Russian River Ride

First full day in the condo. We got out the door a bit slowly, after some slow time recovering fromm the rides near home yesterday, the drive, the full bottle of Bluenose Zin at dinner. Beauty rolling out into Windsor from the condo. Once we got west of town on East Side Rd (of the Russian River) north toward Healdsburg, the reaization of a great day on the bike lifted our senses. Sherie’s cadence picked up, and I fell into her draft to sail along viewing the blooming trees, the color of the Lupine and Poppies, the first leaves on the grapes. Several groups of riders came south out of Healdsburg, looking like 50 people on a club ride in various pacelines and singles, waving and smiling to us.

Once in Dry Creek, Westside Rd, going north, we were rewarded with even a better bike road in the perfect spring landscape. The little lifts and falls of the road, winding around the little corners of ridges descending into the valley floor, rewarded us with effort and pace variety. Equally stimulating were the ever changing views of old Zin gnarled rootstock set in the green hillsides, the newer and older growers houses, the barns and sheds of the wine grape trade. Yes, we smiled a lot, lifting up to stand on the pedals over the little rises then reaching for the drops on the little falls of the lane. Youkum Bridge brought us back across the rolling waters of Dry Creek before the short climb over toward Geyserville.

I stopped in a little old graveyard just across from Pedronicelli winery to relax and explore the tombs dating 100 years to the present. Oaks sheltered all kinds of tombstones with Italian family names mostly. Then on to lunch at a deli in Geyersville, where a young woman greeted us as we dismounted at the lone picnic table looking over the main junction in this small town. She suggested the Reuben for lunch, which Sherie and I shared to keep our stomachs from being bloated. Good pastrami it was, melted cheese and a few salty chips hit the spot. Then back on Hwy 128 with some traffic, we took the pleasant route detour onto Red Wine Rd that avoids most of the traffic to Jimtown.

I don’t need to bore you with the details of the vineyards in Alexander valley going south, as it is just a more open landscape but very similar to the other side of the ridge in Dry Creek. Lots of bicyclist at Jimtown at the too cute store, many deciding the route back after the climbs up Pine Flat. The consensus of that group was to go the flat way through Healdsburg, and save the climbing to others who hadn’t already blown their legs. I had a good conversation with Jeff on the front bench, while Sherie was in the store. He was strong, mid sixties but looked as young as me except for the gray hair. Told of his plan to ride old Route 66 from Santa Monica to Oklahoma for his high school 50th reunion. From the looks of him, and his stories of workout routines and personal trainer, he should be fine on that journey.

When we road back to Windsor over Chalf Hill, I was grateful that there is very little of the new money houses and fancy winery tourist stuff. Lots more ramshakle and old school vineyards, and meadows with horses and flowers. Just a lovely country road, bending around and rolling over the terrain instead of cutting through it. Just how bike roads should be. A bit of climbing, and we were soon on the outskirts of Windsor, skirting town to the east against the edge of the hills above most vineyards until crossing 101 on Shiloh and back to the condo. I called it a recovery ride, Sherie said she was hammered. Of course, she had ridden the Cinderlla yesterday almost 70 miles with her various BART connections.

47.06 miles, 1701 vert feet, 14.41 mph ave

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