I thought "hey that's not right" especially here in a religious environment. I proceeded on. As I climbed up towards the shrine, I saw a group of monks playing dice games gambling for money on the premises. "Wait a minute" I'm thinking...Isn't this a holy shrine? where the h*&l an I? I became confused and let down. I t was time to get out of there. As I started to leave the skies became dark and rain was imminent. I had to hurry back to avoid getting soaked. I made but somehow was bit let down by my experience. Oh well, I guess it shows the flaws of being human. I soaked it all in.

It would be some time before we could go back to India.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Great Escape from the Moon
Tales from Ladakh Pt. 5

Little did we know this was going to be one hell of a departure. I was exhausted mentally and physically and all I wanted was to return to Kashmir. The sooner the better or so I thought. So when the first Lorrie driver pulled up we were quick to jump. Can you take us back to Kargil? We knew from there we'd have more options for transportation to Srinagar. Sure, for a cost. No problem, we thought. I just want to get out of this moonland.

However there was one glitch. There were 3 people Including the driver inside the cab so the driver insisted that we could join them but had to sit on top of the rooftop cab, exposed to the elements. Whatever, we thought. It will be an adventure. I was literally so spent all I knew was that I wanted to go back to my Kashmir "home". If you have ever seen a typical Indian Lorri you will know that they are substantial trucks that are ornately decorated with a unique decor usually with some sort of religious icon (for safety of course) that is meaningful to the particular driver. There is most always a open air cab on top for extra load or in this case to carry a couple of passengers. I do not recommend it. There is no cushioning, no seat belts or strap downs and besides bumping yourself to and fro the entire way, there is no guarantee you won't go flying out.

Being that the roads were fairly nonexistent, our Sikh Lorri driver made his own way through dirt, rocks and the occasional river crossing. I immediately swathed myself head to toe, wrapped a long scarf around my head only exposing my eyes. It was extremely dusty as our driver careened the open road. The sun beat down relentlessly upon my black scarfed head. I did not say a word. I held on for my life as I bounced all over that truck top. Looking at it all now, I realize that in order to make it through I had naturally went into a state of shock. Literally I said nothing, just absorbed the past 2 weeks. All the while, my brain was frantically replaying all the years of my life beforehand. I vividly recalled minute details from my childhood, various past experiences etc. It was amazing and sort of an epiphany. Steve tried to talk to me, but I was in my zone. I had nothing to say as the pages in my head were turning with great detail. I recall seeing some poor Ladakhi peasants on the side of the road in the heat of the day moving rocks from one side of the road to the other. Their skin was blackened from the harsh sun as there was absolutely no shade to take cover. Were they criminals serving time? What could be any worse penalty than to be forced to do heavy labor in this godforsaken land of rocks and sun..

The Lorri stopped many times. Once to negotiate how he was going to cross a raging river and another as we got a flat tire. I said nothing, just sat and waited. Finally it started getting dark and our driver pulled off the road to look for some acquaintance of his who resided nearby. I suppose it was a truck stop of some sort. The man greeted us. We all got out of the truck and into his stone hovel. An hour passed and he served us some suspiciously looking plate of dal. We ate it as we had no other food but I must admit it could have been infested by worms. It was dark, we were hungry and that's all there was. Now what about sleep? We were instructed to pile back up on the top of the truck. I unfortunately was the Only WOMAN and somehow got stuck between Steve and one of the weird truck drivers. EEEEWWWW, all night that gross man rolled over and would try to grab me. YUCK, he was disgusting. all I could do was wait for morning so we could continue our journey.

Sure enough morning came and we finally rolled out of there. Luck had it, engine troubles so once again we had to wait until another truck came by and see if they could help. Hours past, another Lorri came through and they tried their best to help our driver. But to no avail. finally we asked the new Lorri drivers if we could continue with them and they agreed. Steve and I squeezed into the main cab (5 of us sitting as close as possible) who cares? At least I was inside the cab this time. It was a slow journey back with many stops but we finally got close to Kargil. for some reason we had to wait in this little village while our new driver did some business. I was getting restless now. We weren't far from Kargil which was the original bus stop 1/2 point to Srinigar. There were hotels with hot showers and hot food there. About an hour or so later, we rolled into Kargil. The town I once found dreadful on the journey up to Ladakh now looked like paradise. We collected our thingsd, thanked our drivers and made a b-line for the best looking hotel. We would pay ANYTHING for a warm bed, a hot shower and a good meal. We checked in and hit the showers. I have never been so filthy in my life. I was covered head to toe in dirt, dust and road grime. I have never appreciate being so clean. It felt sinfully wonderful. After Steve did the same we immediately headed for the dining room. Oh My god! They had a Chinese buffet...We ate and ate and ate until we were stuffed and then I think for good measure we had a little more. Food never tasted so good. chicken, meat, noodles, vegetables and hot chili oil. It had been a while and a lot of miles under our feet since we ate so much. We slept like rocks...

The next morning after a big breakfast of course, we set out for transport back to Srinagar. Kargil was a bustling town and there were many options. This was also the day before Eid so may muslims were heading down to Srinagar for the festivities. Eid is one of the holy days of Islam as it is the end of Ramadan Or fasting time. In Kashmir, it is tradtional to sacrifice a lamb.
We happened to find a muslim taxi driver who said we could ride with him to Kashmir. The journey was only 70 miles or so but the roads are unpaved and the shoulders are narrow with steep drop offs. His cab was old, looked minimally maintained and had bald tires. We hopped in. 3- 4 flat tires and half a day later, we finally rolled into Srinagar. I remember feeling so happy to be at home. We would return to see our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Naqueeb and spend a bit of down time at Dal Lake.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Moon is Not Made of Swiss Cheese

At least not in Ladakh..Rocks and boulders abound.

Although we tried to convince our guide, Scarpa to continue on our journey, he was adamant about his return and truthfully did not have curiosity to journey into unknown territory. He had never ventured farther than the place he left us and was content not doing so. We thanked him, paid him for his guidance and sadly bid Scarpa adieu.

He left us near a small village which featured a fairly large size monastery. It seem to be one where there were many young students (children). Therefore lots of activity. The was a small lodge that served very basic food and had a floor we could camp out on for the evening. The menu touted eggs but the outcome was sort of a light blue sort of scrambled matter. It did not matter. It had been a week of Yak butter and Black tea, barley, Cadbury chocolate and glucose biscuits from a cylindrical package from a shop in Srinigar. I would pretend I was eating eggs. There were a few other people besides the monks passing through as well. One young man in particular caught our eye. He looked about 19 , strong and sturdy and had a donkey. He wore rubber rain boots and had a sincere demeanor. Steve immediately approached him. Again he spoke no English but in a mishmash of Hindi/Urdu/Bengali and now with a new smattering of Ladakhi words learned from Scarpa he somehow convinced him to join our entourage. His name was Renjin. We were to continue our journey to Zanskar via the Monk photo monastery tomorow. It was time to refuel on the blue egg concoction. It would be more days of hard trekking and a pass or 2 to go.
We set off the next morning with renewed vigor and excited about our new young guide/friend. He certainly did not have the presence nor confidence that Scarpa had but certainly had a youthful sense of adventure that gave him his own personality. We had a large pass to climb that day and came across a Yak herdsman and his Yaks. Julay, Julay we said as we passed each other.
The walk was long and it became late in the day. where would be camp? We were up about 15,000ft or so and it as starting to get late in the day. Just then we saw some activity. It was a group of roaming Yak hearders and they were spending the night in a small stone hovel. As we approached they greeted us warmly. We asked them if we could spend the night with them and they graciously agreed. They cooked up a pot of some sort of Thukpa (Tibetan soup with tsampa noodles) which we happily ate. Steve took turns with the men churning butter from Yak milk and I sat quietly taking in the whole scenario. As darkness set in, we took to our sleeping bags. I keep my pack close to me and forgot that there were a few uneaten Cadbury bars inside. all throughout the night I was awaked by a curious Yak trying to get into my pack. "Shoo" I would say only to find 15 minutes later his return to my pack.. Between that and the loud snoring sounds from out herdsmen and Steve, I did not sleep too well. Next morning we arose, thanked our hosts and head out for another long day.

This day was again longish as we were climbing up towards another pass. After some time the weather became unfavorable. It started raining. We were not prepared for rain. I had a basic poncho and one plastic tarp. What were we to do? If this kept up it would certainly be snowing the higher we went. Just as panic mode was starting to set in, we spotted an abandoned stone hovel the size of a large closet. It must have served as temporary shelter for many a shepherd caught in similar circumstances. We quickly threw our tarp and my poncho over the top to create a roof. The 3 of us squeezed in that's where we spent the next 12 hours. Rain started to pour. Renjin lit a small smokey fire so we could make some tea. None of us knew what was going to happen. We sang songs and drank tea until we were to tired to care. I remember curling up on a small 3 foot rock slab to sleep. It was a hard night but at least we kept warm. The rain stopped and by morning we were ready to forge ahead. As we set out, we had to traverse a small glacier. "wow" I thought, what if we never stumbled across that hut? I guess it was all meant to be.

We walked and walked, stopped for our usual tea and water until we came across another green fertile area that once had a small shack that was a barley mill. It was now abandoned but since a small river ran threw it is was a perfect site for out camp. Just then we saw a large group of 20 or so trekkers come near. They had numerous guides and workers which rode horses with large metal boxes containing dining supplies, all sorts of food and tents. How civilized! Here we were with nothing but 2 sleeping bags, a small tarp and a few basic rations. We immediately felt out of place. Turns out they were a trekking agency from Britain and although they were "roughing it", it seemed super luxurious to us. As they set up camp, we chatted. They were also going to Zanskar. "Great we thought. We can't get lost ". Just then a couple of the trekkers invited us to have tea with them. Of course we accepted. We were really hoping they would invite us for dinner because the thought of tea and champa was getting a wee bit old. Unfortunately they did not. However out of nowhere, a small tent sprouted up near the edge of the encampment. There were 2 Ladakhi men offering to sell us a chicken dinner. We looked at each other and within a split second, said yes. It took an hour or so to cook and truthfully I'm sure it was some sort of vulture we ate as it was sinewy with very little meat, but it was protein!!!! It was better than the alternative. Meanwhile the British folks told us they too were going to the village where the monastery was and afterward their guide promised them a meal of freshly slaughtered lamb. Oh man, the thought of of red meat sounded way to alluring. Perhaps we can tag along Steve and I thought. Hmm. we shall see.

The next morning we set off for what was to be a very very long day. We were low on rations and somehow managed only to consume sugar. We finally made it to the Monastery. It was hot and there was very little shade. We did see the British group butdidn't stop to ask them their itinerary. We wanted to drop off the photographs and hopefully get a chance to sit with the monks. We proceeded towards the monastery and wound our way to a doorway. We were greeted by an elderly man and we gestered to him the purpose of our visit. He then took us to another room where we waited for another elderly monk. The eldest in th photo was also there and he said nothing. The younger of the two then took the box of 8x10's and disappeared. That was it!!! Ha Ha ! No big thank you. No nothing. No invite for tea. Just take em and run...Meanwhile our over imaginative minds had made up all sorts of fun stories. We thought we'd be invited in for tea and perhaps get a tour of this famous monastery. NOPE. Just a lesson in humbleness. Detachment. Time to move on....

Now we were ready for that lamb fest, but the British folks were nowhere to be found. what to do??? Just set off towards Padum, Zanskar out final destination. Well I don't know if it was the lack of nutruition or the let down of the photo delivery episode, but we grew tired. somehow we lost the trail. We were now walking over huge rocks and boulders getting more tired as time went on. We were out of water. The direct sun pounded hard upon our skin. All I wanted to do was lay down and take a nap. No, Steve would not let me. We must walk...It started to get dark, we had no idea where we were but somehow managed to find a trail. I was getting delirious. all I wanted to do was rest but Steve was not going to let me. At one point, a couple of monks walked past us. I cried out but they ignored us. Then a beautiful young Ladakhi woman with full attire including the traditional headdress with chunks of turquoise stones rode past us on a horse. did I hallucinate that? Even Renjin was tired. He too, was lost. we had no choice to walk on as a village was bound to be somehere ahead. Then Steve spotted a man. Renjin spoke to him and told him we were lost and could we take shelter at his home. He was a saint. He gladly took us to his place where he served us tea and I immediately passed out. a couple hours later he brought as dal and rice which seemed like a plate of gold. We ate heartily and fell asleep with full bellies.
We woke the next day but I was still tired. I had enough. I was spent and needed nourishment. Steve and I talked and decided that since we made it to Zanskar we had 2 choices. Continue a bit farther to Padum (our original destination) or find the first transport out and head back to Srinagar. I was a wreck. I wanted to go back to Srinagar, drink tea and see our friends. I was tired. So, the next day we headed out towards the biggest dirt trail/road and waited for a sikh driving truck. sure enough one drove up and we inquired if we could a hitch a ride to Kargil. Sure they said and this was the beginning of a wild 2 days..........

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Finding the ways of the Moon

Up and Up we walked. It became a sort of walking meditation.Each one of us finding our own pace. I like to count rhythms in my head keeping the beat with my body and breath. I sang songs and listened to the music inside my head (these were days long before the I-pod) as I took each step climbing higher and higher and the oxygen became thiner and thiner. I looked around in wonderment. .

I usually was the first to ascend a pass as Scarpa had to tend with the donkey and Steve was not so cardiovascularly inclined. At the tops of all the Ladakhi passes, there are always many strands of prayer flags mostly torn and faded from the elements they endure over the extreme seasons. Om Mani Padme Hum. Apparently the Tibetan Buddhists believe that viewing the mantra is as powerful as reciting it, so you will find the mantra written on prayer flags, etched in stones used as Mani walls that are all along these ancient roads. Another common site is a chorten or stupa which is a Buddhist monument symbolically shaped to represent earth, water, fire and enlightenment.

We stopped, Scarpa made tea. Go figure? I don't know if you have ever tried, but there is certainly an art to making a fire at 16,000+ feet without camp stoves etc. Just Yak dung and a lighter. Simplicity. It takes time for water at these altitudes so patience is mandatory. Let's just hope the weather holds..

This time it did. Again we walked and walked and walked until we finally came upon a beautiful green fertile hamlet. This is where we were to spend the night.
Scarpa went up ahead to see if he could find a local and ask them if we could crash on their roof and/or property.

This should have been an omen. As Steve and I walked down towards the village, 3 young Ladakhi ladies dressed in tattered layered garments with thick double platted braids quickly approached us. They obviously had not seen to many foreigners. They circled me and examined my silver Tibetan bracelets I had bought while in Leh. They touched my rings and motioned for me to take them off...Ah no I thought, these are going NOWHERE. After about 5 or more minutes, we realized their precociousness and somehow shooed them away.

Meanwhile Scarpa had luck finding a woman who was happy to get some $$ for us to stay. "Great" we thought, we'll get a good night's rest before the next long day's journey. Ha ha ha...As we settled in and started making our tsampa black tea followed by tsampa Yak butter tea, the lady of the house decides to eat. In this particular household dish washing was not a habit. In fact to clean her bowls, she simply stuck out her tongue and licked it clean only to be put back on her shelf. " Ahh good thing we brought our own mugs" Steve and I both thought as we gazed at her and then each other. This is going to be interesting.

As the evening progressed visitors arrived. One man in particular stood out as he was large and apparently a few sheets to the wind. The woman of the house brought out the Chang (local firewater made from what else? fermented barley)...Oh man a full out heat on was to occur. They offered Steve a sip and he graciously had one but I knew better. That whole night the already inebriated man morphed into a full on flat out drunken mess. He was yelling and carrying on and the others in tow. At some point, I crept into my sleeping bag doing my best to pretend I wasn't there and hoped they forgot me as well. All I remember was Steve doing the same cuddling up close to me. At some point during the night I heard noises and the drunken man must have left.

The next day we awoke and as fast as possible got back on the road. Steve later confessed to me he had a hard time sleeping as he thought that we were in such a perfect position for the drunken man to have robbed and killed us. No one would have ever known where we were etc.
Wow, that never crossed my mind, but given the facts of the seemingly low level of education and sanitation, as well as interest in what material goods we had this thought wasn't to outrageous. Nonetheless we got out and on our way...

More passes we trekked, and finally we reached the place where Scarpa was to stop and return back to his family in Lamayuru. We were on our own. Steve thought we could find another guide and it should not be a problem. well it wasn't as easy as that.

We had another week left to our destination of Zanskar. We were on a mission to deliver some beautiful 8x10 photographs of the monks of a famous monastery given to us by our friends in Srinagar. Turns out the woman who took the photos was from San Anselmo, CA the same town we had lived before embarking on our India journey. She had been there the year before, took the photos and then sent them back to our friends in Kashmir. It seemed fate that we should deliver them to the monks. "Great" we have an a mission! It is meant to be. what a weird coincidence to have gotten these photos.
We anticipated the delivery and presenting them to the monks. One in particular looked quite elderly and one would assume a wise sage.

In the meantime, we must find another guide.....

Monday, April 02, 2007

Walking on the Moon PT. 2

We set off on Day 1 of our journey across the mountains.
The sky shone brilliant blue with scatterings of puffy clouds, the sun beat down strong on our skin. 12,000+ ft and above tree line there is little shade to be found. The landscape is incredibly barren, boulders and rocks strewn everywhere yet there is a unique beauty in its serenity. We walked for hours not seeing another soul following the old silk road trails. We trudged through dried up riverbeds, along sheer cliffs all en route to our first day's destination. After a full day of walking we arrived in a small village which was home to some relatives of our guide, Scarpa. We were pooped. Unbeknown to us, this would be our
first and only "luxurious" day. We were warmly greeted by the relatives and taken in to there home where we were given tea and invited to share a meal. We sat, we drank, we ate, and played with the children all the while taking in the Ladakhi language and deciphering the meanings. It's amazing how through some common threads of various languages, hand signals and expressions we can all communicate. It was a good day and a good night sleep was definitely in store.

The next day we awoke, had out breakfast and bid our gracious hosts adieu.
We walked and walked. You learn quickly how to read the landscape.
what to spot and listen for to look for a spring for water. since there are very free trees and shrubs, you learn to collect Yak dung for fuel. We traveled sparsely. We had no extras. Everything got used and re-used. Our guide, Scarpa like most Ladakhis was extremely resourceful. After we used up a can of condensed milk it became out ladle for the entire trip. A discarded plastic ramen bag left by a past group of trekkers became his wallet. Nothing gets wasted. Hmm, I thought we could be a bit more resourceful back home. I imagined if I could transport a Ladakhi and place them in a huge Western Grocery store what would they think????
We reached that's days destination and camped out in a small oasis. A group
of school children walked past our campsite stopped and shared their homework written on a small slate chalkboard. We smiled, we laughed as we shared words. what a wonderful day. Time to make a fire, eat some barley and go to bed. We had many days ahead.

The more we walked, the more remote it became. Villages were few and far between. The landscape seemed like an endless range of mountains, rocks. The Indus River would appear and at times we had to cross. Icy water, bare feet and a steady gate. The next night we came across a small house with a few animals. Scarpa negotiated with the woman of the house to let us crash on her rooftop. I was tired and suddenly became itchy all over my arms and legs. Eeek, I cou'ld sleep. I was not interested in eating the bit of bad quality basmati rice Scarpa had brought to cook. The woman sold us some Yak milk cheese which didn't sound appealing to me. I couldn't sleep. all I could do was try not to itch...Holy s^&t. Here I was smack in the middle of nowhere, no doctors, no medicine to relieve the itch. What happened? Why was neither Steve of Scarpa itching? Did I get some crazy bacteria? Will it go away? all I could do was curl up, look at the brilliant night sky and focus on the journey. I must let it be. It will pass. Unfortunately it lingered for about a week, but somehow I just dealt. Later I met a European fellow who complained of the very same thing. Turned out we both were bitten by fleas and just have a crazy reaction. Most of the rooftops we stayed had animals and fleas were rampant.. I had forgotten how ultra sensitive I am regarding insect bites...

Next day was to be a doozy. We were to ascend one of the 16,000 ft passes. It would be a long journey upward along the shale trails winding around to the summit.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Adventures in Moonland Pt. 1

Sometimes I reflect and think back upon the year I spent (21 years ago) in India and Nepal. And what a fantastic year it was. Nothing but adventure immersing in such diverse cultures all the while trying to fit in as respectfully as possible. I had few responsibilities, my whole life ahead and was ready to experience life in the Eastern cultures. Prior to the trip I had spent the past 10 years studying Indian classical music and culture so I was more than ready to embrace and absorb the experience. We (my ex husband and I) had a plan...since we'd be arriving in June and that was the time of monsoon, it was smart to head to the hills. So after a week in Delhi, getting acclimated and making connections with friends, we were off to Kashmir. We chose to fly as the Punjab was still a bit tense since since the siege upon the Golden Temple in 1984.

In Kashmir, I easily fit in yet at times got many strange looks as I got away with certain activities local women could not. Srinagar and all of Kashmir were on the the brink of political unrest. Most of the population is Muslim and therefore pro Pakistan anti Hindu and the locals were very vocal. For the most part things were as usual but a few days we had to lay low as there was a "bund" or public strike. Everything closed down and we were warned to stay indoors. Just a few years later Islamic militants would make frequent attacks in the area. I feel so fortunate to have been able to stay there before all that.

It was time for a real adventure and head into unchartered territory. Off to Moonland AKA Ladakh. Geographically Tibet, but politically India it has always been a bit sensitive since it borders on both Pakistan and China. Since it is officially India, the Buddhists have been left alone and all the monasteries are intact. It isn't an easy region to get to as altitudes are 12,000 ft and above. The people are a hearty lot who have adapted to the harshest conditions but somehow thrive. The Buddhist monasteries are the focal point of each village/town/hamlet and are all still thriving and at this point probably huge tourist attractions. Back 20+ years ago, the region had just re-opened to foreigners so there were some organized tours in the area. We were on our own (and that was unusual). As far as trekking, we saw NO other loners, just a few organized groups from the UK.

We were young, naive and crazy. Through maps and books, we decided we wanted to trek across the mountains, walk along the ancient silk routes, as well as climb and pay homage to the holy monasteries. We had a 2 week trek in mind going from Lamayuru to Padam, Zanskar.. All good to me. :) We were young, strong and infallible. We were to do it ourselves with the help of a local guide. I had no idea how intense the elements were at these altitudes, I had never been so high up but it wouldn't have mattered if I did. I knew I could do it. Ignorance was bliss.... So, while In Kashmir, we got a name of a local Ladakhi man who we were told MIGHT be able to guide us on a 2 week trek across the mountains to our final destination. We were certain he would abide.

It took 2 days to traverse 270 miles in an antiquated Indian bus over the Srinigar Leh highway. Besides the fact that this bus was haphazardly maintained as it slowly trudged up and careened down along narrow winding dirt roads, we were constantly stopped by army convoys which made the long trip even longer. Then comes the overnight stop in Kargil which was nothing that I can remember as being spectacular. I just wanted to get to Leh and off that dreaded death mobile. As the decrepit bus finally made it's way to the 12,oooft capitol of Ladakh, I was tired but elated. The town is beautiful..the old palace rises above the city and behind that high on a steep rocky crag lies the monastery. The town below is fertile green with spring water channels running along the paths. We spent a week acclimating and plotting our oncoming excursion. I felt fine at 12,000 ft but my ex was not so lucky. It took him several nights of sleep apnea to finally come around. It was time to make the journey to Lamayuru....We were told by our Kashmiri friends that the way to get to Lamayuru was to head to the local truck stop and pay the sikh truck drivers to let you accompany them en route to there deliveries. Sure enough a couple of friendly Sardars gladly took us on. The adventure was about to begin.. After a number of hours driving in the Sikh's Lorri over the dusty dirt high mountain roads speaking a jumble of Hindu/Bengali/Urdu and English to a couple of Sikh truck drivers, I'm sure they thought we were crazy Americans. Why would we want to come up to this vast moonland on our own accord??
ah good question, but hard to explain with a bit of a language barrier. Nonetheless, they dropped us off at the only teahouse in the small town of Lamayuru where we were off to find Scarpa. We were told he was the local postman and often traversed the old trade routes delivering mail. Seemed logical to ask him to take us along....After about an hour of
explaining in our new dialect of Bengali/Urdu/Hindi/English with a new smattering of Ladakhi words, we somehow found him. We approached his home which was located on a steep cliff just underneath the cliffs which the Monastery dwell. His home was a typical Ladakhi mud hut, dirt floors yet clean where the kitchen was the focal point. Unfortunately venting is somewhat non existent and smoky kitchens are the norm. As we sat drinking Yak butter tea, we tried to explain our request. somehow after a few hours of communicating via our language blends and maps, he got it! He agreed however only to taking us halfway to our destination. From what we could disseminate, he had only gone that far and wasn't interested in exploring any farther. Ok, we agreed. Steve and I figured we could find another guide at that point and continue on. After all, this was an adventure....
That night was spent upon the rooftop of our guides home. I shall never forget laying in the sleeping bag staring at the brilliantly lit sky with no wires or lights to distract. Just the silhouette of the monastery above highlighted by a billion illuminated stars. Shooting stars were abundant. Satellites circled the sky. I had no idea there was this much activity. I had never slept so high. This was the rooftop of the world. It was quite a show and coupled with the excitement of our impending journey, it was difficult to sleep. We watched the night show in awe and finally fell out.

Morning came. It was time to get ready to go. We were the minimalist trekkers. All we brought with us was sleeping bags, warm clothes, water purification tablets, canteens, lighter, Cadbury chocolate bars and glucose biscuits bought in India, tin cups, black tea, sweetened condensed milk in cans and a Swiss army knife. We thought we could get provisions along the way and basically live like Ladakhis. And that we did.....

12 days, a number of passes above 16,ooo ft all to come.
To be continued.....................

Friday, March 30, 2007

George Harrison said it well:

Im living in the material world
Living in the material world

Cant say what Im doing here
But I hope to see much clearer,
After living in the material world

I got born into the material world
Getting worn out in the material world
Use my body like a car,
Taking me both near and far
Met my friends all in the material world

Met them all there in the material world
John and paul here in the material world
Though we started out quite poor
We got richie on a tour
Got caught up in the material world

From the spiritual sky,
Such sweet memories have i
To the spiritual sky
How I pray
Yes I pray
That I wont get lost
Or go astray

As Im fated for the material world
Get frustrated in the material world
Senses never gratified
Only swelling like a tide
That could drown me in the
Material world

From the spiritual sky,
Such sweet memories have i
To the spiritual sky
How I pray
Yes I pray
That I wont get lost
Or go astray

While Im living in the material world
Not much giving in the material world
Got a lot of work to do
Try to get a message through
And get back out of this material world

Im living in the material world
Living in the material world
I hope to get out of this place
By the lord sri krsnas grace
My salvation from the material world
Big ending

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sometimes things just do go as planned...........

or as John Lennon said so wisely "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

It seems like I've been experiencing a lot of that lately.

Today was one such day.

It's been a good year and a half since I had a bad crash which left me with two broken bones, one that was a stickler to heal. This immediately took me out of racing and hardcore training which at that time, I had thrown myself into full force..At first I was antsy but anxiously awaited the 9-12 weeks to return. Things just didn't go as planned. My wrist didn't heal and surgery seemed like the only viable option. This meant at least 3 more months to recover. It turned out to be 6. Patience...I was sad, I couldn't walk past my bikes without wanting to cry. I kept telling them and me "Soon".
Finally this past June, I got the OK and I've been back on the bike, building back my fitness, enthusiasm and desire to race.
Don't get me wrong, as long as I am able, I will always ride my bikes as the joy and freedom I get from that means the world to me. I have pedaled thousands and thousands of miles, in various countries up and down mountains, kinesthetically feeling the roads, sweating and breathing in the sights.

But RACING? That's just a whole other ballgame. I told myself I will return and see how it goes. Well, so far this season, it's been a lesson in patience.

First race, Cantua...I flat blew up..I spent tons of energy on the first lap that I just died during the second. To be expected nonetheless, I was disappointed. Then came Snelling. First lap, chain drops, I chase to get back but just can't regain. then the luck of the Tack Attack. Not one but 2 flat tires due to come crazed "non" fan of cycling who thought sprinkling the road with
gold thumbtacks would be funny. HaHa!
Ok, I said to myself, time to work harder. I've been slacking.

Today Berk Hills TTT, it seemed like a good way to test my fitness and I signed up to ride Co-ed with a male acquaintance I know from my work who I've seen at quite a few of the races. I didn't have unreal expectations as far as winning but was looking forward to working as hard as I could and getting a decent placing. Last Sunday we met on the course, rode through it a couple of times and made plans to meet at the course. Well, I arrived a good 2 1/2 hours before our start time so I could register, adequately warmup and do all those pre race rituals that we all have. I go to registration and am told I can't get my number without my partner being there. So I wait. Fortunately I am parked with the reg table in my full view, so I set up my trainer, start getting the warm up all the while keeping my eagle eye on that reg tent..Time is passing. Sweat is happening. Partner is NOT showing. No phone calls. HMMM...will he show??? I go twice to the reg tent, and even ask if there is anyone who is in search of a partner. At
this point, I'll ride it with anyone. I just want to go!!!! 10:20, TT partner is still truant, so I bail. I did get a ride in as I met up with a Berkeley friend but it was certainly no TT effort. Oh well, Patience......At least I was able to ride. something I couldn't do at one point.

Patience, I have been challenged with this in many aspects lately. However, I will continue to forge ahead and keep the big picture in mind.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

No not the parrots of Telegraph Hill...............It's the crows of the Polo fields..

A few days back, in between seeing clients, I set out to Golden Gate park to do a little tempo work around the paved oval at the Polo Fields. There are few people there midmorning during the week so it's a great place to be able to pick up the speed without cars, stop signs and the lot. It's sort of a paved velodrome without the banking.

Usually during the week there is a handful of elderly Asian folks practicing Tai chi as well as going through a plethora of stretches contortions and exercise rituals. Sometimes a few brave souls will be walking around the track (why they don't enjoy the beautiful dirt trails and roads instead baffle me) but nonetheless they walk. Occasionally there are a few lowkey knee sock wearing recreational cyclists riding in circles as well.

So on this particular day, I have started my 1st interval and as I round turn 1, I see a woman on a bike holding a large dog coming in my direction. I immediately go wide around them and hope that they will be gone when I return to that spot. Sure enough they were just passing through but then I notice a nice pile of dog @#%$. Fortunately she curbed him next to the inside fence so every lap I knew to stay clear...

A few laps later, I am on the straightaway to turn 3 I see a large man with a dog. He is holding one of those tennis ball throwing tools that look like a long ice cream scooper. I think "Oh jeeze- hope he throws that ball thing out to the grass". As I come up to them, I can't help but notice this man who is probably in his late 60's cause he has a big Santa like belly, white beard and long ponytail pulled back. Besides the ice cream scoop looking thing he has a satchel around his buddha belly. Then I look up to the fence and see about 40-50 big black crows watching his every move. "This is going to fun" I think.
Sure enough every lap, between throwing the ball to the dog he's hand feeding these burly looking birds and they'd dive bomb down to the pavement in search of every missed crumb. At this point, I've got my HR up and am not going to slow down for these gnarly parrot wannabee's...It becomes a sort of bicycle shooting gallery as they seem to wait until the last minute to fly off before I approach. "Whatever" I think and proceed on my mission. Somehow, Grandpa Crow has somehow managed to move these birds methodically around the track. They are now on turn 2 and I see his dog curiously checking out poop from dog 1. I'm thinking "Is he going to do numerous laps with these big black squawking critters? Please let it be over. " My interval is done, I can slow down and ant this point can actually make eye contact and somewhat smile to Grandpa Crow. Apparently his feeding/throwing interval is over with too. I have one more but fortunately he's done...

I'm sure he was thinking equally strange thoughts about me on the pink bike pedaling circles, over and over, with a snotty nose and grimaced face aiming towards those damn crows...
to each his own, we share the Polo Fields :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"We are NOT Arabs....We are Persian"

This is a common statement heard in an Iranian household..I heard it many times as a child, all the while not really understanding it. I thought I was American. After all, I was born here and my Mom is Italian American, I spoke English and all my friends were some sort of American mixture of various races and religions. Besides that, 40 years ago most Americans didn't even know where Iran was or anything about it's rich culture. Nonetheless, my father insisted.."We are not Arabs, We are Persian"....At that time there were very few Iranians living in the USA and my Dad knew most of them. Occasionally he would have "boys night" where His Persian cronies would congregate for a night of poker and partying. I learned quick to lay low during these events as one particular friend "Farouk" took great pleasure in pinching my cheeks with his large hands whenever he saw me, telling me how cute I was. All the while my face would go numb and I was writhing in pain. From then on, when he came over I ran to my room... Then there were the festive events such as Norooz (Persian New Year), where my folks would throw an Iranian bash. My Dad would cook all the delicacies and the parties were filled with all sorts of Persian friends and relatives. The room would resonate with sounds of Farsi and English with lots of laughter and merriment. Lots of Good food, wine, Persian music and hospitality.

Then when I was 11, a family moved into the neighborhood who spoke Farsi.. They were Armenians who had migrated to Iran and the children were born and raised there. There was a daughter my age and she became the closet to a Persian friend that I had. We easily bonded. Even though I was more "American", I felt at home in her house. Upon entering her house, one would encounter that wonderful aroma of aromatic spices that only a Persian household has. The kitchen cabinets were filled with exotic spices and food stuffs from Iran. The refrigerator had yogurt, kashk and other Persian goodies. We played games, talked about boys, ate pistachios imported from ancient trees, dried mulberries (toot) and if we were lucky someone sent Gaz (a nougat candy) form the old country. We made strong black Turkish coffee with sugar and she would read our fortunes in the dark grounds left in the demitasse afterwards. Life was good. She would teach me Armenian phrases and we would boss around her younger sister who was 10 years junior.

She had had talked about going to Iran for the summer and asked me to join her. I really wanted to go. So I asked my Dad and he said no. Even though this was during the Shah's regime and Tehran was quite cosmopolitan, he expressed a fear. but why? At that time Iranian women were educated. Many were attorneys, judges, as well as had other careers. But he was stern and insisted it might not be a good idea. "They can keep your passport and put you into the Army". That's all I remember as his reasoning..."You are an Iranian citizen".. As my father was an attorney and even did legal work for the Persian consulate, I could not argue. someday I thought, when I grow up.

A few years passed, I became a teenager and my friend and I went to different high schools. We slowly drifted apart as our interests changed. Then came the Revolution. Ayatollah Khomeini's reign began. The country quickly digressed and became a fundamentalist environment. Persians fled and the ones with lots of wealth migrated to Europe and/or California. Other stayed and endured the changes. All of a sudden, there was a large growing Persian community here. At one point, The only Farzan's in the phone book were my relatives. Now there are many. Iran is now an American household word. Unfortunately not for it's good things (education, culture, art poetry, music, textiles and artisans) but perhaps someday that will change. It's kind of funny how my heritage which was relatively unknown to most Americans is now associated with the Axis of Evil and terrorism. Oh well, that will hopefully change.

BTW- Most Iraqi's are Arab.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

You're ON NOTICE...........

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Oh What Fun............

Over the last month Olaf Vanderhoot and the Queen B have been organizing VB training rides. Each one with a specific goal in mind. Considering the fitness/experience/and genetic freak factor ranges and differences of my teammates, so far it has been quite successful in accommodating all of us.

It's been wonderful for me (having had the year off due to injuries and life's other plans) to be able to learn from the elites, be inspired by the strong and get tutoring/motivation from the racing savvy Safeway crew. This is exactly why I joined this team. To learn how to race and ride as a team!!

Besides we all sharing a love for cycling, pushing ourselves to be better, everyone on the team (including the Velo Fellas) don't forget about those of us who are newer to the sport and how important it is to drill the skills, practice the pacelines, work on the accelerations etc.
Today's event put us into three groups, all riding Tempo, trading pulls and all keeping in mind to work together and stay safe. Oh what fun. The weather along the coast was crisp and clear..

Much thanks to Olaf, PAB, Zsa Zsa (who gave me a push) and Jen C who runs a tight ship on the pacelines :)

Tomorrow: Crit course pt. 2.... and my teammates are faaaaaaaaaaaast. I can only aspire to hang on.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another stellar winter day:

Crisp and clear, the day beckoned an Alpine Dam Mt. Tam ascent. The lungs and legs not only complied but seemed happy to make the morning journey. Joined by a couple of East Bay accomplices, the ride was quite a treat.