My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ride The West - Day 11 - Cloverdale, CA

The weather and scenery changed dramatically today ... not just from yesterday, but from the first part of the day to the second part of the day.  Morning temperatures were in the 50's with fog as we followed Route 1 down the coast.  I started the day with all the Geldings as Susan opted to rest up.  This enabled Toronto Mark to ride with Jeff, Joe, and I.  It became apparent very early, that I did not have the legs to stick with the boys today.  I pulled back and found a comfortable pace that saved my energy for the climbs that lay ahead.  With the fog, there was not much opportunity for pictures.  Our route turned inland onto Route 128 and back into the trees through the Navarro Redwood State Park. The fog was gone, but with the shade, the temperature remained cool.  I arrived a bit after the boys, but still ahead of most of the of the others into the first SAG in the park.

Wonderful Redwood Canopy at First SAG
Bicycle Level View of the Road
Toronto Mark and I set out from the SAG among the redwoods.  We were joined by Jeff, Joe, Barb, John, and several other riders as we made our way out of the trees.  The weather popped up almost 15 degrees when we left the shade.  Our route took us through the southern Mendacino and Northern Sonoma county wine area.  The big trees were replaced by gapes and lots of them.  No big name wineries here, but we must have passed over 20 of them.  We stopped at a local apple farm (Gowan's) for great apple cider and a chance for half way photos.  The Geldings were together for the photo opportunity.

Wineries and Golden Hills

Toronto Mark and Mose Sample the Apple Offerings

Geldings at the Half Way Point
We continued past more wineries through Philo and Boonville.  There were so many ... Handley Cellars, Goldeneye, Toulouse, and Foursight to name a few.  The temperatures continued to climb as we made our way to the second SAG in Boonville.  Like most of the other riders, I shed all my extra layers and rode for the first time this trip with just bibs and a jersey.

Toronto Mark and Joe Head Past Another Winery
The road began to climb as did the temperatures (into the 80's, then 90's).  Between the heat and all the hills we did yesterday, I really started to tire.  Jeff and Joe went on ahead and Mark stayed with me to help push me through.  The wineries were replaced by golden grasses and hills.  There was lots of road construction (new paving) that had many of us waiting to continue climbing.  The new tar made a mess of our tires and caused us to stop numerous times to clean them.  Jim Benson strategically positioned himself and the white van after the worst of it to help aide in the process.  He also tightened up my cranks as they were starting to loosen up again.

Mark Heading For The Golden Hills
The ride ended with a steep two mile climb that had a few additional climbs after we thought we were done.  At the start of the climb, Mark and I came across Barb and John on the side of the road.  John's chain had broken.  With no cell service, he had to wait for Jim to drive by or for us to get over the climb to give him a call.  Barb headed up the climb with Mark and I eventually followed.  The first mile was mighty steep, but it gradually got better.  I met Barb and Mark at the top of climb.  Mark pushed on to the descent and I stayed behind Barb to make sure she got in safely ... a great tag team effort by the Marks.  Jim eventually got to John and fixed his chain.  After the long descent, Barb and I stopped for a yogurt shake in town before heading to the hotel.

Cresting The Final Golden Hill?

Banana Milkshake Hit the Spot
It was supposed to be my night on the pull out, but we got a nice room with three beds.  Joe was banished to the single room (he might snore just a little ... LOL).  Dinner was at a local brew pub that was obviously not prepared for us.  One waitstaff and almost two hours later, we got our food.  A yummy apple fritter at a Spanish bakery across the street helped make me forget the long wait.  We head for Petaluma tomorrow and should start to see some of the more well known Sonoma wineries.  Pig could get mighty drunk out here.

A Proper Pig Could Really Enjoy The Tastings
Today's 76 miles had over 4,200 feet of climbing (not as much as listed in the brochure thankfully).  It was a fun, but tiring day. A little shorter tomorrow, but a lot less climbing.  Here's today's map and data -

Good Night Moon ... Good Night Wine ... Good Night Golden Hills ... Good Night Barb ... Good Night Geldings ... Good Night Sue & Carol (Thanks for the Email) ... Good Night Wife (Miss You TC)

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