My career working as a chef had many miles of driving to work and long days. There was not a chance to commute by bicycle. I wanted to share in this alternate cult culture, to have a beater bike, U locks, hip clothing and messenger bags.
Losing my job as hotel chef was the best thing to happen to me. I couldn’t walk away from the stress filled “positive tension” as it was called, or my selfish ego. Many life lessons were learned and a wonderful opportunity fell into my life. I took a job as the kitchen collective chef at the Redwood Empire food bank. I now lead a team of volunteers preparing meals for our community in need. Our food is distributed throughout our county to seniors, families and anyone in need.
With my new career came the opportunity for a 10 mile bicycle commute. This didn’t turn out as easy as I thought. Now I have to get up an hour earlier to ride in, change clothes three times a day. I didn’t think about the weather in my dream images, frosty mornings, rainy wet days, and the endless head wind on the way home. As a casual cyclist I would routinely pick and choose better times and routes to avoid these pitfalls. How could I imagine flat tires only happen when you are running late. With this are the hidden suprises, beautiful sunrises, fitness, and joy from just enjoying this ride you are on. All this has taught me about myself and the community around me, with support and determination any challenge can be overcome.
Come ride with me and support the bay ridge trail on April 22 at Ridge to bridge event. This will be my third day, I will be loaded up and riding to the Presidio, riders can stay at Rob Hill campground in San Francisco, you can also support me as a rider and funds will go to the Bay Area ridge trail, let’s complete the loop!
We had beautiful weather in Northern California this weekend. I needed to get out to test some equipment, check the trails and push my fitness with the fully loaded Mountain bike. I left from home, the mustard is blooming and the grasses are incredibly green. Unfortunately Northern California still has plenty of mud and waist deep creeks. I stayed to the roads and well graded trails, I travelled 45 miles and 4500 feet of elevation my first day and matched my numbers for the trip home. I am comfortable on the bike and my gear is still being reviewed.
Los Alamos road to Mt Hood
The one thing I did not miss on this trip was unsettling political conversations. Our national parks, open spaces and environment have been threatened. I find it shocking to see our national park employees fighting to keep our protected land free from development and environmental damage. The Sierra club is supporting political groups. There is controversy between outdoor retailers about how to properly represent the industry.
The Bay ridge trail follows A green belt of public space encircling the Bay Area. Northern California encompasses many Grass roots organizations, alliances, open space advocates outdoor retailers and the people who love these spaces. There is a need to unite, show our strength, have a voice in our government and protect our most fundamental need, the earth we walk on.
The conditioning for the Bay ridge trail ride is relentless, load all my gear on the bike and ride the tallest hills , find the next tallest hill and repeat. When it rains too much, I climb the stair stepper, pedal intervals on the spin bike and run up 7% grades on the treadmill, Will this be enough? only my mind will know. I have aches, pain, blisters, and sores in new places every day. This is all very troublesome and can make me think, what have I got myself into? Who thought of this crazy idea? My mind got me into this, now it is time to condition the conscience, the body will heal, but it is my mindset that will carry me over the mountain and over the next.