Mira and I rode in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, a 200 mile ride that leaves from the University of Washington football stadium parking lot and finishes in the Rose Quarter of Portland. We’d planned to take this ride since before becoming engaged to be married. I could tell that Mira was becoming increasing nervous in the last few days before the ride. This was her first organized bike ride, and I think some of the people she talked to about it made it sound more difficult than it actually is. That’s always the way it is. Dan Poliak, who has a house near the office, was kind enough to let us stay with him on the Thursday and Friday nights before the ride, and was also extraordinarily helpful by getting up early on the Saturday of the start of the ride and taking us over to the start.We got a relatively late start at 7:30. All of the riders who run the route over one day start really early. Those of us wo take two days can afford to start later. I was not until we had been riding for about an hour, and had caught up with some groups, did Mira relax and realize that this would be a fun ride and not an ordeal . . . until later.This ride is not an very social event. Everyone is either too fast, too scared or too tired to make friends along the way. However, we did meet Phil. At least we think that was his name. He rode up to us about 10 miles into the ride and proceeded to talk his head off for the next hour. Of course I sped ahead right away and left Mira behind to make small talk. Alas, however, even Mira found him uninteresting and course. A few miles later he stopped at a rest area to our relief.The first day of the ride, through Washington, is definitely the better of the two days. The first 50 miles include plenty of traffic signals, which are a real drag, but the second half of the second day the ride used an extended bike trail under tree-cover to take us into Centralia, our 100 mile destination at the end of the first day. Since this was my second time on this ride, I knew what to expect at the half-way point. Centralia College opens itself up to the riders, offering showers, camping, dinner and a beer garden with screens showing the Tour de France, which runs at this time in July. For dinner, it was lasagne and salad, followed by starburst fruit chews for dessert. Definitely not five star, but Mira didn’t waste any time with it and gobbled away. After dinner, at about 8:00, it was a short walk to our tent, which Mira used to get a long night’s sleep. Nervous energy has kept her from sleeping too much the night before, but after the longest bike ride of her life and a belly full of lasagna, she was out like a light. The second day started with a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage at the school cafeteria, again. The Tour de France was playing live on the tv, so we ate during the finish and were then off for our second day. This day was less beautiful than the first, but got better after we crossed the Columbia River into Oregon. Of course, immediately after arriving in Oregon we stopped and ate at the first Mexican restuarant we could find. Then it was out to sleep for about an hour. And it was really hot out there.Anyway, we finally cycled into Portland, Mira gave a cheer as we crossed the city limit. But, funny enough, there is one small hill and another bridge to cross before arriving at the ultimate destination in the Rose Quarter. We had a quick beer in the beer garden before leaving to stay with a friend of Mira’s who was kind enough to let us stay with her.
Today it hit about 100 degrees in San Francisco. Pretty rare for a July day. We left early for a bike ride in Palo Alto, but by about 8:30 it felt like it was about 90 degrees. About half way up Old La Honda Road I decided that I would not do the full Pescadero loop. I’ve been there and done that on a hot day, and I felt I could skip it today. So, we rode up Skyline to King’s Mountain Road and then back down that way.Of course, Mira sped ahead most of the way. I was in no mood to even try today. But I’ll get her soon.I’m not very happy with my riding these days, and am trying hard to loose some weight. I think this will help.We then met Mira’s friend Allison at the Ferry Building, where it was about 95 degrees. I left the friends together and went home for a nap.Tonight will take us over to Gunar and Ann’s house for some viewing of the Tour de France. Tonight is the penultimate stage and we’ve purposfully not watched the news. Floyd Landis will try to take back the lead before finishing the race tomorrow. We’ll see.
Mira and I arrived in Seattle last night, late, after a fully day’s work, packing up the bicycles and teaching my class at Santa Clara University. We’re here for the Seattle to Portland bicycle classic, which is a 200 mile ride over two days. Dan Poliak was gracious enough to allow us to stay with him Thursday and Friday nights, and we are planning a get together with friends tonight at the home of Kelly Sjolander. We’re looking forward to it. As usual, Mira is stating that she is nervous about the ride, but I’m sure all will be well. Typically, these concerns are drown out by the competitive instict which kicks in about 20 minutes after the ride starts.
I’ve been contacted by Ken Bensinger, a writer for Smart Money magazine, who is working on an article about artists who sell their artwork exclusively over the Internet. He got my name from Tahlia Lempert, an artist from whom I purchased three paitings last year after seeing her website. I explained to Ken that my purchase of those painting from a website, and not a gallery, was driven primarily by my desire to finish decorating my condo and the fact that I have so little time to visit galleries and shop generally. A point of his article is that people may not be too willing to purchase paintings, which can be expensive, through an e-commerce transaction without seeing them in person. It is difficult to evaluate artist quality after seeing paintings only in photographs posted on a website. I agreed. The paintings I purchased were not too expensive, and, indeed, if they were any more expensive I probably would not have purchased them sight-unseen. I did mention that to be safe, I had a colleague visit Taliah’s studio in NYC and got a thumbs up there. We’ll see if I appear in his article. It sounds like I might.
This is a test. Welcome to Mira and Bob’s wedding site. Here’s where we’ll keep you informed on the happy doings and where you can also view the short stories we post about pre-nuptial bliss. We’re very excited to have our out-of-town friends and family join our in-town cronies for a joyful time. We’ve got a short menu of pre-wedding activities plannd for Saturday, Oct. 14. We will also post recommended hotels and things to do in our beloved San Francisco. Most immediately, please note that the wedding is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 15, starting at 2:30 p.m. at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church with a reception starting at 4 p.m. The reception will be at the Lone Mountain campus of the University of San Francisco, just across the park from the church. USF happens to be Mira’s place of employment, soon to be past place of employment since she is leaving her writer/editor position to take on a freelance career and a new cat. Please check back as we gather more details and wish us good luck as we sail into this adventure of a lifetime.Bon Voyage.
This is the first posting at the Mira and Bob’s new blog. We are engaged now, and planning a wedding, so you will probably see posted on this site plenty of news and rantings about that. You might also hear about our activities and adventures. For example, about our cycling trips and travels after our wedding in October. You should be able to keep up with our life together here.
This afternoon Mira and I were present at the baptism of Shelby Adele Evans at St. Agnes Catholic Church in the Haight. Quite a crowd was present, and the cermony took about an hour. The priest was visiting for the usual priest who was on vacation. He had a pretty heavy accent and it took Bob a while to catch on to what he was saying. Of course, since neither of us are Catholic, it did not make much of a difference.After the cermony, the entire group went to a reception, where the real action occured. Mira, as usual, worked the crowd, speaking with her friends Julia and Tim, as well as June and Chris. Most of the time was spent speaking with Chris about his new company. Once again, Mira talked up her recent cycling trip in which we rode 173 miles down the coast from Carmel to the central valley and back. She’s quite a braggart.rrpjr
Last night we were the guests of John and Meredith Schwirtz for a dinner with Loralee and Phil Stevens. Dinner included steamed vegetables, cous cous and Salmon. The food was great. The drinks, cold. It seems Mira’s parents have a penchant for frozen wine.Today Mira and I took a bike ride in Sonoma County. We left from her parents’ house in Sebastapol and rode to Highway 1 through Valley Ford and back home through Fallon. The ride was almost exactly 50 miles, without many hills. After the ride, John Schwirtz prepared a breakfast of corn meal waffles, which Mira enjoyed and Bob ignored due to his very serious crash diet. He had oatmeal and a swim in the pool.After watching the France v. Italy World Cup Final for about an hour, we were on the road again, back home to San Francisco. Along the way experiencing a 34 degree temperature difference from Petaluma to the Golden Gate Bridge.rrpjr