Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ahh, the long ride

January view of the Windsor Town Green outside the store, nice hills in the distance
Outside the new place, new signs are yet to arrive
several shots of the new Windsor Bicycle Center, come see me!
After a week of rain, today was supposed to be mostly sunny, I had to work until 1:00 so that's fine, it will warm up some from 39 up to 50. Well, it turned rainy in the morning, but the NOAA radar details just showed scattered small pockets of showers. I really wanted to get a nice steady aerobic base of three hours, but had the underlying anxiety of not having a long ride since Dec. 30. Throw in a dash of "it sure feels colder than 50 do I have the right clothes?" So I get all set. There is a lot of getting ready to a long solo ride. An extra, extra tube and CO2, plenty of food, shoe covers, secret weapon vest (go ahead ask me) cool weather leg embrocation, ooh that feels better already, bike set and out the door. Roads are soaked, and lots of flooded fields and vineyards, but sun splashing all over the distant hills. Lovely. See my first rider approach from the other direction in less than four miles out. I will see quite a few more before the day is done. I have ridden the area some, but it still a lot of new experience. I have a route outlined in my brain. An hour in, and three hours starts to seem maybe a little ambitious. So far no rain, but it looks far from safe. The once dry hillsides are just exploding green and it seems every couple hundred yards I hear water rushing in the road side ditches. I wonder if this bodes well for next years grape harvest. The fields are quiet now, all the pruning and clean up is done. The vineyards are so tidy, most look picture perfect. I've crossed the Russian River several times. It is swollen and fast moving, in the summer it is more of a lethargic steam. After a nature break at a very cycling friendly store - Jimtown- It had just started to sprinkle as I rolled in. On my exit I am greeted by a fine rainbow and the shower is gone. My one climb of the day is a new one for me, it hits 12% right quick but eases back after a bit. Fitch Mountain is next to the town of Healdsburg, a fantastic wine and food destination. I am now at over two and a half hours. Alright! its a flat spin back to the bike shop were I work. Done 3:16. Legs feel nice and tired, but not hammered. 51 miles. I think I'm beginning to crawl out from under my winter funk. Let's ride. Oh I used my old bike, the Litespeed, I just put a set of 700X25 Continental Gatorskins on. They are popular out here on the crummy roads. I thought they'd be good for my off season rides.

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