Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Tour de Napa Valley

Sunday was a long day, but it won't take long to post about it. Overnighted in Vallejo, woke up at 7, got to Yountville at 8 and had to wait for hundreds of bikes to share the road (there was an AIDS/ALS bikathon) to get into town and park. Had a very good breakfast at Pacific Blues Cafe, nice place, excellent service.

Got to Napa Valley Bike Tours a little before 9:30, checked in, met the tour guide Diane, who helped fit a helmet and traded the too-small "Medium" bike with flat handlebars they'd reserved for me for a "Large" with touring bars which was a much better fit. All their bikes are by Specialized (though their email said Trek). Funky gear shifters - left gear mechanism worked the opposite of the right gears - very confusing. The thumb control on the left shifted to a higher gear, the thumb control on the right shifted to a lower gear. Index finger controlled the other shift control.

Our group included couples from Winnipeg, Illinois, SoCal and one woman from Portola Valley. She's pretty and petite and in my dating age range, but has three kids and drives a black Urban Assault Vehicle, so I didn't bother to ask if she was single. Should have, I guess.

It was a bright sunny day, at 10 am start time it was in the high 60's, probably got to 80-something. We started out at a moderate pace, made our first three stops early in the ride (I'll do a map later today and see the distances). Back road from Yountville to Hwy 29, up 29 to Oakville and Rutherford, with lunch in the old Rutherfiord P.O. After lunch Diane stepped it up, and I fell way behind on a long uphill grade, and lost sight of the group when the bike chain jammed after going into 1st gear. Tour guide never looked back, but did have the group wait for me at the intersection of our next turn (which I would have taken anyway because it was the street back into Yountville). I'm pretty sure I was 10 minutes behind them by this point. There were no winery stops on this scenic portion of the tour - it was about 10 miles, I think she said. Back into town the final wine stop was at a tasting bar inside an antique store, and then one of the staff there led us on short bike jaunt to the wine maker's home which is also an organic garden. Lots of interesting stuff growing there, but poorly maintained, with piles of rotting fruit and veggies on the ground under the trees and vines.

Ride was done by 3:30, left town at 4, I was totally pooped, put the car on autopilot and was home by 5:30.

Photos coming soon.

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