Dear Prince Of Ulster,
You really should join me in this weight-loss program I am currently engaged in.. for the past five days I have been spending over five hours or more on a bicycle, riding in temperatures of over 85- 90 degrees. The fat and the sweat just pours out of the ol' pores and you can make an occasional stop for a burrito or a basket of fresh-picked strawberries: or, do what I do and end each day's ride with a number of local brews and a huge Cesear salad: for instance, last night, upon my arrival to Berkeley, and after a quick shower, I walked up the street to the Triple Rock Brewing Company and had several Green Frog Ales as well as a Stout to go with my salad and Rueben Sandwich...and I don't feel any fatter than when I started the day's ride in Napa, some 50 miles ago.
And what a nice place to ride from; Napa has to be one of the nicest areas in the world. I stayed with Rich and Sandy Houck, two very lovely folks who have been riding and commuting to work their entire adult lives. Before leaving their town I met with the local mayor and joined in some good-hearted ribbing about the need for more bicycle oriented planning and developments. He listened and I came away with a feeling that the locals are at least known and their ideas are listened to. Sort of like Reaganesque optimism? I don't know completely, but I do know that the beer here in Berkeley is good and I made a stop by my friends at the Bison Brewing Company on Telegraph. You'll be glad to know that they are brewing only 'organic' beers these days - so that makes it even better for you. The good beers made the ride up the backside of the Berkeley hills even more rewarding. What a view from up there, no wonder every house is worth over a million $ now. On this trip I've probably lost over two pounds, ridden 380 miles, climbed over ten thousand feet, and got to drink all the brews I wanted - what a great diet; forget about that chump Atkins!
Tomorrow, I'll join a number of people at city hall and then we'll ride together to Oakland cityhall - it should be great fun as many of the riders will be on antique high-wheelers. They won't see me try to ride one - it's to far off the ground for me.
So I gotta go, my Northern Irish friend, my new Berkeley library card only allows me an hour on this computer and you know I've been typing slow. Hope you've been swimming and biking - maybe we can go on a bike tour of wine country in the spring next year.
Cheers to all my friends there, Mayor Bob Ornelas