Archive for April, 2008

Welcome Home

| April 27, 2008 10:03 pm

Yesterday I finished the very difficult Devil Mountain Double. It was 206 miles with nearly 20,000 feet of climbing. My heart rate monitor said I burned up about 9,000 calories during the 15.5 hours it took me to finish.

When I got home today I had a great surprise waiting for me that Ann had prepared. There were ballons with Congratulations on them, a nice card, and some cookies. Yum … those cookies tasted great. You can even taste them looking at this pictures. I didn’t worry about the calories, I wonder why?

Tierra Bella by Tandem – Taking Pictures

| April 21, 2008 3:08 pm

The local paper, visited us a couple of weeks ago to do a feature story that would run in conjunction with the ACTC annual Tierra Bella Century ride. A few days later one of their staff photographers came by to take our picture with our tandem.

Here is the article that appeared in the paper:


Youth in cycling

Apr 14, 2008
By Sara Suddes

Franz and Anne Kelsch will ride in the Tierra Bella tour Saturday
through Henry Coe State Park.
Photo by: Lora Schraft, Staff Photographer

At 60-years-old, Franz Kelsch has been called a glutton for punishment. In 2007 alone, he bicycled more than 10,000 miles and climbed more than 600,000 feet – which is more than 100 vertical miles. This week, the Gilroy resident is gearing up for a 122-mile weekend romp through Henry Coe State Park.The Tierra Bella, an annual event put on by the Almaden Cycle Touring Club, will lead more than 2,000 bicyclists in a spectacular loop beginning and ending at Gavilan College. Although the course offers various routes ranging in distance from 37 to 122 miles, Kelsch and his wife Anne, 59, have chosen the most difficult one to conquer.

Having recently completed a 200 mile race – also known as a double century – in Solvang, the Tierra Bella should be like a walk in the park, Kelsch said. Active members of the ACTC, he and Anne plan to complete the course as a team, riding their tandem bicycle and snapping photos along the way for the club’s Web site, one of Kelsch’s many technological creations. As the club’s designated Web master, Kelsch has designed a Web site that is considered one of the best in the country, said Karl Laucher, a media representative for the Tierra Bella. “This man gives the club peak performance in many departments,” Laucher said.

The Kelsches have been running together for 30 years and turned to cycling to add a bit of cross training to their routine. When Kelsch’s job with General Electric took him and his family to Japan for 13 years, he and Anne started their hectic daily routine of living in Tokyo with a pre-dawn run through the quiet city streets and parks.

“A family that runs together stays together,” Anne said with a smile. She and her husband have been married for 38 years.

Now retired and with their four grown children out of the house, the couple soaks in the California scenery from behind their handlebars. They have covered miles and miles of the local terrain together and cite their unusual lifestyle as support for their marriage.

The couple recently biked along Monterey’s 17 Mile Drive and often find themselves marveling at the beauty of local plant and animal species as they wind through Henry Coe.

“California has some of the best biking roads around,” Anne said. “Especially this time of year. You can’t ask for a more beautiful place.” When cycling through the park, the views often remind her of Europe, she said. Because of their hobby, they have discovered many of the state’s environmental wonders, Kelsch said.

In addition to spending quality time together, better balance and coordination, fewer back pains and a positive outlook are byproducts of their daily rides. With their regimented exercise routine, the Kelsches notice fewer ailments than most people their age.

“As you age, cycling is a good thing for older people because it’s low impact,” Kelsch said. “I like to do difficult things where I can test my ability. I mostly ride with people much younger than I am.” He and his wife still push themselves to hit higher goals although Anne has only completed a century, she admitted.

“I’m just a hundred-mile girl,” she said.

Kelsch, on the other hand, competed in a 44-hour ultra marathon through Death Valley last October. As a member of a two man relay team, Kelsch rode 260 miles through the desert to complete the course 10 hours ahead of time.

“I usually zoom across the finish line,” Kelsch said. “I was pretty ecstatic. I’m really hyper when I cross the finish.”

With thousands of miles of cycling and running under their belts, the couple is addicted, they said.

“It’s hard not to exercise,” Anne said. “After a certain level, our bodies want to

do it.”


On Saturday we set out to ride the Tierra Bella century ride (100 miles). Franz first biked up to Gavilan College to take a few photos of the volunteers there and after returning, both jumped on the tandem and set out on a modified 100 mile course. I wrote out the photographic aspects of this experiment on my photography blog.We wanted to visit each of the 6 rest stops, something that no individual routes does. We first biked 12 miles to Uvas Rest stop, then went backwards to Watsonville road and biked down to the Machado Rest Stop. We biked along Oak Glen, taking pictures for the riders coming the other way until we rejoined the 100 mile route, which we followed from that point. We ended up with 98 miles by the time we finished where we enjoyed a nice post ride meal.

Slip Sliding Away

| April 11, 2008 8:42 pm

It was finally warm, warm enough break out the slip and slide before the grandkids went home. It took Kyle a few atempts to get use to it.

Natalie was much more reserved.

It was not long before Kyle went into the attack mode.

And Natalie finally got the hang of it.

Kyle put on his goggles to go even faster.

After getting some more sunscreen applied, Natalie joined back in the fun.

Cycling the 17 Mile Drive

| April 10, 2008 8:56 pm

We headed down to the Carmel/Monterey area for a fun day in the sun. It was still a bit on the cool side, but with no clouds in the sky it was beautiful. We started out getting a hotdog at the Costco in the Monterey area. Yum! After parking the van in the Monterey area, we unloaded three bikes for Franz, John and Amy. Ann took Kyle and Natalie to the nearby Dennis the Menace park while we biked through on the bike trail through Monterey, Fisherman’s warf then on to the 17 mile drive.

Meanwhile back at the Dennis the Menace park.

We all met at the end of the 17 mile drive in Carmel where did a switch.  Ann got her bike and her and Franz biked back to Monterey via the 17 mile drive.

The others enjoyed some time on the Carmel beach.

San Diego Family Reunion

| April 8, 2008 10:27 pm

Most of the family was able to get together for a reunion at to San Diego. We stayed together in a condo, right on the bay. It was a bit cool, but it was sunny and the days were very enjoyable. It was a great chance for some of the kids and grandkids to see each other.

See a slide show here.

See all the photos here.