Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two Days and a 'Century' in Paradise

Hello Life Ride followers.

Well, the training is going very well but I thought it was time to really stretch out there a bit and see how I would hold up to a long ride. In cycling jargon, a 100 mile ride is called a 'century', so I approached Michele with another of my perfect plans. I said to her, why don't we go to San Diego on Friday, spend the night and then spend the day together in San Diego and go to the zoo, or to Sea World or whatever you would like to do. Just a romantic get away. Of course, having been married 35 years she knew something was up so she probed for the details of my 'perfect plan'.

Uh, about if I meet you there. I'll ride down, you drive down there Friday afternoon and it THEN will be the perfect plan!

All kidding aside, it turned out to be an incredibly perfect two days. The weather on Friday was beyond a blessing. I started out at 0730 from Yorba Linda and headed down the Santa Ana river bike trail. The air was perfect and crisp and clean and the sun was shining with joy. I saw my shadow and knew it was going to be a good day, passed Angel Stadium and got to the Pacific Ocean then headed south on Pacific Coast Highway.

The entire trip southbound was glorious since the Pacific Coast Highway parallels the coast with many beautiful views of the ocean. I little bit of a headwind southbound but not too bad.

At 95.5 miles into the ride I had the (1.75 mile with 400' climb) Torrey Pines grade to deal with that went really well so I knew the training was paying off. Total trip was 117 miles; 8 hours riding and about 3000' of vertical climbing.

If you're interested in the details of ride, see this link. It is the download from my GPS computer:

The next day Michele and I got up and after a great breakfast, which I cleaned every plate within reach, we toured around Old Town San Diego. Very interesting history of early California (~1800-1870-ish). Adobe settlements, old school houses, stables, hotels and of course a saloon and jail!

Next we went to the Torrey Pines State Park for a 3-4 mile hike up and down the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This is one of our favorite places for a nice day hike. Before the Park, we stopped quickly at the top of the cliffs to see the para-sailers and model gliders flying in the updrafts caused by the on-shore breeze. Maybe a bit crazy, but beautiful nevertheless.

Next, Michele and I went to Torrey Pines State Park for the hike. Absolutely fantastic weather and scenery! Climbing down the twisting trails towards the beach was SO peaceful together.

We finally reached the beach below the 400' high cliffs.

And as we walked back to the car along the beach, the sun set on the perfect second day in paradise.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Flying Fish????

I know this has nothing to do with the Life Ride but I couldn't help myself.

About 1/2 mile from the place where I work , the Santa Ana river runs past bringing the mountain snow run-off to the ocean. Also nearby are a number of large lakes that serve as settling ponds for that river water. These lakes are filled and the water then slowing seeps into the water table serving the surrounding cities.

Anyway, a while back I came out to my car and found the following in the middle of our large parking lot. As you can see, it was not a good day for this fish. Yes indeed, that is the back end of a fish!

I suspected 'fowl' play in this fish-out-of-water caper but my suspicions were not confirmed until last week. I was leaving work just before sundown and sitting up on a light pole was a large Osprey. This Osprey looked to be very occupied with something down around his feet.

I took up my trusty point and shoot and approached the light pole for a closer look. Well, this Osprey was not happy that I was interrupting the chore at hand, or should I say feet and beak. After some rather rude and loud squawking, Mr. Feathered Attitude decided to relocate to a different perch (pun intended).

I was incredibly lucky to have my camera at the ready and caught this image of the fast getaway. You can clearly see the precious payload to be another rather large fish taken from one of the nearby waterways.

This Osprey has a wingspan of probably around 4-5 feet so it was impressive seeing him/her flap into the sunset.

Hope you enjoyed the case of the flying fish. Case Closed!