Saturday, May 31, 2008

Page Mill Road, Part 2

So today I decided to give Page Mill Road another run. I took a slightly different route (went up Altamont Rd instead of Moody Rd) but it ended up being about the same.

I did it in the same time as last week, 1:45 going up and 0:30 coming down, though I had fewer near-death experiences on this descent.

I figured rather than paste in the same map as the previous blog post I'd do some interesting calculations instead.

Assuming a 210lb combined weight for me and my bicycle and 2200 vertical feet of climbing and ignoring wind resistance (I really wish I could ignore wind resistance), I would have to have output a minimum of 150 kilocalories to reach the top, and I would have output this energy at an average of 100 watts; if I could get that up to 250 watts I could get to the top in just over 40 minutes and go ride the Tour de France. More realistically, if I dropped about 25lb of weight I could cut the time down to 1:30 with the same power output.

On the way back down, all that energy was returned to me at an average of 350 watts, or roughly ½ horsepower.

And now you know.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Page Mill Road

Today I decided I felt like a challenge, so I got on my bike and rode up the side of a very large hill.

View Larger Map

That's 8.7 miles and 2200 vertical feet.

It took me roughly 1:45 to go from A to B, and 0:30 to go from B to A. My ears popped on the way down.

Going up was pure hell, but when I turned around to go back down again it was all worth it. The speed was incredible, slicing through the curves, passing cars, the wail of the wind in my face. I did manage to goof up one corner and ended up going off the road a little bit, but luckily it was just up the side of a hill and I didn't even fall off.

I think I might even do it again next weekend... or whenever my legs start working again.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Good thing I got the three-pack

Today the weather was kind of gloomy (the first gloomy day I've seen since I got here. It even drizzled a little!), so I decided to do a little shopping rather than go out and about as I have on previous weekends.

My first stop was at the local bike shop to pick up a set of spoke wrenches and a bicycle multi-tool. I got the 3-pack of spoke wrenches that cover all the common sizes, and it's a good thing I did because between my unicycles and my bike I need all three! The multi-tool proved its worth in helping me adjust the rear brake on my bike.

The next stop was the Target (or "Tarjay" as it's called around here) to shop for some clothes. I was entirely unimpressed with their prices and selection, so I headed across the street to Sears and got 3 shirts and 4 shorts for only $110 thanks to the memorial weekend sale. Not too shabby.

I also drove my car through a carwash, though I don't suppose that's very exciting. It's nice and clean now, though.

Friday, May 23, 2008

We're gonna need more marshmallows

The south bay area is covered in smoke this morning from the fires up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was also rather brisk outside this morning.

These factors combined to make my bike into work a little less pleasant than usual.

Such trials I must endure... ;)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Over the hills and through the woods

On friday I decided to escape the heat after work and head over the hills to visit Santa Cruz and take in a little bit of the cool sea breeze on the wharf.

I planned out a scenic little route through the hills:

View Larger Map

Of course, nobody bothered to tell me that Skyline (hwy 35) gets a little narrower and twistier down toward the southern end. Narrower and twistier as in "single-lane asphalt spaghetti", which is all fine and dandy until you meet a car coming in the other direction and the road is only 15 feet wide. Thankfully I avoided any scrapes or bumps.

People also forgot to inform me that things get a little more rustic when you get to the other side of the hills. Once you get one valley over all the BMWs and triple lattes are replaced with pickup trucks and inbreeding, as far as the eye can see. Still a nice place to drive through, though.

Santa Cruz itself was suitably breezy and cool, though somewhat overrun with touristyismsm. I took a few photos including a nice big panorama of the beach, because nobody's ever done that before.

On Saturday I took the train up to San Francisco and biked around a bit. Unfortunately my route didn't account for hills, of which there are apparently many in San Fran (go fig). Also, my bike lock fell off its wussy mounting clip and was lost to me forever, so I had to fork over $20 to buy a new one with a better mounting clip once I got back to Mountain View.

I do intend to soon return to the lumpy city, armed with detailed reconnaissance, to conquer its fearsome streets.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goofing off in San Fran

Took the opportunity today to finally get up to San Francisco and take a little look around. Quite a nice city all told.

I took the scenic route, and snapped a few photos.

I've found I greatly enjoy driving in the hills, especially when I start to get the tires squealing. Eats gas though. Oh well.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Head for the hills!

Google maps is being a pain in the ass, so no embedded map today.

So Tyler and Angela (and the wee poop machine Erica) stopped in on their whirlwind tour last night and dragged me out to dinner at the King of Krung Siam restaurant, where we had many tasty eats. Afterwards we decided to take a little cruise through the hills, as illustrated in the above map.

I now understand why people buy Ferraris. A Ford Fusion rental car really doesn't cut it.

Today Tyler and Angela (and the wee poop machine again) dropped in at the office and got a schmooze tour from Chris, and we had lunch at some bbq place that I forget the name of. Things went quite well there too.

All in all a good visit.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I am Iron Man

So today I had a very important meeting with the entire development team, from 11:00am to 2:30pm. We all got together and met at the local theatre to watch Iron Man, on the company's dime.

Good way to round out the week, I think. I'm feeling fairly good with my progress in settling in; I think on Monday I should actually be starting to chew on some code.

Tyler should be magically appearing sometime next week for a visit. Good times will be in store I'm sure.