70 Degrees and Sunny – On Sleeping With the Other Woman

I lived here once.  I wouldn’t move back, but I lived here once and sometimes when I’m here, it feels like home.  Like coming back.

There is one bike in Sal’s parents garage.  It’s his favorite bike.  His most prized possession even.  It hangs from hooks in the ceiling and he rides it for one week out of every month when he is here on business.

I have never ridden this bike.  It’s his baby.  It’s a Pinarello Opera with FSA K-Wing carbon bars and Mavic Ksyrium ES Anniversary Edition wheels. White bar tape. Continental Grand Prix 4000 S Tire with the Black Chili Compound.

The love affair he has with this bike – I’m telling you – its sick.

So it was with some hesitation that I accepted his offer for me to train on it while visiting his family.  Me and the other woman? What did he think?  Did he want to watch?

*

Uvas Dam.  One of my favorite rides.  A little climbing, minimal traffic.  Arid hills and winding roads.

After an old woman in a Towne and Country tries to mow me down, I’m out into the country.  Flying.  The bars are too big, but I think I have the saddle position and seat height dialed.  The K-Wing bars are like a flight deck.

I pull a canoli out of my back pocket and eat it slowly.  Goddamit, I love Sal’s mother.  Homemade canoli kicks Clif Bar ass any day.  Sorry, Clif – you’re up against a four foot tall Sicilian Super Power – you didn’t have much of a chance to begin with.

It’s hot.  Hot like short sleeves and no knee-warmers.  Hot like I’m out of water bottles early.  Hot like “Is the calendar high?” because there is no way it’s the middle of November.

Cyclists passing.  Pods of them.

The Opera is responsive and twitchy.  She wants to go fast.  She’s brilliant and supple and delicious.

No wonder.

Soft-pedaling at 22mph I’m momentarily impressed with myself until I hit the turn around point and realize that I have been enjoying a mind-blowing tailwind for 16 miles.

Fuck.

The return is agony and not even the Opera can make it better.  14 miles per hour out of the saddle because the Fizik  is butchering me.

Crazy San Jose drivers try to end my life on Almaden Expressway.  Back at home Sal’s mother is waiting with homemade pizza and super-short espresso with a crema to end all crema.

Purpittune for dinner, homemade wine, Sicilian words that no one can spell.  Brilliance.

Tomorrow is 80 degrees and blazing.

California dreaming.

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