Monday, August 21, 2017
Well goodness, what a surprise, the Tour of Napa had changed its route. The Boyfriend and I hadn't done the Tour since 2011. Gone is the stop at Aetna Springs. Mostly we rode along roads that were dotted with vineyards and car free. For the first leg, 21 miles to the first rest stop, we steamed through, with me averaging 18 mph. Mostly, my motivation was keen on getting some food into me!
The Boyfriend generously stuck with me the entire time. We had a blast doing a different route and seeing a part of Napa we had never explored. Unlike previous times, I didn't meet people and chat away, perhaps because The BF was nearby? No naughty tales of funny exchanges to share. I fear my blog is ever so dull! Wow, with pleasant temperatures, the ride up Ink Grade was remarkably uneventful and almost easy; though, for others, a challenge, requiring getting off the bike and walking. The descent afterwards remains one of the best, technically easy as you coast downwards into the valley. At the end, eating our post event meal, we did talk with a club member, and much like our club, she remarked that the event did not sell out, and recruiting new members, particularly younger people, was a challenge. I finished in 5 hrs while The BF did it in 4.30 hrs. Driving home was a breeze, no traffic snarls. Wouldn't have needed a limo to take me home....
Entertainment after our 30 mile ride - visiting downtown Napa. We decide to hang out at the Oxbow Market, somewhat akin to the San Pedro Square in San Jose. Here we found a place to eat a pizza and a yummy beet salad at an affordable price.
The Boyfriend and I realized awhile back that it was worth going to Napa for a weekend and doing our own ride, a loop involving Mt. Veeder that was independent of doing just the Tour of Napa. It's a lovely 30 mile ride of climbing and biking past vineyards.
The Boyfriend outside our airbnb.
The Boyfriend and I are here in Napa, staying at an Airbnb, a first for us. It's a horse ranch. Long ago and far away, I once took horseback riding lessons at Foothill/De Anza College. Omg, I watched one horse eat its own poo! We didn't realize we had a great location in terms of being able to bike to the start of our planned ride for Saturday as well as being only a few miles away for the Tour of Napa on Sunday. We were also close enough (driving) to downtown Napa as well as life's necessities (aka Starbucks/Peets, and grocery stores). Our room had air conditioning, a fridge and a Keurig machine plus we had a sitting room and bathroom, all well and good.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
the egret nesting sanctuary on Shorebird Way in Mountain View that Google is generously helping to protect. Alas, I parted ways with my companions during the lunch break, riding off alone to return home, happy but tired, a 44 mile trip on my hybrid.
Shocked, I say, shocked, The Boyfriend suggested we take it easy this morning. Relax and cuddle. Omg. I was convinced that during the night, aliens kidnapped him. Rather than do the planned 60 mile route which meant getting up really early to beat the heat, The BF recommended we do the lovely LeMond loop we did when we first arrived (15 miles, 1225 feet in elevation gain). What possessed him? Surely little green men had taken over his brain. Can you spot me in the trees?
Hirschman Pond but it was closed due to tree removal activities What a pity. We then attempted to find with the aid of Google Maps another possible hike but this led to a wild goose trip and dead end. It was rather comical. I'm so glad we had the chance to vacation in Nevada City. It was a welcome respite. I want to return to the area one day to do the Auburn Century, also known as The Wildest Ride full of historic gold mining towns, solitude roads and epic climbs. Just like our vacation.
Having learned our lesson yesterday, we were out the door early this morning to do the Allison Ranch Loop, a 30 mile, 2645 feet elevation gain. No hanky panky, no dawdling -- we were determined to take advantage of the morning's cool temperatures. As it turned out, a lot of today's ride was shaded by trees. Nice.
The Boyfriend figured out an alternative route that took us into downtown Grass Valley where we had breakfast at this old fashioned diner.
Empire Mine State Historic Park. We explored the mine and contemplated the hard life of a miner. I didn't know that miners came from Cornwall, England and brought technology with them, too.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Omg, The Boyfriend took forever to get ready. I was like out the cottage door in 2 seconds, excited to see what Nevada City, in terms of cycling, had to offer. We started later than we should have and learned our lesson about being at altitude and in the heat. We decided to do the Oaktree Bridgeport loop, a 42 mile, 4200 ft. elevation gain ride. It was a challenging route that afforded spectacular views of which The BF would have entirely missed had I not flung my arms wildly telling him to stop and smell the roses.
The BF simply sailed by as he crossed that bridge in the photo above. If you look closely, you will see people floating in the water and lovers sitting on a rock.
The BF had a flat. It was somewhere near a storytelling festival that one of our cottage neighbors planned to visit. The BF has tubeless tires. He couldn't get a proper seal using the gas thingy so he had to rely on pumping as much as air as possible into a tube and going with that. Amazing.
The BF totally flew by and missed this little gem.
The Boyfriend charged off and got me water. What a hero. We went inside a bar and drank cokes laced with a lot of ice. The BF amused me, making jokes about getting to Britney Spears (the road is called Britney Springs). As I dragged my sorry ass behind him, I passed an elderly man in his garden who shouted to me, "He should be behind you like a gentleman." Ha ha ha ha. What a day but worth it.
Friday, July 28, 2017
The BF did a beer tasting at the local brewery and I even tried and liked a cider. The town also reminded me of my trip to Fall River Mills. By this I mean, seeing hippy like people with loads of tattoos, who are into au natural though why they think smelling bad is a good thing is beyond me. It is not natural to smell bad. Folks seemed pretty laid back and enjoying the good life. For the most part, drivers were considerate of us cycling on the roads, too. I didn't see much in the way of diversity. Bulletin boards were full of yoga institutes, classes for couple therapy and also, gatherings for women. A bit too weird for me but whatever floats your boat I suppose. Something I found odd though was the contrast between a healthy lifestyle and passing homes that I call trailer trash (junk in yards from broken down rusted vehicles to old bathtubs and couches strewn on lawns). I appreciated the opportunity to take in the town and get to know it a bit. It was a treat. The cycling was spectacular, more of that to come.
Thursday, July 27, 2017
I don't know why I got it in my head that I had to visit Nevada City (learn more about this charming city here) for a biking vacation but here we are, The Boyfriend and I, arriving at the Piety Inn Cottages. Our innkeeper Michael explains on the website that he was a hairdresser from the L.A. area among other interesting career choices before taking up residence in Nevada City.
the local bike shop) for all the rides. Thanks to Sierra Express Bicycle Club for posting fabulous accurate rides from which to choose. Notice the name of the road that The Boyfriend is about to travel -- Rough and Ready Hwy. We came across so many interestingly named roads like Idaho Maryland Road, and Rattlesnake, and Banner Cap Lava.