St Helena, Pot, Yountville, Croissants, and strawberries

Yesterday we visited Jim & Cynthia, friends who have moved to St. Helena.  On the way we stopped at a Marijuana dispensary in Vallejo.  I have never been in a pot shop.  As a teenager I would never have believed that pot would be legal anywhere in the USA. 

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The Better Health Group was a large shop with an impressive array of selections.  I quit pot in my teenage years and had not imbibed since until last year (with a few exceptions over the years). I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  Cookies, gummy bears, buds, vape-pen cartridges, essential oils, bongs, rolling paper, they have it all.  I enjoy getting a good high going.  Not the crawl into a corner and vegetate high, but more a light funny even giggly one.  I bought some gummies, cookies, and buds of the sativa variety.  Ellen uses it as a sleep aid and went for Indica strains.

We had a great veggie dinner that Cyn prepared and Jim cooked.  I ate a ginger snap like cookie that gave me a mild buzz for the evening.  The high came on pretty quickly, though I think two cookies would be just about the right “high”.

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The next morning we drove to Buchon bakery in Yountville for French bread and croissants.  We do this every time we visit St. Helena. On Jim’s recommendation we grabbed the last cheese and apricot croissant along with our “usuals”. We saved the pastries for today, but couldn’t help noshing on the bread.

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We had the apricot croissant this morning ahead of the World Cup Final.  The pastery was wonderful and the “football” match was superb.  While making coffee, I managed to drop the full water tank for our nespresso and watched it shatter into a number of pieces.  Amazon to the rescue.  We should have a new Citz water tank delivered by 9PM today.

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After training on the cycle this morning we watched “The Hero” starring Sam Elliot. Sam was very credible playing himself.  I thought the film treaded lightly on its themes and it ended somewhat abruptly.  It does hold a mirror to our mortality and relationships.

In the afternoon Ellen gave our climbing “ground cover” a hair cut.  The ground cover is more like a flowering climbing bush.  She inspired me to deal with our strawberry patch runners.  If you just glance at the leafy bed, it looks great.  Lurking under the leaves are runners the strawberries are putting out to propagate. That’s energy not going into strawberry production.  It took some time to find and cut the runners.  There were probably 20 runners and a total of sixty nascent plants in the bed.   We’re trying to root most of them in water and a few of the larger specimens in  soil. Strawberries produce for two years before production falls off.  These runners provide next years plants.

I’m enjoying a glass of Artesa Vineyard’s Rive Gauche as the sun begins its descent. 

I’m now doing research into RV camping in cold temperature without winterizing the RV.   We’re headed to Yellowstone in October.  This is after the one RV campsite with hookups closes for the season.  Fish Camp closes September 4th. The other campsites are  This will only be feasible if the daytime temperature is above freezing during the day to avoid a “poopsicle”

60 min Heart Rate Threshold Ride

Ride #266, a challenging class in heart rate zones 3 and 4.  This ride is not geared for maximizing output, but for conditioning the bod.  Output was pretty far off my personal best for a 60 minute ride.  In the cross country challenge, I’m “virtually” on 280 in Palo Alto passing near Tesla HQ. There are just 47 miles to the finish line in Santa Cruz.

My first “ride” on a Peloton cycle was a year ago, 7/11/2017  on Chanda’s cycle taking a 20 min Metrics ride.  We took delivery of our cycle a month later on 8/16/2017.  I enjoy comparing today’s output with that of a year ago, though our cycle is roughly 7% harder (meaning for the same resistance and cadence our cycle will read 7% lower output).  That makes personal bests on her cycle hard to match on mine and skews comparative results.  I could calibrate our cycle, but that would render our earlier rides relatively meaningless for comparative purposes. I’ll continue to consider rides in San Diego “special cases”.

Peloton 7/11

Another ride today. This one a 60 minute endurance ride. Another 18 “virtual” miles and I’m passing Lake Merced Park south of San Francisco.  I was not “feeling” this ride.  It was a slog start to finish.  Yesterday’s live ride took it out of me.  This was meant to be a zone 2 heart rate ride.  I was 63% in zone 3 & I’m thinking that could be age related as power and heart rate zones collapse with age.


This Past 4th of July

Kathy, Dan, Gavin, and Marie headed home this past Sunday.  We had a great time with Kathy & Dan in Sacramento on the 4th.  The fireworks that evening were brash, loud, and big fun.  Gavin went through missing mommy the first evening, but was find thereafter.  I made pizza dough and cooked up a Hawaiian, a pepperoni, and a veggie pizza for the crew.  Cleary I could have doubled the dough recipe. The pizzas disappeared quickly.

Image result for 2014 winnebago viewWe took “Li’l Beast” to Sacramento as a dust off before our fall trip to Montana. Surprisingly, I forgot to disconnect the chassis battery the last time I parked the RV and the battery was dead.  The battery boost switch let me start and drive to Sacramento using the double camper batteries to start.

I had a funny experience in Sacramento.  Typically I do repairs myself and changing out a battery is no big deal.  I drove to a parts shop, checked out replacement batteries from a catalog, then popped the hood.  Mercedes did not put the Sprinter battery under the hood and I could not locate the battery or the manual.  Finally after calling Ellen to ask if she remembered where we put the manual, I found it right where we usually put it:  inside the black Winnebago folder. Great.  The battery is located in a compartment under the driver’s feet. 

Typical of German engineering, three screws remove a plastic retainer that holds the carpeting down.  Under the carpet sits a cover held down with four screws.  Sitting under the cover is a battery with one lead to ground and a bunch of cables connected in a jumper box connected to the battery. OK, Sure. I’m not messing with that I thought.

Next I called a local Mercedes dealer and spoke with a repair scheduler, a woman who was most helpful.  She said I could make an appointment and might be able to get in today or I could have a mobile truck come out and replace the battery.  The mobile service is at no additional charge. I’d just be charged for the battery!  No Kidding.  I arranged to have a technician meet me at Dan & Kathy’s to replace the battery.

Well the fellow who came out tried to resuscitate the battery, failed, and said he had not brought along a replacement battery.  He also said I’d get a repair tech out more quickly if I called in for service rather than having him make the call.  Strange, but Ok.  I made what was now my third call into Mercedes.  The same woman answered and arranged to have a second fellow come out with a battery.  Twenty minutes later, I had a new German made battery installed.  The RV/Battery was out of warranty, though the price was less than a battery would have been at that parts company I first visited.  I had the joy of re-installing the battery cover, the carpet, and the retaining fascia.

How times have changed.  I suppose so many people cannot change a tire or replace a battery that these have become routine for mobile repair. Next time I’ll remember to make a service call FIRST! 

San Francisco Bay Trail, Pinole


1,100-foot gradually-sloping bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks

Pinole is building a pedestrian bridge over the CalTrain tracks to join Hercules’ Bay Trail with Richmond’s Bay Trail. This is a significant project at over $13M.  It was due to be completed in June 2018.

This past Saturday Gavin and I bicycled over to the causeway in hopes of cycling on to Richmond’s Bay Trail with a fantastic view of San Francisco across the bay.  Unfortunately the bridge is not yet completed.  Even so bicycling the Pinole and Hercules bay trail is a wonderful way to relax and take in the San Pablo Bay vista.

On Sunday, Ellen joined us in bicycling to Pinole.  This is unusual as she does not feel stable on a two wheeled cycle.  She had a good time and I could see her confidence build in the short time we were out.  I changed out the bicycle seat that came with her Trek bike for one that is more comfortable for her.  She’ll cycle more often.  I cannot wait for the Pinole causeway to open.  That will link the few miles of Hercules’ and Pinole’s Bay Trail with miles already in place in Richmond and give us an incentive to cycle outdoors more often.

Peloton Expands in the Bay Area


A new storefront opened in Walnut Creek.  Jennifer Jacobs, who is from the Bay Area, will make an appearance at the store Wednesday (tomorrow).  I may go, it would be fun to meet her.



Jul 12, 2018
10:00 AM until 09:00 PM

Peloton, the technology company that is revolutionizing the fitness industry, is opening its newest showroom in Walnut Creek, California, at Broadway Plaza. This location is the third showroom in San Francisco Bay Area. To mark its opening, Peloton instructor Jennifer Jacobs will be making an appearance at the showroom from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, and will return that evening for the Peloton cocktail reception from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

All are welcome to come to the showroom to take a test ride, learn more about Peloton and meet Peloton instructor Jennifer Jacobs. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served during the cocktail reception.

Once upon, this location will serve as a hub for those in the San Francisco Bay area, allowing prospective and current Peloton Members to ride in the showroom, review proper form and bike settings, and keep up with the company’s newest classes and features. The highly anticipated Peloton Tread will not yet be shown on the floor, but showroom associates can answer questions and place pre-orders.

Additionally, on opening day, Members will be able to take advantage of Peloton’s referral program. When Members refer a friend to Peloton, the referrer receives $100 to the boutique and the referee receives $100 off bike accessories.

The Peloton Showroom can be reached at 925-939-7601.Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm; and Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. 




View mapPeloton Walnut Creek Showroom
Broadway Plaza
1275 Broadway Plaza
Walnut Creek, CA

Additional Information

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

Virtually HOME! Arrived Hercules

With two 30 minute rides this morning, I’ve arrived at Hwy 80, Hercules on my way (virtually) across the country. I’m 2888 virtual miles from NYC and “just” 116 miles from the finish at San Jose.

Peloton is opening a shop in Walnut Creek. JJ will be at the shop Wednesday.   It would be fun to actually meet her in person.  She is one of a few instructors I regularly chose to kick my butt. 

We’ve completed 306 classes since our cycle was delivered 8/16/17.   Adding all costs for the cycle and dividing by the number of classes we’ve taken, the price per class is $11.23.  That’s a bargain for spin classes.

All For One, Peloton ride tomorrow

There are 12,262 riders signed up for tomorrow’s “all for one” ride.  I think there will be more riders on tomorrow’s ride than were on last year’s Guinness World Record ride.  I hope the infrastructure holds up.  I’d hate to have the “white circle of death” interrupt the fun.

Ride On!

Another Day another Peloton class

I’ve (virtually) dropped out of the Sierra Nevada and I’m closing in on Sacramento. Christine’s endurance class his morning was fun and tiring. I had wanted to hold my average output above 150 for the 60 minutes.  Average output of 154 would be ideal.  Instead I averaged 148.  That is the best average output I’ve achieved for 60 minutes on our Peloton.  I broke 158 on Chanda’s cycle, but her’s rides easier by 5% to 10%.  Effort is non linear.  Simply taking 105% or 110% of 148 creates an overly optimistic relative output.  Even so, the range 154-162.8 spans my best average output on Chanda’s bike which was 158.  On the plus side, this effort on Chanda’s bike could have been a personal best.  The flip side?  I have to work harder by another 8% to 10% to break a personal best on my cycle.   I could recalibrate our cycle, but that would throw all my prior rides out of “calibration”.

Another day, another cycling class


This was a strenuous class.  I felt uneasy and stiff during warmup and never quite felt good during the effort.  Even so, my stats are pretty good for the class.  660+ people took the class.  I finished number 223 on the leaderboard.

On the virtual ride across the US, I’m “climbing” Yuba Pass; 2750 mi from NYC with 244 mi left to San Francisco.

Cycling improvement in strength for hill climbing or steady state output for duration rides is very slow.  It is hard to judge over a few weeks span.  Looking back to last August I see substantial gains in both.  It’s in my nature to care about bettering myself and to be competitive with myself and with others at similar ability.  It’s just fun, once the huffing and puffing stops and after recovery.