Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Montebello

No structure means nothing happens.

So it came to be late-ish on a Sunday afternoon, slightly warm, partly sunny and most important not raining. There's been basically no rain in January and February. Most unusual.

Through some strange mix of coercion and motivation, Danny is coaxed out of a lounging position and into cycling togs. Even though it is nap time.

As we leave the driveway he says he just wants to head south and go to the top of Mt. Eden, then turn around.

A voice in my head says 'well THAT's not long enough!'

Sometimes someone asks, how does one get to the point of doing endurance riding. Of riding a 200k. That's how. It's as good an answer as any.

Here's another way: suppose you do a little more than just the top of Mt. Eden. What we call the Southerly Loop. Climbing Pierce to the Mountain Winery, then back down into Saratoga. The long slog home, 15 miles through suburban hell.

Ah. Maybe there's another way?

Conversation can be helpful, too. Like an argument about the ideal design of a parallel life in France. The proper escape.

Whether it's desirable to go into olive farming. Or a money-generating venture of any kind. Or just to loaf and contemplate the beautiful landscapes and write. Converse with locals. Take in a little fruit of the vine.

You might be able to guess between the two of us, who was in favor of what.

Personality, job fatigue, these are not the only differentiators. I think differently. My life has been rich, but not in capital. With the insurance debacle and job loss, it's worrisome. Spending without money coming in.

Hence no posts describing an $8000 series of HBOT appointments. Shoving oxygen into the brain while climbing hills on a bicycle is free. Maybe Prudential will come through...?

Honestly until this moment it was a blissful and carefree day. Rounding Stevens Creek Reservoir, Montebello Road just ahead. Forgot about it somehow. Angry legs turn the Waterford up the hill, leaving Danny to solo in peace through Stevens Canyon.

Never mind the comedy of two cyclists on a gorgeous March 2nd in California, discussing the best way to decamp to a foreign country. Where we barely speak the language. There's likely still snow and ice on the roads. The system of taxation is byzantine. Here we have basically Heaven on Earth.

And yet, yearning for quiet. Affordable health care. Respect for people, not money.

It's so easy to forget what is close at hand. Without really understanding how this works, fantasies of escape are powerful. They have way more appeal than today, right here.

Thinking the grass was greener is what brought us all here in the first place: Spanish missionaries, Mexicans, explorers from back East, homesteaders, gold seekers, Dust Bowl farmers (on Route 66), aspiring actors. Now, the entrepreneurs of Hacker Dojo.

My dad's grandfather came to escape the phylloxera epidemic in the Languedoc. Which paradoxically would turn out to originate from North American imports. It launched the wine industry in California. It is the reason these hillsides at the top of Black Mountain are rowed with vines.

Is it really better somewhere else? Is it possible to know?

Maybe not. But it might be possible to have enough, today.


  1. Wow, our back yard sure is beautiful....

  2. Love the photo third from the bottom! I haven't yet climbed Pierce that far. One day, one day. I agree, though. Sometimes you need to spin the wheels and spin the brain somewhere else.