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Showing posts from May, 2013

California Cycling Vacation - Day 7 - AToC TT : Women & Jens

Day 6 - Glen Ellen Loops & Tour Transition

The day had finally arrived for the Tour of California Individual Time Trial.  As soon as the route was announced and it was confirmed that there would be some type of Women's Race, we made our vacation plans.  It is no secret that I'm passionate about women's cycling and although they weren't getting the equality they deserved, it was a chance to support some of my favorite athletes.

I was pumped and woke before our alarm to finish packing the cooler and load the car.  We departed at 5:30a and 2 hours later pulled into a San Jose restaurant, very happy we hadn't left any later.  The volume of traffic in California is simply amazing.

After breakfast, we drove to the Start and found a free parking space in a lot owned by the best produce market in San Jose.  The owners were going out of their way to make spaces and since we were so early and the first to arrive, we made sure it was ok and then purchased some fruit for t…

California Cycling Vacation - Day 6 - Glen Ellen Loops & Tour Transition

Day 5 - Dinosaurs & Dining

Although we still had 4 full days of vacation plus Monday to drive home, Thursday morning was our "sad" day.  Every vacation has it, the day you realize it is almost over and spend some time being sad and wishing you were retired.  Usually it hits me before the halfway mark, I sulk for a few minutes and then figure out how to cram even more into the remaining days.  On the other hand, Terry waits until a day or two out and gets a little grumpy thinking about the drive/flight home.

Twitter proves I had my 1st thoughts of "sad" on Tuesday the 14th, but Thursday was our transition day and we both were feeling it.  We only had 1 more day left in Sonoma County before dedicating the next 3 days to the Amgen Tour of California.  How would we cycle all the remaining routes, eat at all the recommended restaurants, do more wine tasting, and visit a Market at least one more time?

I chose a route near the cottage that I had found by scoping out …

California Cycling Vacation - Day 5 - Dinosaurs & Dining

Day 4 - Healdsburg & Laundry

We woke up hungry.  Our cottage hosts had given us a list of dining recommendations so we finished up the Giro, loaded up the car, and drove to Glen Ellen for breakfast.  The Garden Court Cafe and Bakery had already closed when we finished our ride on Sunday (Day 2) but we knew we'd make it back and by Day 5, we were ready to load up on calories like the good eaters we are.

Since we were also starting to feel all the riding (and bumps) in our legs, shoulders, and necks; we opted for a shorter ride and some sightseeing for the day's activities.  We drove from Glen Ellen to Oakville on winding Trinity Rd, then south on Silverado Trail by all the famous Napa vineyards.  We found another free parking lot and changed for a loop up Dry Creek over Mt Veeder and back.

Terry stopped riding, which is unusual unless he needs directions or is waiting for me on a climb.  I didn't see a flat tire so wasn't sure what was up, until I looked into the tr…

California Cycling Vacation - Day 4 - Healdsburg & Laundry

Day 3 - Coast & Pizza

By Tuesday, we were really starting to get in the vacation groove and decided to head north to Healdsburg.  We had ridden the area before and even stayed a couple nights back on that rainy Tour of California trip several years back. Our memories were fuzzy, but we recalled more vineyards, flatter roads, and a touristy town.

We exited Hwy 101 into downtown Healdsburg and were relieved to immediately find a free parking lot just on the backside of the town square.  I had mapped out a loop south on Westside to Eastside to the town of Windsor then back up Chalk Hill Rd.  So we performed our well-practiced change and were off.

The first thing we noticed were the bumpy Sonoma County roads.  In fact, there was enough vineyard business traffic and potholes that neither of us took the chance to drink or eat and had to pull off toward the bottom of the loop to refuel.  I encourage everyone to visit and pour money into Sonoma County so they can improve the roads because…

California Cycling Vacation - Day 3 - Coast & Pizza

Day 2 - Sunny & Bumpy
Now that we had some miles under us, we decided to head out toward the coast for a longer ride.  After our morning routine of watching the Giro and playing with Sunny, we packed up the car and drove to Helen Putnam Regional Park.  We paid the solar powered machine, watched a turkey and her babies walk by, changed, and then mounted our steeds to head further west.
We did a beautiful loop that included Chileno Valley Rd, Fallon Two Rock Rd, Hwy 1 from Tomales to Marshall, and back via Marshall Petaluma Rd.  Marin County on a Monday was also smooth and quiet compared to Sonoma County on a Sunday afternoon.  We only remember seeing a few other cars the entire day plus a FedEx truck, which we would see every single day from then on.  
After another parking lot clean up (thanks to Action Wipes), it was back to Petaluma to find Terry a post-ride coffee.  We found a great bike shop that let us hang out and watch the last few km of Stage 2 of the Tour of California. T…

California Cycling Vacation - Day 2 - Sunny & Bumpy