There is nothing Better…

There is nothing better than going for a ride on a beautiful, clear, crisp morning after another week of rain.img_3317

My ride today was wonderful but very slow! Why? It seemed as though every time I came around a bend, turned my head, looked up or looked back, there was something awesome to see. So I had to stop and take photos even though they show only a hint of what you experience out there. Photos can’t give you the feel in the air. Photos never reproduce the phenomenal colors that change from moment to moment. Photos don’t show you how the flowers dance in the breeze. Photos don’t let you smell the fresh air. But photos do their best to capture the moments so you can remember all those other things.

There is nothing better than seeing the mustard and other flowers popping up everywhere to create their magnificent tapestry. Spring is definitely right around the corner and I am beginning to feel the days left to train tick tock away.

There is nothing better than seeing the impressive, elaborate wineries guarding the hillsides awaiting their throngs of visitors. I’m just not sure why I keep riding PAST them.

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Oh well. Ride on! There is nothing better…

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Weekend Warrior #2

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After weeks of cold (for California) and rain, it was finally dry and a bit warmer, so it was time to head back to the hills! Back to where this big ole’ adventure began – Partrick Road.

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I say my adventure began there because about five months ago I was deciding on my next personal cycling challenge. I had completed a couple of 24-hour challenges over the summer, and I was looking for the next big thing. So I threw down the gauntlet and said I would ride the hills surrounding Napa Valley. I started with Partrick Road since it’s pretty close to where I live (about two and a half miles). Of course, it turns out; it is one of the toughest too. It’s not the longest route, but it gets pretty steep (14% grade) in parts. Once I made it to the top without expiring, I thought “Hey, if I can do that, I think I can ride over the Sierras. I finished the Markleeville Death Ride 26 years ago, after all!” That got me thinking about riding across America. It had been my dream years ago, and now I thought maybe it’s still possible.
It struck me that I only have four more months of training and then it’s put up or shut up time. That’s why I needed to get back to the hills! I have to say, though; this ride was easier than the first. Thank goodness my workouts have been paying off! It was also one of my most enjoyable climbs. The sun felt great! The views were spectacular. There were so many different animals out to greet me at every turn. And of course, the decent was magical!

What a great day! I think I’ll be back on Partrick Road soon.

Ride on!

Weekend Warrior #1

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SATURDAY

It was finally dry and a bit warmer this weekend, so I was able to set out on a longer ride. California has had a lot of really cold and rainy days since Christmas. Not really whining…I am from upstate New York after all, but it has been tough to commit to longer, endurance type rides. This weekend, I set out to test the route I’ll take to head out of town in June (unless I decide to go South). It ended up being a half century that ended in Dixon, CA. I definitely could have ridden farther/longer, but I had a dinner date to get back for. You might wonder how I got back home since it was 50 miles one way. Well, I also tested my sag wagon, AKA, Ken. It worked beautifully too! He followed my progress on my tracker and knew exactly when and where I stopped. Since he went shopping for new shoes at the factory stores nearby, he picked me up with no trouble at all. More ride details can be found at 01/14/17 Ride.

People often ask if I ever enjoy the rides and stop to smell the roses so to speak. I always do! How can you not enjoy riding through the Napa Valley and surrounding areas? That’s why you’ll see plenty of photos to follow along with me. Besides, photography is one of my other hobbies. Most of the photos on my rides are just taken on my iPhone. It does a pretty decent job and they’re easy to upload. These are from my ride today…

The prison pic is for my running buddies since allegedly, I was contributing to the delinquency of a runner (since I chose to ride). CSP (California State Prison) was serendipitously on my route. The first pic is one of those that just fits in the WTF category.

SUNDAY

I rode to church this morning – a mere 8 miles – but it was cold by California standards! It was right around 40 degrees F so had to bundle up. I ran into my bud Aaron Comfort Dog . Not sure what he thought of my face mask, but I stayed warm!

Ride on!