We hung around the house for a while and then I took off on my bike again, this time to ride from Walnut Creek to Berkeley.
The route totally sucked. I went up a dangerous 700-foot hill (ironically named Pleasant Hill Road) only to drop immediately down the other side. That put me on a frontage road by the freeway (highway 24), and I turned right onto the frontage road and immediately climbed up another 500-foot hill - so steep I had to push the bike for some of it - and then I dropped immediately down that one. No view to speak of, and no decent bike lane either.
The ride continued like that all the way up through the backside of the Berkeley hills, where the cars became thick and fast. I also began to experience some severe and painful sunburn, along my shins and lower arms, and cursed myself for not bringing my long-sleeved shirt.
I took a break at inspiration point, then rode down into Berkeley and met The La, who had just walked out of a vegan pizza parlor and was standing at the corner holding a huge brown box and a bag of bottled sodas. "Here, let me hold that for you," I said, while she was unlocking the van. I immediately lifted open the box and began chomping pizza.
We drove down to the Berkeley Marina, where we met Drew and Evan and took a tour of their boat, which they had recently purchased and brought up from Los Angeles. Talking with Drew gave me all sorts of ideas about leveraging his knowledge and assistance to get a similar setup for myself and La.
Much to consider, in this economy.
We made a food run, then hung around in the main room of the boat eating tea-cookies and sliced watermelon, and drinking coffee drinks prepared by Drew at the wet bar. While La hung out with Evan, I walked Drew to the van and got out my bike, and gave him a test-ride around the parking lot. Later on Evan did the same ride.
When we got home, I had just enough time to import the bike GPS data before I crashed into exhaustion. Turns out I'd not only biked 90 miles in two days, I'd climbed 7300 feet worth of hills. La tucked me into bed (she is super-awesome - she also brought me icewater!) and I slept for ten solid hours.