Ride, eat, sleep. Repeat.
My friend Frank called to say a few of his friends were meeting in Marin to ride 50 miles on his 50th birthday this morning. I already had a lunch date in Sausalito, but I saddled up ol’ Colomboham and rode out with the birthday boy for a short section of trail riding merriment. Always fun to ride with new people, might actually breathe hard.
And then there’s that satisfying ‘packed calendar feeling’ There’s nothing like getting a couple things done in a single day, esp when you do the linking together with a bike. And doubly so when the rain cripples auto traffic.
The weather on Mt. Barnabe: overcast, not cold.
Seven revelers congregated a few miles out of town, and faffed around with their bikes for a healthy forty minutes or so…giving me time to meet Monica Montoya, a genuine Luna Chick! AND a dancer (belly), George, Mark M (see his blog), Kurt, Sharon, Gus….. then it was off to Spiff’s Trail, a beautifully designed switchback-rich meander up one of the steepest hills in the County. Western sword fern, bay trees galore and color commentary by the big leaf maples.
I was alone for some of the climb, and I swear I could hear leaves dehiscing one at a time… then slowly sailing down to the forest floor in front of me. Their brilliant yellow leaves appear to dangle from invisible branches, like dishwashing gloves on fishing line. The trail’s edge was piled with the green completely inedible bay berries (more accurately a “drupe”), and the grade often felt flat, it was so easy to get up the hill. Of course it does take awhile, being 4-5 miles long.
We paused to consider our route, and everyone agreed turning back down would double our pleasure. Indeed, silently skimming along the trail duff made me write another hundred MENTAL blogs, about the stunning beauty of a Forest Knolls morning, with rain developing.
I rode straight to Poggio in Sausalito….Carol Ness of the S.F. Chronicle Food Section was waiting for me..I was soaking wet. The fifteen mile ride from Sam P. Taylor Park gave the rain a lot of time to ooze down my neck, and ruin my plaid-trimmed gloves…
But I got there only 10 minutes late (“fat tires slowed me down”), and I didn’t have to wait in line, she’d grabbed a table. Let the record show that Poggio is a most hospitable restaurant to damp rodents…) The waiter introduced himself: “hello, I’m Peter, and I’ll be your server”.
“Hi, I’m Jacquie and that’s Carol, and we’ll be your diners”. I’d always wanted to say that.
I had burrata (pulled fresh mozzarella cheese, done in-house) and a fish brodetto, gorgeous sea foods in a lovely stock. Wine: a lovely light Vermentino di Sardegna, first time I’ve ever had that. I have to continue this tomorrow I am FRIED! Carol had ribollito, it was drier than she’d imagined, but I think it’s a dish that can come out a lot of different ways. It’s like my savory bread pudding, only with beans. Delicious, hearty.
She asked a few questions, and pretty sooon my full-on Fire Hose Effect kicked in. She’s lucky she emerged after the interview with all her ears and eyebrow hairs. We talked about many things. Small world effect again: she went to Midd three years before I did…so she was familiar with precisely the same milieu I was at that formerly bucolic school.
I let her know how I came to be the queen of glean, and why being ultra discreet (i.e. no newspaper stories about the where’s and the when’s.)
Peter came back with dessert menu and we somehow got to talking about Life Direction, and he mentioned being at a pivot point in his life…should he buckle down now and start a biz or take off and sail some more, circumnavigate the globe, looking for spottty work as he went “which would, in the short term, pay better than starting my own business ” he said soberly.
“Please opt for door number two” I said to him. “Or no tip.”
Sometimes you have to play hardball when you’re bossing around tender souls half your age you’ll never see again.
I headed homeward with the rain at my back, and got wet through one more time. And when I got home, there was our young Bush Pig, who’s become quite the racer (last year’s cyclocross chmp of district I think).