Rain is the new Snow

February 6, 2014

So we had some rain today here in San Diego.  YES RAIN!.  It’s kind of a big deal.  I have been a biker since July when my beloved car Mitzi the Mitsubishi went to car heaven.  I can honestly say that it was the FIRST time I have had to commute in “weather” what so ever here.  Lets tell the people what i have learned.

As the owner of Rugged Awareness, an outdoor adventure & awareness organization, this journey definitely qualifies as an experience to put on the books for my business!

The first and foremost thing the rain has taught me is that being PRESENT IS REQUIRED!!! No auto pilot from point A to point B.  The ground is slippery and the puddles are plentiful.  The rain coming from the sky combined with the rain spraying up from the tires makes it a full on virtual obstacle course.  The car journeyers all, mean while, attempt to maintain a normal speed (they think it is SNOWING) I normally attempt to travel at the same speed as the cars.  I also love to sing while riding too.  Good for the lung capacity.  I have no idea what I sound like but what others think about me is none of my business.  Today I had to abandon my attempts to speed down the road.

The rain has the wonderful ability of holding the smells of the world close to the earth.  Being on my bike, Mr. Pro Tandim, I get to enjoy the abundance of smells tonight as i travel through the neighborhoods.  Fireplaces are in use and I know I smelled cedar more than once.  It also brought to my awareness there are a few growers on my path! =)

By this time it is pouring and puddles are everywhere.  The gnarly hill.  I am still learning it and they have just recently redone it.  Oh did I tell you it is dark?  I am all blinkie and flashy as I make my way down the hill at a turtle pace.  Imagine it being 2m/hr in a car.  It is a lonnnnnnng gradual hill that can give some serious speed. I ride my back brakes, it only takes $30 to replace the front and back pairs.  Shred um I say.

I reach what I have just this moment named the PB Spur – Garnet/Balboa/Morena and the 5 all communicate with one another.   I love this section! I don’t have a speedometer ( I should get one) but I am pretty sure I hit 30mph on that road.  As I am vigilantly aware of what the matrix folks around me are doing, As soggy skunk stripe has formed in my crack.

On a night like tonight when the journey is longer and more challenging, I choose to just go for it.  I take the most direct route home. Direct is arduous.   As I turn right on Mount Soledad Mountain Road to head up the slow steady incline, the rain is —-Poof—- gone.  and obove me are stars peaking out of the clouds.  This climb has been blessed with the band Album Leaf.  EVERYONE – if you do not know who this is find out.  It will surprise you that I enjoy biking to this group. or not.  no matter.  coming around the curve of the incline it smells like what is probably Jasmine yummy and sweet.  How I love to be alive.

I rode past a storm drain and the sound of water cascading down spoke to me telling me I should have barrels catching this stuff.

The cars want so badly to drift over to the puddles that have formed and throw waves over me.  Luckily I have the option of using the sidewalk.  getting on the side walk I am brought into my urban off roading awareness. I made it home safely and thawed out nicely.

As it has been a few days since that ride and I reflect on the awareness I created on that night.  I trust the roads I take more.  The long hill I know I can go down I fly down because I know I can trust the surface.    Love it.  Rugged Awareness.  I live it,


Rugged Awareness Inaugural Journey

November 27 2013 Rugged Awareness took to the path on this day!  My dear sister goddess Stephanie and I set out to be rugged and aware.

We left on foot from my home at 11:30am to catch the 27 bus east as far as it would go.  the was running involved to get to that bus but it was a success!  20 minutes later we were off the bus again for an hour meeting for Stephanie.   I put my music in ears and did yoga to stretch before my hike ( in hindsight I needed WAY more yoga than I thought!!).

Call was done and we were back on the 27 bus until its last stop.  Then we were to wait for the 25 (short bus! I had not been on one here yet!)  the wait was about 25 minutes so we decided to walk east to the stop be for the 15.  The 25 picked us up and took us into Tierra Santa.  We hopped off that bus and had to walk to the entrance to Mission Trails.   It was 2.2 miles to the entrance.

When we got to the entrance to the park we saged our energy and began our journey to North Fortuna.  The plan was, since we did not have a car to return to, we would hike up and over the mountain to the other side.  Through the grasslands and the old dam and out to the bus system in Santee.   We started this Journey at 3 pm. it was 2 and a 1/2 hours later that we came to the road above the dam.  If we are paying attention to a winter sky we will know that by 5:30 the sun is going to be fading.  It was an absolute amazing sunset as we hiked along the ridge but we were well aware that all that beauty was going to work against us.  Being Rugged, I had lights packed for the possible sunset factor.  I slipped once on some loose rocks and have a small scar to remember it from but was otherwise good.  The hill we chose to descend was STEEEEP.  The grasslands seemed like they would never come.  But they did.

It was FINNALY flat when we got to the grasslands it was nice. Going downhill a lot can be rough.  it was dark.  You could hear the coyotes starting their evening.  it was cool.  I felt completely exposed.  Like everything can see me but I was confined to what was in the scope of my light.  We emerged from the brush onto the street that runs through mission gorge.  I was getting my phone to check the bus schedule when a hike appeared along side us as we walked.  His name was Rick and he was a resident of Santee.  He was kind enough to offer a ride to the bus stop I thought was just down the road but was really 3 miles away.  On the journey to the bus I learned the bus I was looking for  was no longer running.  Hiker Rick offered to take us to the Trolley stop.

Trolley to Old Town Old Town  30 Bus North to Turquoise and Mission Blvd.  And we are back to where we started.  It was 7 p.m.

We went to the store and purchase veggies and fruits for Juicing. Soooo awesome.  Plus we had some tortillas and cheese avocados etc.  what an amazing journey and feast.

Two days later I could barely move from the sitting and standing position from the hike.  I have been a commuting biker for the last 5 months and holy cow was I not prepared.  My quads were sore INDIVIDUALLY! if that is possible.

It was an amazing journey and I would love to take others on it now that I have been through the trial run.  I would love to take others in the San Diego Area.  The fee is $12 per person.   This includes the fee for the bus/trolley rides.  Feel free to email me your interest and we will arrange payment and hike day details.  The next journey could just be ours.  Lets see how Ruggedly Aware we can be!