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The Festa Foundation organized a wonderful bike ride today called the Giro di Peninsula. The ride benefits the cause of developmentally challenged children and adults in the area. Several ride options were available: 100 miles, 100 k, 70 k, 30 k, and 30 k EZ.
The event kicked off this morning at 7:00 AM at Bay Meadows Race Track in San Mateo. Registration involved signing a waiver and getting a route map. Breakfast was available at the race track and two rest areas were setup on the course. At all locations a variety of food and beverages were available to help you re-fuel.
The 70 k ride was pretty challenging! It featured a climb to Skyline, a long stretch along Canada road, and the local Loop. Here's a complete map of the 70k ride.
Giro di Peninsula 70k Ride on Bikely
All told, Bikely estimates the total climb at 2703 feet. This is considerably more than the 1531 ft climb for 40 Miles to Freedom.
The Festa Foundation did an excellent job by chalking out arrows letting riders know where to turn. This made it easy to focus on riding and not on the route itself. The stretch along Canada road offered great views of the Crystal Springs reservoir and a real sense of being out on the open road.
A volunteer commented that over 1000 people had registered for the event which made for a nice fund-raiser for a worthy cause.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
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Friday, June 29, 2007
RIP Stelios Mouratis
Mosxato (Athens) Greece
The eldest son in the Mouratis family has passed away after an incredible life and courageous struggle.
He is survived by his wife Renna, and son Demetri and family in Greece and the US.
Please welcome him in heaven.
Theos, please say hi to ya-ya, papoose, and my dad. I miss you all.
Posted by dmourati at 9:01 AM
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Today, I ran into a friend on the Caltrain on my way home from Kung Fu. He and I are always on the same train Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I was talking to him about the Giro de Peninsula ride I have planned for this Saturday and how we would be heading up to Portola/Woodside. He mentioned that he had just come from there and that he worked near the intersection of Woodside and Canada Road. I have just recently blogged about my trip up there last Saturday and mentioned Bucks. He indicated that in fact, he works at Robert's Market across the street.
The market sounds like a very classy grocery store. I plan to head in there for a sandwich at least and maybe even do some shopping.
Apparently Jerry Rice and Larry Ellison are both customers there. I knew Ellison lived up there and grew up hating Jerry Rice as a Cowboys fan.
Posted by dmourati at 10:55 PM
Saturday, June 23, 2007
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Another Saturday, another 40 Miles to Freedom. This time, however, I decided to amp it up a couple notches.
First, I took Manzanita to Mountain Home Road and went right. At the intersection of Mountain Home Road and Woodside, I found Buck's Cafe. I had previously been there (by car) and never realized how close I was on my weekly bike rides. Buck's is a Silicon Valley legend. Maybe next week I'll stop in for lunch. I wonder if they get a lot of cyclists in there? This change of route added a few more miles to the ride as well as a bit of a climb along Woodside. This made up for my initial wrong turn on my first 40 Miles to Freedom ride so I'm happy to keep the name accurate now.
The second notch up was a first attempt at Old La Honda Road. Old La Honda is a classic among local cyclists. It has a 9% grade and goes up to Skyline Boulevard. I was luck to bump into another cyclist preparing for his ascent. I told him I was a first timer and ask if he had any tips. The guy look like he had done it several times and had a few good suggestions. First, take it slow and steady. He advised trying to keep a speed of around 6 mph. He also said is was 3.2 or 3.3 miles to the top with the last half mile or so relatively flat. I chowed down on some cashews I had stashed for on-bike fuel and guzzled what little water I had left.
My plan was to take 1/4 of the climb for my first outing. This would give me an idea of how difficult the climb was and also set the stage to come back next time for another shot.
It was really steep. I was in the super-granny gear and barely making 5mph. Still, I felt great being out there and giving it a solid effort. I decided to pull into a driveway about 3/4 of a mile into the climb. That was less than 1/4 of the climb but it was a good stopping point on my first try.
Next time, I'll shoot for 1/2 way up or a total climb of 1.6 miles.
Palo Alto Bikes Link
Great Page With History
Posted by dmourati at 7:05 PM
Friday, June 22, 2007
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I've been away from the kitchen for a good number of years here. The last time I can really remember cooking for myself on any kind of a regular basis, I was still in school.
On Monday of this week, I headed over to Williams-Sonoma in Palo Alto to get started on settings things straight. I had done some research and found out the basics of what I needed. Here's what I came home with:
8" Wusthof Chef's Knife
3 1/2" Wusthof Paring Knife
16x20" Boos Board
10" All-Clad Copper Core Fry Pan
4 Qt All-Clad Copper Core Soup Pot
So far, I've made just one dish, some grilled potatoes. They came out pretty good, I think. I'm in the process of buying some cookbooks and getting fresh fruits/veggies delivered so I'll have to see how that goes.
I love the knives, though. Wusthof is apparently a very good brand and I've read that good knives are the first thing you need in a kitchen.
Posted by dmourati at 9:23 PM
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Once again, I got out on the open road for another 40 Miles to Freedom ride. It turned out just shy of 40 miles and I completed the journey in 2 hours, forty-five minutes. Not bad. I felt considerably better on the climbs today. Somehow, I had more energy. It could have been the bag of almonds I had stashed in my jersey or simply the fact that I'm getting better on the bike.
Tonight, I'm meeting a lucky lady for dinner. She had aversion to much of the ethnic fare I would have normally suggested so we're going to Tied House in about an hour. I think she'll like the outdoor seating as well as the opportunity to check out some sports after dinner on the big screens.
Full throttle to full bottle and full full clout and I'm out.
Posted by dmourati at 5:46 PM
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Today I started my HIIT traiing. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The concept is that you do intervals alternating between max intensity and rest. By pushing your intensity level up as high as you can go, you achieve two important benefits. First, and foremost, you raise your metabolic rate for the entire recovery period, some say up to 24 hours post-workout. Second, you achieve more calorie expenditure in a shorter amount of time. This is just my understanding at this point, and I'm brand new to the whole thing but I can tell you I felt incredible energy after my first session and that I plan on continuing the workout for the near future.
In greater detail, what I did was to hop on the elliptical machine at work and select the "Interval" preset. This brings up a workout display that looks like a square wave, two bars at level 1, followed by two bars at level 4, and so on repeating for the whole workout. In my case, this was 30 minutes. So, for the first two minutes, I just went easy and monitored my heart rate. My heartrate at the low intensity stage was around 140 BPM and I was clocking about 100 RPMs on the elliptical. Then, at the first spike in the workout graph, I went balls out as fast as I could go. I watch my heartrate leap to over 180 BPM and the RPMs go above 200. This is incredibly tiring and will really have you gasping for breath. The good news is, the high intensity only last for 90 seconds, then you get to rest.
All told, I was on the machine for 30 minutes. During the workout I sure got some weird looks. I'm a big guy and it must have been hilarious to see me flailing my arms and legs that fast on the machine. I didn't care. It felt great and I believe in the science behind this method.
More details to follow as I learn more and experiment on the frequency and duration of the intensity intervals. For now, I'm pretty well sold on the idea.
Posted by dmourati at 11:26 PM
Saturday, June 02, 2007
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Today I completed a 40 mile journey on my bike. I started out in Mountain View and took the Steven's Creek Trail. I went all the way to the Palo Alto Airport, and past it to a sailing launch spot just past the duck ponds. Then, I got this strange sense that I had a lot left in the tanks. Last night, I had been reviewing some pretty serious rides on the web. These involve climbing up into the foothills West of Mountain View and Palo Alto. Since I was feeling great at the boat launch after about 9 miles, I decided to push it.
I headed down Embarcadero through Palo Alto and over to Stanford's Campus. Then, I took a left on Sand Hill road and started climbing. If you check out this map, I did basically the reverse.
Here's another link that shows part of the route I took:
After a lot of climbing I got a bit lost off of Manzanita. I wound up on 84 and realized if I didn't turn around I might be headed for a 100+ mile ride. Luckily, there were pleanty of cyclists riding with me so I just followed them.
After the loop I took Foot Expressway back to Los Altos. Then, I took Miramonte back to downtown Mountain View and Castro Street home. As I pulled into my apartment complex, I gazed down at my bikes odometer which read 40.00 miles. Thinking back to a great Sublime Album, 40 oz to Freedom, I had the name of this post.
I just entered in the entire route on bikely. Here it is:
Posted by dmourati at 9:40 PM