Our Thanksgiving Day
We have a lot to be thankful for!
Today we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was a day before the national holiday but the Neuschwander family was kind enough to accommodate my work schedule. Bruce , Cindy, Tim and I head out for the morning ride and CDF challenge. I feel a pang of sadness as we climb the hill, knowing today is my last day of gluttonous riding. I wonder if this game is as fun for Bruce when he doesn't have us rookies to egg on.
Cindy and Bruce turn early to prepare for Tim's Nana and Gramp's arrival. Tim and I climb Calaveras again only this time we spot the Golden Eagle's nest Bruce and Cindy told us about. We also descend down the other side into San Jose. It is a fun descent. I feel a little tired today and think maybe I am getting a cold but agree to do "Sierra Road" anyway. I am glad as my sinuses clear while I ride my bike and I gain energy along the way. I am certain I can handle anything on a road map and we turn the corner onto Sierra Road. Errrrt, screeech, halt, thump, thump, thump, goes my heart because from here the road goes straight up. Maybe it's an optical illusion but the road goes straight up. It starts at sea level and ends at the gates of Heaven. I look at the hill head on and think this might be it. The moment I have met my match, I might not make it up. Of course, it's all or nothing for me. I can't fathom taking a rest stop and summitting the climb bit by bit. No, not me. I start to sort of panic "what if I can't make it" I have visions of tipping over on my bike because I can't spin the pedals. I worry it will be too much strain on my back and I'll hurt myself. I start to wonder what other fool, no less female fool would take this on. I start to think about what the Bellas are doing and I know it also isn't this. I also know they beat me on race day and I start to make the connection. I verbalize this to Tim who doesn't buy it. I apologize to Tim for the behavior I am about to exude. I tell him I may get really ugly before we get to the top. Tim kindly offers to ride back and get the car while I sit on the side of the road and wait. He says it might be too much for me and my pink bike. We make it over the first pitch which is the steepest and I chill out. Then I start chirping like a bird. "That wasn't so bad!" Tim is quick to remind me of my comments a few minutes ago. I enjoy seeing the faded paint that once brightly said "Go Levi". This climb is from the Tour of California. I wish the street was lined with people cheering and ringing cow bells today. How about somebody to hand us feedbags as we ride. What about a team car. I think a custom painted pink and blue Mini would be perfect for me. Those tour riders have the life. The scenery is awesome. Tim offers to let me stop for a break, but I refuse. I must prove to myself that I don't quit when things get tough. I'm embarrassed for confessing my weakness at the base. Tim is smarter though and has us stop for pictures. We continue to climb and I remember riding through New Zealand from Arrowtown to Lake Wanaka. This is an epic ride despite my meltdown at the base. Once we reach the top the road is so curvy I feel like we are in never-never land. We descend a long way and at the bottom make a right hand turn. The road we turn on looks like a driveway and I miss it the first time. It is an immediate climb and it takes me three tries to get in a low enough gear to climb.
We ride as fast as we can back to the homestead. Thanksgiving dinner is waiting. When we arrive we are greeted by the aroma of wonderful food and the presence of Tim's Grandparents. I quickly shower and get ready. Valerie, Tim's sister-in-law arrives and joins us for the feast. Unfortunately Seth could not make it. Once again he was fighting fires to keep us safe.
We enjoy the dinner and time together. Shortly after dinner Tim takes me to the San Jose airport (yes the airport where my knotty stick was confiscated after the Rock-n-Roll marathon) . I fly home, crawl into bed, and have sweet dreams of hilly country rides.
this is what Riley thinks of the Sierra Road climb