dreaming in the shadows of the Sleeping Maiden

Mt. Tamalpais, October 28, 2012

Mt. Tam glimpsed in morning light

I know that there is a huge storm, a Frankenstorm, barreling toward the mid-Atlantic states, the Northeast, and New England. It’s difficult to fathom the scope of this event from this far and especially from where I am sitting: still “pretty” in the halcyon days of sunshine with plenty light and heat, and gentle breezes that lull the senses into even deeper complacency.

But once again, there it was, the glorious morning peeling back the night’s shadows from the mountain, just as my friend and I headed south to Woodside on the Peninsula to go riding with the Velo Girls. When we came upon the Golden Gate Bridge just after we emerged from the Waldo Tunnel, the sight nearly took my breath away. Layers of fog, sprinkled with the quilt of sparkles in the sun, drifted lazily under the bridge and over the span, leaving the iconic arches illuminated int heir full bright orange signature color. Across the bay San Francisco’s skyline peeking above the fog was also aglow, like a crown encrusted with diamonds. I think I had to blink a few times to believe my eyes, to accept such beauty as part of the landscape I call home.

Our ride with the Velo Girls in Woodside was an introductory session, so it was nicely paced and quite short at 15 miles. But what an incredible 15 miles. The road rolled gently, making the pace at times a challenge, but not an impossible one. After we came up on the ridge of one roller, I realized that entire beautifully paved road was closed to traffic and wide open to the hordes of cyclists that came around, some zooming without effort, other huffing and puffing.

Once again, I had to blink my eyes to believe what I was seeing. A cyclists’ paradise through scenery worth (ahem) paradise with the reservoir sparkling in the warm sunshine. I didn’t need to pinch myself, though, because my body felt the road, easy as it was for the others, all on their road bikes. By the end of the ride, I was the last straggler on my hybrid Breezer, which, though I rode in a higher gear even on the hills, still got me some decent speed and, for the first time, a really nice average rpm number for the entire trip.