Saturday, June 25

speed improvement

36.7 miles 2.75 hours ^500 feet^

Club BC ride from Healdsburg to The Lake Sonoma lunch stop for the TT. Keep up with the C riders for 8 miles then with the B riders to the stop. Took my own way back and tied the Cs.

Monday, June 20

Hilly! Race?

Sunday the SRCC had a strenuous loop ride around the south end of the Maacama ridge. The other eight riders might have been considering the TERRIBLE TWO, I just wanted to finish. The route went from just south of Kenwood, thru Sonoma, turned east into Napa Cty, north along the east side of the ridge, then back over Dry Creek Rd and Trinity Rd to the start. Making it interesting for those strong riders were 5 added out-and-backs up the ridge that doubled or tripled the climbing. I just did the basic loop which was an announced option.

At the 9:00 AM start I found I had left my new helmet at home. The leader said since I was doing the "flat" option we would likely pass each other along the way. Got it in One. I kicked off at 9:45 and went straight for Sonoma down Hwy 12; a commuter route not recommended for fun cyclists. I skipped the Lovall Valley loop and made a water stop at one of our favorite wineries, HOMEWOOD, where I learned they would be releasing their Late Harvest Mt Veeder Zin on August 13th. As I left the parking lot I looked right before turning left and saw the Gang of Eight waiting to cross the nearby State Hwy 29. I was caught a mile later and the leader said, "It looked like the plan worked." as he passed me.

Ir was four miles later over into Napa County before they disappeared ahead of me. I stopped on Old Sonoma Road at my 20th mile and had a sandwich. The group was doing the Henry Road loop as I passed it 2 miles later. I neverr saw them again. Still it felt good to know I was on the course with them. I feel better on a ride if I am part of something, even when I don't see someone all the time. I passed the Patrick Road and Redwood Road turnoffs and started the long grind up the Mt Veeder road. A small vineyard on Mt Veeder is the source of the Zinfandel mentioned earlier. Mt Veeder Also contained the epicenter of the 5+ quake that damaged the town of Napa several years ago.

Every 5 to 10 minutes cyclists would pass me going either way. Up hill ones were always friendly, downhillers were silent and casually dressed on low-level bikes.
Perhaps the silent ones found it hard to talk to someone who was earning his way to the top. There were 2 miles of gentle rollies after halfway along the road then a brake screeming waste of energy down to Dry Creek Road. Two miles of sweat up to the final loop of Wall Road where I stopped for my second sandwich (mile 40). The four solo riders who passed climbing the hill all asked if I was OK. I just waved the food and said OK. One guy descending went by at 30 to 40 MPH. One doesn't chat with people going that fast.

The county line was half a mile later and the road changed to a gentle climb. For another half mile until nearly the true summit there was the strange phenomena of dual numbers on the mail boxes. Someone assigning numbers on the Napa side of the hill had kept going into Sonoma County, 6900, 7000, 7100 ... The Sonoma side went all the way to the county line. Curious.

The road dropped gradually to the junction with Cavedale Road then "Katy bar the Door", There was a sign warning 12% grade next two miles! More screeming brakes, good thing I was alone. Finished and went home.


The route plan was a good idea. If I can ever settle my work schedule a month or more in advance. I will lead some similiar, if shorter, rides for the club.

Saturday, June 18

The Hills Are Alive with the Sounds of Derailluers

17 miles 1.5 hours ^1200+ feet^

The club ride for today was of some 60+ miles in the rolling hills along the Marin/Sonoma county line. I could have done the distance but not at the speed of people who frequently do such mileage. Yet the area has some lovely scenery and I wanted to get my spouse out of the house and away from the "Coom-pew-ter"(Scotty - STARTREK IV).

I drove us and my BLT in her car to the HWY 1/Petaluma-Valley Ford Rd junction. I had the spouse drive ahead to Tomales and park near the MOSTLY NATIVES Nursery. That was insurance in case the morning rains returned and to expose her to some of the best scenery on my route. Taking off I noticed the bike 'computer' was showing speed but not distance. I had had this problem many times. Flash of insight. Checked the clock function. Disabled. Turned on. Mileage started accumulating. OK, time X speed = distance.

At the top of the Hwy 1 hill just north of Tomales I saw a lovely sign. A oh 12 inch circle holding the words GOT LUNGS? . As I got closer I saw the grayish outer edge of the circle was actually the serration of chainring teeth. Genius, I wonder who put it there. And at the top of over a mile of about 10% gradient. If you can get to the sign on that hill without putting your feet down you do indeed have LUNGS.

The spouse was parked at the agreed upon place. With a fresh filled water bottle and a very rich snack from the local bakery. I had arranged for my private Sag to be out of view of the center of town (v small town) so I could blow past the crowd of club riders I expected to be resting there just about then. Life is sweet at times. There WAS a good crowd there and several heads did snap turn and follow the heavy guy on the heavy bike with home-brew lighting systems and even a heavy floor pump sticking out of a loaded bag on a rear rack. Twenty MPH thru town and disappeared up the next hill. Fancy gear and fancy bikes and they were stopping to rest while the FRED didn't stop. An old Argentine Tango saying, "It doesn't MATTER what the people on the side of the floor are saying about your dancing. They are NOT dancing, and you ARE so they do not count."

West to the Dillon Beach turn-off had many lovely flowers. Farther East things are turning brown but this near the coast Spring lingers. Down to Laguna San Antonio, up past Whittaker Bluff Road, and down the Franklin School Road to Valley Ford and the finish. Near the end of the last hill one cyclist said "Hello" as he past. I asked and he said he was with the SRCC. He stopped by the kayak launch on the Laguna Americano but I still had speed on and didn't want to reveal my declasse squeeky brakes so I went on by.

Found the car in town by the Valley Ford Hotel and Restruant (JUST OPENED THAT DAY) instead of Dinucchi's as expected. I unloaded and secured the bike. Spouse not in car so I started checking the stores. Second store had a double sized JOLT COLA can decorated like an Energizer (tm) battery. Had to buy it. Stepping out of the store I heard my name called. Spouse was eating in the VFH&R eating. Extreme sociable staff. Owner was still installing stuff, good wood in the place, OLD glass still in most windows. Spouse had seen First customers leaving, expected they were associates of the owner and staff who had come for a formal opening meal. Spouse and I (I expect) were the first TRUE customers. Owner gave me a tour, outside back area open patio style, good for a group of cyclists. May arrange a tour there. He also collected curious rocks and native artifacts all of which he trotted out for us when we mentioned our knowledge of such things. Mostly leaverite but pleasant to discyss them with him. Older man working on porch described where he had found small garnets in a blue/grey matrix in Occidental Creek.

Mostly breakfast typoe stuff on an as yet unprinted menu. Nice spinach/suasage/egg scramble w/hash browns. Spouse horrified at the amount of JOLT I consumed. Will try to modify the can for water bottle use.

Sunday, June 12

32 and a Festival

32 miles 2.5 hours ^700 feet^
16 miles 1 hour ^-100 feet^

The SRCC ride from Willowside School looped north, west to Hacienda Bridge, south to Occidental Road and back to the start. Good company and good pace when moving. RE-group and break stops too long. After Forestville I mostly set my own pace and let the leaders yo-yo past me. Could have finished far ahead but waited at Hall.

At Wohler Bridge chat was about a Filipino Festival in Fulton. At the finish I borrowed a Cell phone and got spouse meet me there. Interesting, spouse enjoyed it. The goat meat had a large portion of slivered intestines which proved a little firm for my current teeth. Ala-carte live entertainment was bizarre.

Ice-cream later.

Wednesday, June 8

Monday, Tuesday, Rainday

Monday and Tuesday I explored new ways to and from my new job as a paratransit driver. Today it rained so I had the time and interest to blog. Paths through my town (~140,000 people) are many. Routes to work are simple, LOW traffic makes main (read direct) roads good. Return runs almost all force you through choke points going over or under a freeway. Being a commercial driver and having 30 odd years as a bike commuter I have a whole lot more tolerance of traffic than most fun type cyclists. Besides it is such a hoot leaving motorists behind in traffic. Now if I could get a mirror to stick to my helmet there would be even more fun. Looking at girls behind me of course.

This company doesn't like overtime so if you end up working overtime due to passenger needs you are hit with days off the next week or so. I put in for those days to be on wednesdays and fridays when my club has weekday rides.