Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy in Helena

Weekend spent in St. Helena with The Boyfriend to do some biking as well as the Tour of Napa. Several years ago, I discovered a small winery in St. Helena that also provides guest lodgings. Above, the place where we stayed. Friday night we tasted their wines and we each bought their port and enjoyed their Chardonnay Saturday evening.

The Napa Valley seemed especially beautiful this year. Saturday morning we set off to do a portion of the 100 mile route of Tour of Napa that includes Mt. Veeder. For 20 miles we biked on a road that parallels Rte. 29.

We stopped for refreshments and it was then that The BF noticed a large tear in his tire. A stranger stopped to admire The BF's bike and he told us that we were seconds away from a bike shop! Turns out that the bike shop was also the place where we could do early registration for the Tour of Napa. The BF had no money and no credit card but the bike shop said no problem and he got himself a new tire. So, off we went, happy as clams.

Coming down Mt. Veeder (a hot climb that gave me a back ache), The Boyfriend had a flat or so he thought. Upon careful inspection, he discovered a tear in the new tire he had just purchased. He tried to patch it. We biked some more and soon after, the tire and tube went. Our lovely excursion was turning into a disaster. His iPhone was dead from a GPS bike gadget thingy that he was experimenting with and the day was becoming hotter, and we were in the middle of nowhere. So, let's talk about what saved the day.... Yes, people, my Specialized Armadillo tank tires!!! The ones everyone pokes fun at but never fail .... I have campy gears and The BF has Shimano gears, so, he had to swap the rear tires (mind you this was like the fourth time he had to change a tire -- what a studmobile), having decided that he would bike back to our place using my tire, get the car and return for me.

The BF: I'll have to leave you here.
Me: In the middle of nowhere. There could be inbreeds that come out of the woods.
The BF: We're in Napa Valley, woman.

So off he went as you see above on the -- wait wait -- the Specialized Armadillo tire!

Me, waiting. People drove by and asked if I needed assistance. Nah, I behaved and sat quietly. Well, I did find some twigs and conducted a Beethoven symphony with my iPod Nano (about that time, people stopped offering assistance as they drove by). Before I knew it, The Boyfriend returned with the car to fetch me. One more time -- the Specialized Armadillo tank tires saved the day. Of course, I won't rub it in, on a regular basis, that is.....

We went back to the bike shop just in time to do our early registration and for him to get another tire. What a day! So, the Tour of Napa was almost anticlimatic. On the drive to the start, we saw lots of hot air balloons and okay, get ready for this -- because The Boyfriend decided to do the 100K, we didn't start until 7:30am. yay, yay, yay. We rode together for the first 14 miles. A lovely tour as usual and a wonderful weekend. The BF finished 1 hr. before me.

My stats:

66 miles
5 hrs. biking
13.3 mph avg (damn climbs slow me down)
34.5 max speed

Interestingly, 2 years ago, my avg. was 14.4 and I finished in 4 hrs. 38 min. Yet I felt as though I was going faster and stronger this time around. Perhaps more headwinds and heat this year.

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