Day 3: Tailwinds, how strange? - Spring Break Wine Country Bike-About - CycleBlaze

April 16, 2009

Day 3: Tailwinds, how strange?

Favorable winds? What a weird concept? I know it sounds strange but it's true!

I got a late start today. I forgot to set the hotel alarm clock, and by the time I checked out the Santa Rosa town center, took some pics with some snoopy statues (which seem to be in abundance because Santa Rosa is the hometown of the late Charles Schultz), ate a pre-breakfast at the hotel, and then a real breakfast in town, it was 11:00 am before I actually hit the road for some real miles. Add in the fact that I had to stop often to confirm or ask for clarification on route directions AND the fact that the ride was 15 more miles than I expected, and it was a long day. Still, no complaints; I had a great time on the Spring Break Wine Country Bike About.

Santa Rosa has a cool little town center with a nice town square. I spotted my first Snoopy statue there and decided to take a picture with the Trucker. Unfortunately there was a homeless lady sitting at the base of the statue. I told her I would give her a couple dollars (hoping she would spend it on food) if she would move so I could take a picture. She happily agreed and got out of the way. I positioned the Trucker and got my pics, but when I got my wallet out the woman had vanished. I guess she had already forgotten about her prize, poor thing.

After that (and breakfast #2) the Trucker and I hit the road. Santa Rosa has some nice bike paths and we took one today that was really nice, with a bunch of runners, riders and families with little kids and dogs, taking full advantage of the trails. After that I headed south through Glen Ellyn towards Sonoma and some little mini-town-like places in between. There were definitely some pretty places, just too many cars for my taste.

Sonoma was a cool town with a great town center. I spent way too long there waiting for a chicken salad sandwich but it was a nice day so it was ok to kick back and enjoy it. After that I went on to Napa. It is actually quite pretty between Sonoma and Napa but again, WAY too much traffic. I could have taken some roads to the north but that would have involved a lot more climbing and I didn't have it in me today. So, I rode in traffic

I was hoping to get to Napa by 2:00 so I could climb Mt. George (the pass that separates Napa and Solano Counties) before rush hour. That stretch of road has some really narrow spots and cars go pretty fast. Unfortunately, I didn't start the climb until 4:00. Just before that I met a local rider who rode with me for a while and 'helped' me out by telling me how much harder the climb is from the West, as opposed to the East, which is the only way I had climbed it in the past. 'Thanks for the tip,' I said glumly as he raced away on his carbon fiber bike.

The climb took me a lot longer than I expected, almost an hour. I don't know if it was the loaded down Trucker, that must have weighed a good 25 pounds more with cargo, than my Trek OR the fact that I would try and 'sprint' from one wide area to the next in the hope of being off to the side when bunches of cars went by, but it seemed like a really hard climb...

But, I made it eventually and it was mainly down hill from there. A tailwind helped and I kept plugging away. I stopped for a coke about 15 miles from home and that kept me going the rest of the way.

About 5 miles from home the sun was getting low in the sky so I experimented with my first CGOB shadow shots, which served two purposes 1) It was fun and now I have a shadow shot for my journal and 2) It kept my mind off the fact that my butt was really starting to hurt!

I rolled home around 7:00. Happy to be home but sad that my the Spring Break Bike About was over.

Now I can't wait for my next trip-the Pacific Coaster Roller!

I have pictures from today that I will try to post tonight. I also have more from the past 2 days that I have not gotten to yet; I will post those, and some final thoughts (if I have any when the time comes ;-), in the next day or two.

Vital Statistics:

Flat Tires: None, WOO-HOOO!
Miles: 81
Pedal Time: 6 hours 18 minutes 31 seconds
Elapsed Time: 8-9 hours
Calories: 3141 (a good portion of that was used on Mt George, I'm sure)
Snoopy Statue Sightings: 5
Number of Breakfasts: 2

My first shadow shot. It's a proud day!
Heart 0 Comment 0
One of the many Snoopy statues in town
Heart 1 Comment 0
A farm between Sonoma and Napa Valleys
Heart 1 Comment 0
Santa Rosa bike path
Heart 1 Comment 0
Another Santa Rosa bike path
Heart 1 Comment 0
Statue that is NOT Snoopy in Santa Rosa
Heart 1 Comment 0
Glen Ellen
Heart 1 Comment 0
Sonoma City Hall and the center of the town square and a great park
Heart 1 Comment 0

Today's ride: 81 miles (130 km)
Total: 205 miles (330 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 2
Comment on this entry Comment 0