Monday, October 13, 2008

A weekend of awesomeness

I got to:
  • Go on an awesome bike ride that pushed me but didn't kick my ass

  • Ride with a pro cyclist

  • Meet new cyclist friends that were cool

  • Watch the Ironman broadcast from Kona online, at least up to the start of the men's run and see Chrissie get her lead back on the bike!

  • Go to a harvest party at a vineyard and then spend the night and freeze my butt off as the night temps dropped to the low 40s (yes, I am a baby in cold temps)

  • Go to San Francisco for the most delicious, mouth-watering, incredible dim sum EVER.

  • Be in SF on a gorgeously clear day and take picture of the Golden Gate like a tourist

  • Visit my family in Napa, which included helping make an apple pie, go tourist-watching at the restaurant we went to, and watch my little sister practice her flag routine

  • Sleep very soundly Sunday night but wake up 3 times before 5 a.m. because I was worried about oversleeping for Spin Class.
WHEW!!!! Yeah, it was pretty awesome. I will post pictures tomorrow because they are on my other computer and my Crapintosh gets really slow when I load iPhoto.

But it was a pretty fun-filled weekend and I felt like Rachel did when she arrived in Kona and was running all over the place like a chicken with her head cut off!

Since I'm posting pics tomorrow I'll just write about the ride. Because I can post some pics from that.

Anyway, there was this ride that used to happen every month called the Risibisi Ride and it left from a restaurant down in Petaluma where lots of folks showed up, sometimes pros, mostly really fast people, and they would all ride and then have lunch at Risibisi afterward. But then the chef of Risibisi (who is also an avid cyclist), Fabio, left to head down to Mountain View (south bay area). So no more Risibisi Ride.

And thus the "Riviera Revolution" ride was born. This guy, GiamPaolo who runs/chefs? Riviera Restaurant in Santa Rosa decided to keep the tradition alive. Along with his friend Steve, who is part owner of West County Revolution, another very cool bike shop in Sebastopol. They organized the first "Viva La Revolution!" ride to start from West County Revolution and end at Riviera, then everybody would have a casual ride back to Sebastopol (about 8 miles away).

I wasn't able to do lunch because of the Harvest Party and stuff (and I had to save room!), but decided to join Lee and whoever else might be out there that day. Lee and I rode from my house out to the bike shop where we met up with our fellow cyclists for the day.

We had some pre-ride coffee and pastries (yum, thanks Steve!) and were about to shove off, when a guy rides up on his road bike and a mountain bike in tow, decked out a full BMC team kit. Looks like a pro guy decided to show up!

It turns out it was Scott Nydam, who won this year's KOM at the Tour of California, not to mention plenty of other accomplishments this season. Looks like he's had a good year! But then I was like "wait. Um. Pro guy is here and I'm sure all his buddies here are fast, too. Well SH**, WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?"

But then I thought "hey. Cool it. You know the route like the back of your hand so in the worst case scenario and you get dropped like the stocks everybody sold last week, you could still do this ride by yourself. So just chill."

We were going to be riding together for about 20 miles and then would split into the C/D group - C people (me and Lee, Jeff, Tim and Kenny) would do about 10 miles less than D and probably go about 3-4 mph slower.

So ultimately, it was AWESOME! We had a relaxed pace for the first 10 miles or so, as we rode on a bike path, which turned out not to be without incident. Steve and I were up front when all of a sudden we looked ahead and saw...a GIANT PUMPKIN!! So we started yelling back to the group "Pumpkin UP!!"

It was huge.

A few miles later, we came up on a young deer (but not Rupert-size, Kelly) that was heading our way and it FREAKED OUT and started running on this narrow path TOWARD US. I started yelling 'DEER! DEER!' Thankfully it ran to the side and avoided all of us.

That was in the first 10 miles!

After the bike path we hit the road and picked it up a notch. But again, not bad. It was the perfect pace because it was pushing it a bit for me but it wasn't a pace that made me think "oh god, how am I going to hang on for another 40 miles?"

And we all chatted and rode and before I knew it, it was time to split up. Boo. I was having such a good time because we were riding a nice swift pace but I could still have a conversation and nobody was trying to show off their manliness and how fast they could really go or push the pace and see who could get dropped first or any of the other STUPID THINGS THAT BOYS LIKE TO DO ON BIKES.

This is some of us at our splitting-off point ->>>>

Then we split up, and the five of us rode more, chatted more, had a few pace lines, stopped in Jimtown for some really good ginger-molasses cookies, rode more, chatted more, pushed the pace more, and all of a sudden, we were back in Santa Rosa cooling down and I was almost home, 60 miles later.

As usual, I was the only chick. But it was super fun!

And I can't wait to do it again next month. THANKS guys!! (and THANKS Steve, for organizing and for the photos, which have been taken from his site here)


Anonymous said...

Holy cow you are incredible. and LOL LOL at "pumpkin up"!!

Kathleen said...

Sounds like a super fantabulous ride! I'm jelly belly and plan to get in good shape spinning this winter so I can JOIN you next year!!

Can't wait to see more pics and hear more details on your amazing weekend :-)

Lee said...

Hey that's not fair!! The pumpkin picture wasn't up when I wrote my blog. For anyone else reading this, that's Sarah riding next to Scott Nydam (black and white kit) in the second photo.

This was an awesome ride! If you live in the Bay Area, they are talking about the 3rd Saturday in November so come out and join us.

Kelly said...

sounds super busy and i sooo want rides like that around here (im sure there are, how do you find these things...)

rr said...

You make me miss the bay area! So fun, what a great weekend. Serious awesomeness.

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Sounds like an incredible ride! What a great group you've got - way to push it on the ride! Holy Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

Mel said...

Sarah I was in San Fran over the weekend and every girl biker I saw I glanced to see if it was you or E :) then I ended up in BFE...with a lot of twisted crazy scary roads and thought man a biker would get killed on these roads...and I actually saw some:) I was really surprised on how cold your weather was...burrrrr..

Sounds like you had a great ride and when I crossed the golden gate bidge I thought that would be cool to run along:)

But over all it was BEAUTIFUL there..BUT you guys are CRAZY drivers:)

BC said...

You really pimped your page!
Glad to see & hear that life is so good in Cali!!

Eileen Swanson said...

Fun times for sure! Sorry couldnt ride this weekend! Packed weekend, but maybe next Saturday? Or you can come here and run a 10K with me? That would be super!!


Paul said...

Oh that look like a sweet ride. Can't wait to bust out my road bike.

Dangerous Dave said...

Sarah, you should have joined us on the D route. We were trying to chase down a team of 20-30 riders called the Bobas. We were going 25-28 mph on the flats. We came into Riviera 10 mins behind the C group. It was fun and difficult at the same time

Sarah said...

HA!!! Yeah Dave...that would've been great. I'm sure I would've held on for like...1 minute.

Chasing the Bobas is no small feat - they are FAST!

Anyway, I will aspire and work to hang with the D group and one of these days I will join you!!!