Monday, August 1, 2011

Sonoma Sip 'N Cycle: Days 5-8

Ack! I'm falling behind! My first week of Kona training has left me brain (and leg) dead.

Where was I? Oh yes. Big Wines  Rides & Big Reds. After easing back into things the first part of the week, we kicked it up a notch in the cycling department. James wanted to ride the hills out to Bodega Bay (part of Levi's favorite loop apparently) and I wanted to explore The Geysers, a remote road, so we did both!

The Geysers Loop- 54 slow miles from Healsdburg, about 4000 ft of climbing.
This ride was incredible. After an easy ride to Cloverdale, you head onto Geysers road, a 20 mile tiny tiny road that is even gravel in some sections (not too long). The going is not fast, but it's beautiful. Climb climb climb, then take a right and practically fall off your bike in the steepness up to Geyser peak. I think I hit my all time max HR on that section. The descent is totally worth it though. Bring water there are NO stores! Once you are down from Geysers, you can stop at Jimtown store to refuel...LOVED this ride, but bring a buddy- not super safe all alone.
Geysers loop
That snake-y road was the final little climb...nothing compared to what we climbed to get to the spot I took the picture. 
James at the Jimtown store on the way home from Geysers..
Post -ride, we did a quick t-run and then headed to the Russian River for a mile swim. The water was cool and relaxing, but the beach was dirt, not sand. James wasn't a fan of dirt beach.
We did an amazing tasting at Williamson Winery on Healdsburg Square... Wine & little bites pairings! So good we even bought the $30 truffle salt they put on some piece of cheese
Possibly our best meal of the week was dinner at Ravenous Cafe...Outdoor seating, good local food, and of course a great wine list...
Glass of white at Ravenous. Light out until almost 9 pm!

Handwritten menu

Salmon at Ravenous
CYCLE- 77 miles/5 hours- more hills! 
Thursday was the ride James had been waiting for.. cycling out to Bodega Bay via Coleman Valley Road (part of the Tour of California) and then back up the 1 to Joy Road (where there is no Joy because it is a steep steep steep ass climb). From there, we cruised back through the Redwoods and Guernville. The ride was pretty incredible. Sunny 80's and 90's when we started and then crazy foggy and 50's along the coast- it was pretty surreal. Coleman Valley Road is incredible- I felt like I was in the moors in England or something - hard to describe- just go and ride it! 

"Levi's loop" from Healdsburg
On Coleman Valley, looking down towards the fog we were going to descend into


Post ride, James wanted to hit Bear Republic Brewing one last time and I obliged. He loves beer. And well, he did chauffeur me around by bike all week...
James & his Cafe Racer XV

A Big Racer 5. Recovery?

Our wine country vacation was over, but we ended up with a special detour on the way home! Dr. G (my dad) was at a conference in Santa Barbara, so we did a drive by for, you guessed it, more riding & eating. 
View from the Santa Barbara digs....

Bad iphone picture of Dad & James
The visit with Dad was the perfect topper for our trip. We had a fantastic meal at Jane , and then a nice 60 mile ride before the final (miserable!) ride home through LA.
Now, I'm back to "reality" in San Diego...which is...more riding, sunshine, and eating... (okay swimming & running too)...3 weeks left of summer vacation and then it's back to school!

5 comments: said...

looks like a stellar vacation!

Miss Erosion said...

I love that you have someone to share an active lifestyle with! Looks like a blast :D

Barb said...

This vacation looks AMAZING!!! I think I need to do Vineman again next year and stay for an extra week. Happy training!!

MissFancyPants said...

awesome rest of trip, next time I will have to try that Ravenous, food looked awesome!!

Yasi said...

Great pictures. And a handwritten menu!? Amazing. I'm thinking of Vineman '12 and your posts have only been nudging me more in that direction.