Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oceanviews included

This Friday I set out out on a solo ride that I estimated to be 50 mi. No, the distance turned out fine, although the word estimated, followed by the word distance does sound like the makings of a good story. I was going into a lot of areas unknown to me, not to mention solo. I was carrying a pair of tubes, CO2s, and a little anxiety. The club here has some great maps, so I cobbled together what I hoped would be a fun ride. It is posted on MapMyRide as Sebastopol to Sea, if you're interested. After some rural areas on the usual fair-poor road, I turned onto a smooth downhill that twists through Redwoods to the Russian River. This whole area, on down to the Pacific (22 mi. mark) reminds me of Lake Tahoma and Lake Lure but also Brown Mtn. Beach Road,the so called Red-neck Riviera. West Sonoma County in particular has a large population of ...shall we say free-thinkers. As I approach the coast I get into pretty serious headwind. I make the turn onto Hwy.1, Pacific Coast Highway I sense some self doubts surface. Wind? Hills? Traffic? I am along way from help! I continue of course, my battle with the cyclists devil and angel won by the angel. I settle into a great gently rolling tailwind stretch overlooking the ocean. Wish I had a lightweight camera. After ten miles, the route says to turn inland. I look at this little pigpath of a road climbing the bluffs over the Pacific. I finish a second delicious California Apricot (produce here is tremendous and fairly cheap) and start to climb, 6%, 8%, 10% ...15%.About one and a half miles and I am about 900' above the Pacific! Someone stenciled on the road that "we see clearly only with the heart" or some such, in case I need a reminder -I am in CA. The route now rolls for a while in very remote upland pasture lands then drops down through a grove of huge Eucalyptus trees. The aroma is fantastic. The next section is more heavily trafficed and less scenic. I will try a different but longer final leg next time. So I got in 48 miles and a good mix of flats sprinkled with some serious climbs. Great ride, I'll show it to you some day. Yes, produce is very good. Lots of plum varieties, nectarines, apples, grapes and more all rather inexpensive. The peaches I tried -not so good. Meats are cheaper too, and no sales tax on foods. but 9.25% on everything else, maybe it evens out? Thats all for now. Thanks for following HH

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