Category Archives: Organized Rides

Tour of Napa Valley 2015 35 mi

We’ve done this organized ride a number of times, both this shorter one and the longer metric, and it’s always a good time. This was Max’s first organized ride, and his longest ride (in miles) thus far.

We brought our new Hase Trets trailer for Ruth, which is basically a recumbent trike with the front loped off to make it into a trailer. It has pedals and a derailleur for her to play with.

The forecast was for hot, so we tried to get an early start. A 4:30 alarm got us out the door at about 6. Between the drive up to Yountville, unpacking the bikes, registration, and a couple of potty breaks, we got rolling at about 8:30.

The ride itself was nice. The 35 mile (previously 30) route is pretty flat as it winds around the vineyards. Ruth enjoyed pedaling, although she complained about the derailleur making noise in some gears (it isn’t adjusted quite right yet). I heard her shifting a number of times, but I’m not sure if she actually understands picking out the right gear yet.

The ride used to have a turn around point, but now it’s a short loop with a gentle climb and faster descent. I opened up a bit on the way down to see how the trailer handled at speed. It was too short for a full test, but seemed stable enough.

After a rest stop for some popsicles and other food, we finished the ride. The carnitas at the end was good, as usual.

All in, a successful ride. The new trailer worked out well, and the heat was manageable. We had plenty of supplies, but of course, we mostly ate at the rest stop.

Animal sightings: Some cows, maybe?

Tour of Napa Valley 2013 100 km

We’ve done this organized ride a couple of times, but this is the first time doing the metric century. We brought Ruth in the trailer, of course, which got us some nice encouragement from other riders.

It was a very hot day, hitting the upper 90s. This made the climbs pretty difficult. There was a SAG car driving up and down the main climb (Ink Grade) offering water and ice to people.

At the lunch stop they had a mist tent going. Ruth had fun running through it.

Towards the end I started loosing steam. Anne took the trailer, which made me very happy.

On the drive back, we stopped for a restroom. While I was waiting for Anne to come back, my leg started cramping really bad. I got out of the car and stood up. When the heat hit me again, I started to feel pretty weak. Anne came out just in time to watch me fall over. I’m still not sure if it was pain causing my leg to give out on me, or if I passed out briefly. Anne says I was talking immediately, though. A passerby came and helped me up. I felt much better, so Anne drove us home.

When we got home I took a long cold shower, which was very nice.

I think we’re done with super hot rides for at least a little while.

Primavera 2013 70 km

Day two of the bikestravaganza went well. This was Primavera, an organized ride put on by the local cycling club. Last time we did the ride it was rainy, windy, cold, and kind of miserable. We didn’t have any rain gear, so the day before we wet to REI and went to town. This time it was hot and sunny.

I took the trailer until the first rest stop, halfway up the big climb. I ended up needing to stop once for breath, but managed to make it. Then Anne took Ruth for the second half of the climb, including the short but steep section known as “The Wall”. She ended up walking part of the way, but even so I didn’t beat her to the top by much.

Then we rode along the far side of the hills east of Fremont, overlooking the Calaveras Reservoir and Valley. It’s crazy that this is just a few miles from home.

We had to bribe Ruth with a cookie in order to get her to put the helmet back on after the second rest stop, but she seemed happy in the trailer. I should have had another cookie too, since I started loosing steam in the last couple of miles. At the finish they had lasagna, hot dogs, and ice cream, so I survived.

Animal sightings: cows (way down in the valley), horses, roosters (heard, but not seen), some wild turkeys, a “sleeping” deer, two dogs (at the rest stops), and a motorcycle gang.

Mechanical problems: None!

Most interesting roadside debris: A biker relaxing on an embankment within the first 10 miles of the ride.