Dennis on the Road

Monday, May 15, 2006

The perfect weekend

This weekend will be hard to beat! It certainly is the current top runner for best-of-the-year.

The fun started at noon on Saturday. Trish and I drove to the infamous Cat’s Hill Criterium.

Aaron, Rob, and Shelly were hosting a post race party at their pad, only a few blocks from the course, so that is where we warmed up… kegs in sight. The Cat’s Hill course has never suited me well, but this year I managed to finish the race for the first time. Although my contribution to the team was minimal, I was able to step up a couple times, covering the front of the field on the first ½ dozen laps, and after a restart with only two laps to go (due to an ambulance on the course to clean up some blood), I was able to get to the front and slow down the first two corners so that Josh and three companions could maintain their 24 second gap.

The teams' results were strong, and everyone rode very well. 51 of 101 starters finished, including all eight RHVilla/Montano Velo guys. Christian spent most of the race in a break and took eighth. Josh escaped near the end and took ninth. Good job, ya’ll! Here are some great pictures that I can’t copy but can link. Thanks to Chris Patterson for these great shots!

~ me charging the hill
~ again
~ will this race ever end?
~ Paul is the king of Cat's Hill!
~ Aaron & Paul represent!
~ Christian is Cuchulain on a bike!

As much fun, and much less painful, than Cat’s Hill, was Cat’s Swill, Rob, Aaron and Shelly’s party. Those cats know how to throw a hell of a BBQ, including a bonfire two blocks from downtown Los Gatos. As if that wasn’t enough, Trish and I joined another crew of bike geeks for Matt Fritzinger’s “house cooling” party in the pad he was moving out of after a decade of residence. Many thanks to all the party hosts!

As much fun as the racing was, a day of adventure off the bike was welcome and overdue. Sunday morning Trish and I rejoined her friend Karishma and others, who were also at Matt’s shin-dig, for brunch at the Berkeley Thai Buddhist Temple.

We then ventured off to the beach, via an idyllic drive over Mt. Tamalpais. We loaded up on some lunch with a quick stop to the co-op in Bolinas and then drove to a trailhead at the South side of Point Reyes National Seashore. The hike was bliss. Within the first mile, we stopped for a cliff-side picnic. Two miles later I was naked and swimming in the chilling water of Bass Lake. Then we ventured further on the Palomarin Trail than I have ever been to what this trail description, aptly terms “waterfall nirvana”.

The Alamare falls has several cascades, the first few between three and twelve feet in height. The final one is certainly most impressive: a three-story drop to the beach! The fact that a nine-mile round-trip hike is required to get here, keeps this place quite and a mystery to most… Although I’ve lived in this area for twelve years, it never ceases to amaze me how many magnificent, natural, and peaceful places are just beyond our urban density.

The hike back included a cliff-top vantage of a near-perfect sunset, and a lot of handholding and kisses!

The final stop on the drive home was the Pelican Inn at Muir Beach. A stop in their pub is like stepping into a page of Chaucer. A small group of travelers gathered to share soup, a cheese plate, conversation, and several pints.


There are more pictures of the hike here.


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