Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Second week, day 4

Second week, day 4

If yesterday was Giants to the Sea, today was the Sea to the Vineyards.

We started south along the ocean with gorgeous views to enjoy a couple of ocean side towns to play in. I made some pretty good time considering the amount of time that I took poking around and taking photos. After fifteen miles or so we headed inland on route 126 toward Cloverdale.

As we headed toward the hills inland we were quickly in the Redwood forest again, they tell us that this will be the final time to enjoy the giants. At 26 miles the SAG stop was waiting with it's snacks and goodies for the hungry riders.

Six miles beyond I found a general store with Expresso. Just what I needed, some caffeine. I stood on the deck watching the riders go by while I sipped my latte.

I'm getting some of my speed back after almost a 1 1/2 week on the bike (I wasn't able to train 3 weeks prior to the start of the trip because of business travel and the fires in LA), so I'm hanging out taking photos and sipping lattes then jumping on the bike and playing tag with the riders. Not that I'm one of the faster riders, but the fast of the slow riders.

A apple cider stand was on the route and I caught up with 1/2 dozen riders all sampling the fresh cider.

The second SAG stop came up after another quick 26 miles. The road was fairly quiet except for the occasional lumber truck zipping by. The full lumber trucks in our direction and the empty ones in the other direction.

The real climb was to start after the second SAG stop, the terrain started to rise and the hills shifted from the greens found at the ocean to the golden dried grass that California is also known for. The vineyards started to pop up since the ocean became more numerous as the trip rolled on.

At times the pitch reached 9-10% and the temperature started to rise as well. By the time I reached Cloverdale, my forehead was caked with salt for the effort. As I cruised into town, I found some of the other riders parked out in front of a store having ice cream, so I stopped to join them and after a while wondered into the motel about 1/2 further down the main drag.

Cloverdale is a neat town. Except for vineyards and wineries, I'm not sure what it's known for, but it seems to be a pretty nice place to spend a night.

Distance 71 miles
Attitude gained 4170 feet

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