Monday, November 3, 2008

Another fun day on the bike

It rained this weekend, a lot! Most of Saturday was spent inside listening to the gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, rain on the roof. I actually enjoy rainy days like that. The only down side is not being able to ride.

However on Sunday, Tim and I managed to head out. Our destination? Well, kinda of somewhere around the Cloverdale, Dry Creek Valley area. Or maybe we should ride in Alexander Valley and then Geyserville. Or perhaps . . . As you can see, we really didn't have a set route. We didn't even know how far we were going. We were just going out for a ride. The only thing we knew for sure was that I was going to take Tim on the new road and bike path I discovered from the Asti Tour de Vine.

This was going to be a big group ride. But time constraints and the fear of getting wet (or was it the fear of crashing) left just Tim and I. So I picked him up at 7:00 and off we go to Healdsburg. As we are getting ready the weather doesn't look to bad. There is the threat of a remaining shower but there is also blue sky. The cloud formations were actually quite spectacular. You just had this sense that it was going to be a great day.

Now we are off to Asti. On the way, it began to rain lightly but not enough to turn us around. As we get closer to Asti I found myself getting a little excited about taking Tim on a new road. You need to understand that Tim has been on every road in Sonoma County. When I first started riding he let me pick the route one day. When I asked if had ridden on Cherry Ridge Road his only response was "was it paved yesterday?".

So we make the turn and head for the temporary bridge built across the Russian River for the summer. I warn Tim that the road leading to the bridge becomes gravel. What I did not know was that it was also flooded. No worries. We simply plow through roughly 200 yards of deep puddles that at one point reach the bottom bracket. I also know the road is full of major pot holes that I cannot see. I just knew it was only a matter of time before I hit one of these monster pot holes and took a swim. It was like Russian roulette with a bike and muddy water. But in the end we both made across with nothing more then wet feet and big smiles.

After dodging a couple of fallen tree branches on Tim's new road, we hit the bike path in Cloverdale. During the Tour de Vine, I described this path as a roller coaster. Of course on Sunday there were more people and it was covered with wet leaves. So we took it easy, chatted about nothing, and talked about how great the path was for riding with the kids.

After accomplishing our only goal of the day we asked each other "what's next?". We have just over 20 miles in at this point. We head south through Cloverdale and ultimately decide to cut over to Dry Creek Valley. The plan is to take Dry Creek Road back into Healdsburg. Then we decide to take West Dry Creek Road because it is more scenic and we get to cross Lambert Bridge, a cool little bridge built back in 1915.

This part of the ride was all talk (okay, most of the ride was all talk). We got started on the election. Not about how we were voting but more about the mistakes we feel both Obama and McCain have made during their campaigns. Tim also told me about Palin being pranked.

We decided to tackle one last small hill and came back into Healdsburg through a quaint rural community. Then it was to the Flying Goat Coffee. They are one of my favorite coffee houses and reason enough to ride from Healdsburg. As we walked in we got what I now refer to as the "look of lunacy". We are both covered with bits of mud from road spray. Our feet are still wet and very muddy. I just know they were wondering "don't they know they could just drive here?".

When all was said and done, it was simply a fun ride. It was the kind of ride that reminds you why you started riding in the first place. We finished with 43 miles. We had been hoping for somewhere between 35 and 50 (how's that for specific training). We never pushed the pace. We talked non-stop. We weren't even wearing our heart rate monitors.

I hope everyone gets the chance to have a ride like this from time to time.


1 Comment(s):

Sarah said...

Now THAT sounds like my kind of fall ride. I would have loved to have joined, I shouldn't have pussed out. :P

Great ride report, Lee. I really can imagine being there with you guys and it sounds truly awesome.