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Shannon A.
Birthday Weekend 
25th-Mar-2013 12:05 am
Today was my 41st birthday. (Sigh!) However, I biked 20.5 miles for it, which I consider an accomplishment (especially since the first part of that involved a ride up to 1400 feet).

Early in the day I made my first ride up upper Tunnel Road since my sickness. I made it all the way up to Sibley Volcanic Park (it took some work!), and this time I decided to ride the Ridgeline Trail, which I had failed to ride in December or so because it was horribly muddy.

Well, it turns out that the ride wasn't a lot easier in the absence of mud. It's really a horribly laughable "multiuse" trail. Several bits of the 0.9 mile trail are virtually unridable due to extremely bad maintenance and extreme grades. (I'd see a sign that said "Downgrade; reduce speed" and I'd get off my bike because it meant "So steep that you will die" in at least some of the places.) When 0.6 or so miles in I hit a creek cutting across the path surrounded by (wait for it!) mud, I just had to laugh. I carefully skirted several muddy patches after that, then I just started saying "F*** it" and riding right through.

I should say the trail was a very attractive wilderness ride ... but one I won't be doing again.

At the other end I descended to Fish Raunch Road ... and suddenly discovered that I was in Orinda, looking over the back end of the Caldecott Tunnel. I let out a woot as I've been wanting to get over the hills for ages, then realized that where I'd gotten was entirely worthless. There's literally no way to get the rest of the way down the hills into Orinda if you're a bicycle (or even if you're riding a bicycle), because the only route downward goes to 24.

So instead I went up Fish Range Road (300 feet of ascension in about a mile), mostly walking because it was somewhat steep and I was tired by this time, then came back down on my side of the hills via Claremont (very fast!).

It was a proper birthday adventure, and a lot of fun other (perhaps) than that Fish Raunch trudging.

Today's other riding was down to the Bay and along the Bay Trail with Kimberly. Our destination was Chevy's. I had tasty pork fajitas and a strawberry margarita the size of my head (practically the only alcohol I've had in years, but I'm no longer taking Nortriptyline whose efficacy can increase with alcohol, so I felt able to let loose with one large, tasty, and slightly intoxicating drink).

Fun times. Good food.

The other major birthday happening of the weekend was the visit with the Wiedlins yesterday. They came up for dinner (after my afternoon RPG). There was good company, excellent vietnamese food, and good ice cream. It was a nice evening, even after the busy-ness of roleplaying day (which involved biking to Oakland and back — which I suppose brings my birthday weekend biking up to 30+ miles).

I got a weed wacker birthday present from the Wiedlins, which is more exciting than it sounds, as it's cordless, and the stupid cord is perhaps 50% of my hatred for weed wacking. I suspect it's a much superior model to the crap I had too.

I've also done a lot of writing & editing for Designers & Dragons over the weekend. I think I've got a rough plan in place that will get the third book done on the 31st, when it's due, but we shall see.
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