Santa Rosa Part V

Well now that the power is back, the yard is relatively cleaned up, and I have some time. let’s get back on pace here and work on finishing the vacation highlights before work takes away that vacation glow!

One thing unusual about this trip is the fact that I had planned to take a ride during the vacation.  This may seem strange, but on most of our vacations, there is no bike riding. (Unless the purpose of the trip is a big ride.)  This time though, we had friends that wanted to do so as well…

Meet Michelle’s oldest and dearest friend Kim


and our mutual very good friend Rob


Kim and her husband Mark had brought Kim’s bike with them (they live close enough to drive) when they arrived Friday.  Rob came down later and brought his as well.  Now you will recognize Kim as one of the two lovely redheads, along with my Michelle, who ran the halfathon the previous Sunday.


These two women were putting me to shame.  If I had run/walked that far, I’da been sitting on my ass!  Not these two, they continued the workouts throughout the week. I made a point of relaxing instead.

Editors note: In fact, Michelle was a bit worried I was mad, cranky or having a lousy time. as I was doing a lot of sitting and being quiet.  “NOPE!” said I, “This is the rarely seen, VERY relaxed lazy Tony!” I was listening and chiming in on conversations, but otherwise I was reading books and sipping beers and just being! Gotta admit it was nice!


Back to the ride.  Kim and Rob were the ones I was blogging about in Raising them from Pups.  Both had recently purchased bikes, and this was my first opportunity to ride with them.  Since there was only going to be one real ride that week, and I didn’t want to deal with shipping my bike, I rented one from Performance Bicycles in town.  I frequent this same store here in town (just down the road from the office) and the one down there was JUST as friendly.  All I wanted was a basic road bike (with helmet) and this was my steed.


They also threw in a patch kit, pump, and two spare tubes! I was ready to go.  As these two were new to cycling, and I didn’t want to take up space in the bag, I decided to just use flat pedals and leave the clips at home.

I had done a bit or research (ok I Google Santa Rosa Bike Rides) and it returned 10 routes from easy to hard. I let them pick which to take. They chose well with the Windsor Plain ride near the airport and through the vineyards.


At the park, getting ready, Kim let me know she was going to clip in for the first time in years.  Rob and I held the bike steady and I made sure she could unclip easily. Then she did a lap around the parking lot to be sure.  After that we were ready to go!

Kim led the way with the directions in her phone, Rob came next and I played tail end Charlie, riding drag (NO not a cross dresser!  A cowboy phrase for the last cowboy on a cattle drive who made sure no cows went astray!).

This was a new experience for these two.  Back home, their routes are relatively flat.  This one had rolling hills! Some, though short, were pretty damn steep It was challenging, but they both did great on them!

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I think they were a little concerned that I wouldn’t enjoy the ride since I usually do much longer routes, but I never have something like this pass me at home!

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Nor had I ever ridden in the Napa area.  Yep we were in wine country!

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It was truly a fun, yet still relaxing ride for me.  Rob even got an action shot of me sporting the COUG jersey and riding in sandals!


The one downside of the ride?  Our perfect weather had ended….

All week, we would wake up to a marine layer of low clouds, and cool temps.  By noon, it would burn off and start to warm into the low 80s (perfect for their run!)  On this day, the sun was out as soon as we woke up, so we were riding in the mid 90s! We had shade at some parts, but near the end it was starting to hit us, especially Kim, pretty hard.


She is an animal though, and even though the last 2 miles was into a strong headwind, no shade and almost 100, she kept the pace going and finished the ride.  At the end I felt bad though.  That last stretch, I knew where we were.  I shoulda taken the lead and broke the headwind for the team, especially when Kim said she was feeling the first signs of heat exhaustion (she’s had it before!) But, since I usually ride alone, I just didn’t think about it.

It was a great ride for many reasons

  1. The scenery was very niceIMG_1670
  2. I was able to notice that Rob needed to raise the sear to get more power on the strokes.
  3. I could give them tips on climbing hills, busy roads, and bike jargon (CAR BACK!)
  4. I had all day and no time limit to finish
  5. I was with fun people who are just learning to enjoy bikes!
  6. My sexy cyclist tan got one last refresher

Rob has signed up for his first real ride, the 25 mile Ride the Rogue later this month. This one turned out to be almost 24, and he finished strong.  With the seat adjusted, he will have no worries.

Afterwards a stop at AM/PM for cold gatorade, it was time for lunch and more beer!  Wow I had a tough week!

Like the wind!  and GREAT job Rob and Kim!

6 thoughts on “Santa Rosa Part V

  1. Yeah for new cyclists entering the world of cycling. May they catch the cycling bug — big time!

    I have fond memories of my early riding days. One of my first organized rides was a century. At the time, I only had a Trek mountain bike, with REALLY nobby tires, and so I rode the century using that bike. I received a number of questions during the ride: “Are you riding the century?” and “Are you riding the century on THAT bike?” To be honest, I had no idea that there were “more suitable” bicycles — let along suitable tires — for long distance rides. What did I know!

    Looks like beautiful country that you rode through! Glad you got to ride a bike on your non-biking vacation. 🙂

    1. When I did the High Pass challenge from Packwood up to the Windy Ridge St Helens observatory I had more than one person say “You are going to try this with FLAT pedals and no clips?”

      YEP! We are just too stubborn not to finish!

      and I hope they start to love it as well!

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