Thursday, January 26, 2012

Basic and Not-so-Basic

The roofers have been here for 2 days and the banging is extreme. I have to get out of the house.

It is worse for Bella. She goes up into the chimney and stays there all day. Don't know how that is even possible!

Today I'm not motivated at all to exercise. I miss the gym, which is easier than coming up with a ride that appeals. The roofers can be my excuse and they won't even have to know about it. They'll just see me heading out of the driveway with an orange bike.

Today's ride is the basic escape route - Woodside Loop, starting with Altamont. Altamont follows a little ridge and the hills are a dark grey-green. Their tops are in misty white clouds. Somewhere in there is the top of Page Mill, and the top of Montebello. A hawk coasts over an open hilltop.

Should have brought the camera!

Legs not feeling very strong. It's 1pm and no lunch yet, only snacks. Cherry Pie Larabar to the rescue. Those calories get me to Woodside and I talk myself into 6-mile out-and-back to Hwy 92 before lunch. The light is so amazing and soft along the Crystal Springs Reservoir, it's mythical. Every feature of the landscape has depth and dimension. Where I grew up we had clouds, and the light was similar. The clouds mediate the light.

Of course, every feature of this landscape is courtesy of the San Andreas Fault. This road, Canada, follows the fault running under the Crystal Springs lakes. Looking south toward Saratoga Gap it is actually visible. Roads often follow the bench structures of faults. It's a hidden benefit of cycling, time to contemplate the patterns around us. My friend Jim Bradbury says cycling has 3 complementary hobbies: geology (and geography), ornithology, and of course meterology.

At this point it's 3:15 and at the crossroads more tangible concerns are at hand. Roberts Store. The place is chock full of middle schoolers just out for the day. The deli has some Artichoke Bisque, focaccia, coffee, and a gingersnap cookie. For lack of exactly the right word, yum! If we lived around the corner from Roberts, we could just eat here and not cook. Is gastronomy a hobby?

Somewhere on Junipero Serra west of Stanford the sun starts to go down and the light changes quietly to grey. Still beautiful.

There are worse things than living in a place where, when driven from your normal habitat, this is your reward.

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