Saturday, 29 September 2007

A cloudy day

After spending the morning trying to find a sports bar that showed rugby, England were playing Tonga (what's rugby they said? I suppose when they are so bad at it the Americans don't want to know, the USA lost all their pool matches!) we ended up in the Hyatt Regency Airport Hotel, which was supposed to have the best sports bar around. It probably does but as it didn't open until 3pm and the rugby started at 12pm it wasn't much use, but what an impressive hotel!!

Drove to the coast and watched seals, a variety of gulls, small waders, and looked for a small bird that resembled a penguin (and had been reintroduced following its extermination through oil pollution). Ended up drinking tea and watching the surfers in the next bay south from Pacifica.

Tea stop watching surfers. Cloudy day

Tomorrow we leave the coast and head inland for Yosemite. Weather forecast for the next week is sun!!!

Friday, 28 September 2007

The Golden Gate Bridge

Caught the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) into San Francisco (SF) with the aim of hiring two bikes to cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB). The thick fog didn't fill us with optimism, but you have to accept that this happens when it is hot and sunny in SF! Picked up two bikes and set off beside SF Bay towards the GGB. Cycling in SF seems to be a well accepted practice as you were allowed to ride on the pavements among the pedestrians, go through red lights when traffic entered from the left and generally go where you want. There were hundreds of other cyclists all doing the same as us.

Sharon beside San Francisco Bay with the skyline behind her.

The fog bound Golden Gate Bridge

Fort Point viewpoint

Sharon crossing the GGB

The fog

After chowder at Sausalito we continued our journey in sunshine along via Mill Valley past a village of houseboats and a seaplane base, through some very expensive housing to Tiburon where we caught the ferry back to SF (with the same hundreds of other cyclists doing the same route) passing Alcatraz and gaining great views of the skyline of SF. We rode 26km.

The view of SF from the ferry

California Street

Thursday, 27 September 2007

We have arrived

We arrive in San Francisco

The view from the plane as we approach San Francisco

After 19 hours traveling (22 hours since we got up) we arrived at Pacifica (a town south and west of San Francisco) where we have booked a room in a hotel for three nights. After a walk on the beach at 1800 hours (0200 at home) we sat and had a drink on our balcony. It doesn't feel real. 22 hours ago we watched the sun rise over Manchester airport, it is now setting in the west over the Pacific! We are going to get tired very soon!

On the beach outside our hotel.

Drinks on the balcony overlooking the Pacific

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

This is it ... we are off

Tuesday 25th September. This is it, we are off! Scary!

Sharon and Dick at Lancaster station

Follow our adventure by clicking here

We set off from Lancaster today. Train to Manchester Airport. Bus to Hotel. Flight 8.15am tomorrow morning to Heathrow, 10.50am to San Francisco.

The adventure begins

Saturday 22nd September

Moved out of Number 6 Oakbank Cottages ... all the way to Number 5 to watch the rugby. 44 - 22 England - Samoa. Picked up our first transport in Lancaster, Tom and Barbs campervan. Kangaroo'd down Windermere Road towards Ambleside (the gas/petrol switching takes some getting used to!). Rejected by 4 restaurants (never knew Ambleside was so busy on a Saturday night). Ribeye steak t Traveler's Rest at Grasmere in King and Queen chairs. Chilean Merlot - yummy. First night of our adventures camped beside Thirlmere at Armboth Carpark. Must be the Lakes - it poured down.

The campervan beside Thirlmere

Friday, 14 September 2007

First day of the holiday!

Friday 14th September. First day off from work and the Tour of Britain finishes leg 5 in Kendal with a climb up Beast Banks. The winner was Alexander Serov (Tinkoff Credit Systems).

See the video of him racing up the hill to the finish here

Monday, 10 September 2007

Helvellyn Triathlon 9th September 2007

The training was finally put to the test. The cycling to school, endurance training in the Vercours and Alps and swimming were all brought to bear on the Helvellyn Triathlon: -

1 mile swim
38 mile bike ride including the Kirkstone Pass
9 mile run taking in Helvellyn.

Want to see the Trihard triathlon website? click here

After a good swim I set off on the bike ride where at St John's in the Vale I was 6 minutes up on my best practice ride time. On the Kirkstone Pass I pushed up two sections in order to conserve energy for the next stage. A 80KM per hour descent of the pass led easily back to Glenridding leading to a time 6 minutes better than my best to date! Off on the run I felt fine having eaten (well rather swallowed) a diet of power gels, bananas and energy drink but once on the first hill my heart rate shot up to 184 then settled down to 177 and I could not go any faster than a walk. Once on the flat I was able to jog until I gained Swirral Edge when I was reduced to hands and feet while I scrambled up the last climb to the summit in 1hour 34mins. The descent was painful but I ran all the way and finished in a time of 5hours 51 minutes in a position of 26th in the super vets (414 overall)! A great event, I will be back next year. Sub 5hours 30mins???

On the run to transition 1 after the mile swim


Swim - 34:44
Transition 1 - 4:59
Cycle -2.33:16

Leaving on the cycle leg

Transition 2 - 2:10
Run - 2.35:49
Total time 5.51:02
Position 414/460 overall/26th/32 Supervets

At the end

Video of the mass start of the swim can be seen here