Adventures with Margarita


By Friday, I had got enough study done to be able to take the morning off. I was planning to go for a run, but then I realized what I  really wanted to do was cycle. My lovely birthday bike, Margarita has been sorely underused and I’ve been dying to do a decent ride lately.

So on Friday morning, the Dude and I cycled to school together, he went into his classroom and I set off on my epic ride.

A deeply flattering shot of both of us on the ride to school
A deeply flattering shot of both of us on the ride to school


For me, it was epic. I cycled from Foster City to Woodside. It was about 15 miles each way and involved one giant hill. I climbed up it on the way and shot down it on the way back. It actually wasn’t too bad – long but steady, I climbed the whole thing fairly easily (if not quickly). Then, I had 8 blissful miles along Canada Road – a local cycling mecca. The road is straight, gently undulating and fairly car-free and it ends in Woodside at one of my favourite cafés where  I celebrated the half-way point with a totally unnecessary giant almond croissant and hot chocolate.

cycling margarita

The ride back was equally fun although shooting down Ralston Hill was pretty terrifying.

Crystal Springs on a chilly, grey, blustery morning

All in all, I did 32 miles. Now I know that this is hardly ‘epic’ but for me, it was a big deal. I haven’t ridden 32 miles since the Dude was born. One of my New Year Resolutions was to do a Century Ride. Layla’s recap of her century lit a fire in me earlier in the week and Friday’s ride kind of fanned it into flames. All the local century rides seem to include copious amounts of giant hills but THIS ONE in October in Sacramento is pretty flat and I’m pretty confident this is going to be it. The Husband also wants to do it, we need to work out how we both train for it without sacrificing enormous amounts of family time.

Riding Margarita is VERY different to riding Liesl, my touring bike. Things I’ve noticed are:

  •  Climbing hills is much MUCH easier.
  • Going downhill is terrifying.
  • Road saddles are nowhere near as kind on your nether regions as touring saddles.
  • I feel a little insecure not carrying much ‘stuff’. On Margarita, I only have a little saddle bag. It doesn’t store as many things as I like to take with me.
  • I may need to buy one of those ugly cycling jerseys with enormous pockets in the back.
  • I probably need to learn to clip into my pedals.
  • Road cyclists are not as friendly as touring cyclists.
  • Just because you have a swanky bike and clip-in shoes does not mean you can look down on me, mate!

I do realise that 32 miles isn’t exactly Tour de France stuff and I don’t want to make too big a deal of it…but I had fun. It was great, just what I wanted, and I’m excited about starting to train for Autumn’s big ride!

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    So excited for your next adventure Cat!

  2. Sherry says:

    What fun to take off for the day exploring on a bike! The century ride sounds like fun, good luck with your training!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks, I’m looking forward to getting started.

  3. Yay for cycling! Yep, you’re going to be just fine — especially since you already have experience (touring bike totally counts, especially when it comes to knowing rules of the road and general confidence). And you’ve seen triathletes of all sizes and abilities on bicycles, which helps with some perspective.

    I love bike jersey pockets. I happen to know that a three-pocket jersey will hold LOTS of gels, two ziplock bags of drink mix, a cell phone in a ziplock bag, and there’s still room to stash arm warmers and trash. Women’s cycling clothing is improving, and most women’s jerseys no longer have elastic along the bottom; that’s a huge improvement because the elastic makes them ride up from our hips so they bunch up at the waist (clearly designed by men).

    Road cyclists can be so obnoxious and arrogant! I used to really enjoy shocking them while passing them on my hybrid bike, or by mentioning at a stop sign how many miles I’d ridden. The sport is predominantly male, and they always seem so confused that I’m daring to ride my bike solo, or that I’m keeping up with them. That’s when the tiger in me roars and says, “Oh REALLY?! I’ll show them a thing or two!!” On the flip side, a lot of them are really nice, and countless cyclists ask if I’m OK when I happen to stop on the side of the road for a picture or to look at my phone. Like with anything, take the good and leave the bad, and enjoy the ride!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Okay, so I want a three pocket jersey. On it, thank you. Hugely relieved about the lack of elastic because that suits nobody!!

  4. dlubi says:

    Congrats on the wonderful adventure!! Your century ride looks awesome!!! Very excited for your upcoming adventures! Definitely ignore anyone you meet who is not friendly while on their bike – seriously, how can you be anything but happy when riding a bike!?! There are also some really great athletic companies that make beautiful jerseys – definitely worth shopping around for one you like!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks! Any recommendations? I looked at Coeur, which all the cool kids seem to be wearing – they do some lovely stuff.

      1. dlubi says:

        Coeur, Smashfest Queen, Twin Six is a fav of mine (fit me well!) Castelli, Rapha, Betty Designs, Pearl Izumi, & really fancy: Lexi Miller

      2. Cathryn says:

        Thank you for the recs!!!

      3. Cathryn says:

        Oooh, thanks for all the recs.

  5. I’m glad you found your love for cycling again. It’s so good to mix things up. Also, YEAH for the century ride. It’s an awesome challenge.
    As for the “real” cyclists on the road… ppppfff, they don’t even deserve us noticing them. If they think they are rockstars, good for them 😉

    And, you know, a croissant is ALWAYS necessary. No question about that 😉

    1. Cathryn says:

      It was a goooood croissant too.

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