We headed up the night before, loaded up on pizza, got a good laugh out of our hotel neighbors, and set the alarm for 5:15 am.
Heading to the start I could already tell it was going to be a good day - 55 degrees and foggy - my kind of weather.
It was fifteen flat miles to the first rest stop. The road took us past some of the big wineries in Napa. Usually Napa is crawling with cars and tourists but this early on a Sunday morning the roads were relatively calm and quiet. It was so peaceful to be riding among the vineyards on a cool, crisp morning.
I could tell it was going to be a good day when we got to the first stop - look at the abundance of potatoes!! Seriously, the all time BEST cycling snack. Despite eating breakfast I was oddly already hungry.
Seriously, I am sure I consume more calories than I actually expend.
It was about 20 miles between rest stops so our next stop was around mile 36. The majority of the next 20 miles were uphill. Nothing to difficult but it was a lot of steady climbing. Luckily, it was still foggy and cool out. Of course I don't have any pictures but the scenery was just breath taking. It is rides like these that make me realize just how lucky I am to live where I do.
Just as we were rolling into the second rest stop the sun started to peak out. My dad was riding out as we were riding in and my mom was riding in as we were riding out so it was fun to see them. I grabbed a half a sandwich as I knew the biggest climb of the day was next and I needed the fuel.
Within 3 miles of leaving the rest stop we hit the bottom of Ink Grade - the biggest climb of the day - 4.5 miles and 1110 feet of climbing reaching an elevation of approx 1893.
|The base of Ink Grade|
|The top of Ink Grade|
At the top people we congregating catching their breath/waiting for friends to make it up. I met up with my dad who was waiting for my mom at the top. Samantha soon joined us and we began the decent back into town.
Literally the decent. The next 6 miles had us flying downhill hitting speeds of 35 mph.
About a mile before the last rest stop I looked across the street and saw one of my old co-workers riding her bike but not part of the ride. As I yelled to her I felt an extremely sharp pain on my right arm. I looked down and there was a wasp on my arm. As I swatted it away it left its stinger in my arm. I pulled it out but it stung like crazy and started to swell. Apparently, I wasn't the only one. At the finish I must have heard at least 5 people say they had gotten stung in various places. I had never been stung by a wasp before and it hurt like hell.
We pulled into the finish around 2:15 pm - 67.5 miles, 5:15 minutes of total ride time, 7:04 minutes of elapsed time, 3095 feet in elevation.
I am not worried about my ability to complete the 56 fairly flat miles for Big Kahuna (just praying for no wind or heat) so my focus will now be turned to preparing for Levi's 8000 feet of crazy climbing. Sometimes I question my sanity.