Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who Is That Girl?

The sun was already shining when I got up this morning. I hustled around and packed up all my stuff for today's ride. So much stuff. Anyway, I decided to take the BMW because the weather was going to be gorgeous and I was driving alone so I could crank up the music.

We met up at 10am at Spoke Folk Cyclery in Healdsburg.

I had to take a picture of my road bike before we took off.

After some chatting and whatnot we were on our way by 11am. We rode through town and were soon out on a typical Sonoma County two-lane road. We rode a couple miles to our first stop, Simi Winery. Perfect. We tasted some whites and reds and generally laughed about the combo of physical exertion and alcohol. Here I am with the two other women on the ride. When I saw this pic on my camera I was shocked at my own appearance. Is that me? My head is so small. My arm is fat though so I'm reassured it's me.....hey, these habits die hard, give me a break :) Anyway, the roads were perfect for me, generally flat with the occasional string of gentle sloping hills.

We leave Simi and head toward Jimtown Store, about four miles ahead, to pick up sandwiches. Being the faithful Weight Watcher that I am I packed my own lunch so I would know what I was eating. A turkey sandwich with light swiss cheese on Flax seed bread piled high with spring greens, and an orange. We take our lunches a few miles down the road to Robert Young Winery. They have a very small wine tasting room so when we walked in we got some attention. Wow, I'm one of those bike riding people. Weird. This is a pic of the patio area at Robert Young.

We ride off to another winery. In all we went to five. The ones noted above plus Clos du Bois, Ridge and Rosso & Bianco. I'm a little loose on the order even though I tasted at only 2 wineries. Here I am riding away from Clos du Bois.

As we were readying to leave the last winery our fearless leader Tom starts talking, "Well, there's a hill coming up that I kind of forgot about." Yes, I panicked. A hill?! Bigger than the rolling hills we've already done? A real hill? So Katie gives me a pep talk. Her advice? Don't look up at the hill while climbing it, just look a few feet ahead. Pick a spot about 10' feet ahead and ride to that. Repeat. Stay in your baby gear. Take your time, conserve energy. You'll make it.

I followed her advice exactly and she was right, I made it. It really wasn't that bad (I say sitting on my couch the next day). Turns out there was another hill after this one. Mind you, we've already ridden over 20 miles at this point so it's not like my legs are fresh. Katie stays with me on this second hill to coach me through it ("shift... don't pedal so hard... relax") and thank God she did, my chain came off. If I had been alone I would have panicked but she hopped off her bike, fixed it up and away we went. Thank you to anyone who has ever helped out a newbie. It means so much.

Below is a map of the ride we did today. The site,, is awesome!

We got back to the cars, parked our bikes and headed for some much deserved ice cream. Yummmm. I had a small vanilla caramel praline. It was so goood. It was a pretty warm day and I was beat. My dinner plans fell through so all of a sudden I was free for the evening. I decided to drive out to the coast where some of the people on the ride were camping. I drove out and enjoyed the top down on the car and the warm air changing slowly to cool air as we neared the coast. I hung out for a bit at their campsite and then headed home. Of course, I had to take a picture of my bike and car by the ocean.

I had saved all these Points for my dinner plans and since they fell through the world was my oyster in terms of dining. Well, I've been craving KFC for a while so now seemed like the time to do it. I picked up some chicken and headed home. But man, I can't tell you how exhausted I was when I got home. I ate dinner and reviewed our route on a map. All in all we rode about 26 miles with about 1000' in elevation changes. I wondered how Miguel would feel when he came home to a trail of bike accessories and clothing from the garage all the way to my bed with a plastic KFC dinner container next to the couch. As an aside, the chicken was a little dry which was a little disappointing given I wait about 3 months in between having it. Oh well, didn't stop me from enjoying it :) Between the wine, the ice cream, and the KFC my Points were wiped out. I even used 4 Activity Points from the cycling. I'm going to have to eat very clean the rest of the week.

This morning I woke up to a sore body. I've been taking Ibuprofen all day. Usually the day after the day after is the worst in terms of pain so tomorrow I'll be hobbling. But I'm still mobile and could pick something up off the floor, albeit slowly, if I had to.

I don't know if I mentioned this before but I signed up for a bicycle maintenance class. It's two Sundays in a row, this and next, for four hours. Today we took off our tires, patched holes, put our tires back on, trued our rims, spiffied up and adjusted our brakes. Next Sunday we are doing all the chain and rear derailleur stuff. Since I had never so much as fixed a flat before this I was always nervous when riding on my own around town. Now I'm going to feel confident I can fix things, within reason, while on the road.

Alright, whether you like it or not I'm going close with one more picture of my car by the ocean. In case you were wondering it's a 1989 325ic. Miguel and I have spent some energy fixing it up and it's now our weekend summer excursion car. I love it. Nothing like a speedy convertible.


  1. Wow, Michelle! You've really come quite a ways, in every way possilbe! You've got to feel good about the ride with the group. You're looking very fit! Nice rides, by the way - both your bike and sweet convertible!

  2. Honey Pie,
    You look about 25 in that pic...and so so happy. I'm going to send you a pic from..omg...4 years ago??!!!, of the beemer and us. We have definitely switched places. I am so proud of you. Glad Katie was such a good friend.


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