S2S Day 5 The Best of Days

Some days I was tired, some days I was inspired, and some days I just had a
great time, today was one of the great days not that it was an easy day.

I started out by fixing a flat. When I went for a run yesterday I left my
bike by the truck in the direct sunlight, unlike most other days I didn't
let any air out.. And yes I got a puncture in the back tyre.

When I went to repair it I found a fairly large hole in the tyre. It's a
safe bet that I had the hole on the way in yesterday and the tube expaded
out through it in tyre heat and burst, that means I was lucky not to
puncture yesterday especially on the downhills!

I replaced the tyre with a new Specialized Pro tyre I'd bought with me,
tube and I was done. I biked into town with Miguel, he was concerned that
Peggy would give him a hard time as I wasn't wearing my helmet.

We had breakfast and set off on the days ride. After what seemed to be the
obligatory early morning hill, we headed to one of the tours masseures'
parents ranch. I'd really no idea what to expect and when we got there it
was a fantastic slice of northern California(see picture-1).

It was surrounded by hills and contained many snapshots of Americana.
Someone said that Margarette and friends were up at the lake swimming. I'd
been cycling with flipflops in my jersey pocket all week and only once or
twice dismounted without first taking my feet out of the shoes and then
walking in the flipflops. I was never more glad than this walk, which was
about 15-mins, but as it turned out worth every minute!

The lake was stunning(see picture-2), warm, clean and surrounded by even
more beautiful Northern California countryside including vinyards on both
sides run by Berringer. I swam with Peggy, we tried to race to a buoy, I
didn't have any goggles and went off course fairly quickly, and I was also
surprised how stiff my arms and shoulders were.

After drying off and walking back to the ranch we were back on the road, a
short time later we stopped in Jimtown(see picture-3) , the most Northerly
the tour went. Awhile down the road it seems the group was going to split
and I should have known better.

We were going to go up Sweetwater Springs Rd, sounded innocent enough and
after a few challenging rolling hills we were cycling alongside a riverbed
and creek with large trees and plenty of shade, it was all very pleasant.
Before I knew it Michael was off his bike and walking through a road
construction section of wet slippy mud, Donny was waiting up ahead. I
powered through sitting down to stop the back wheel from slipping, my
thighs were quickly burning from the lactic build-up. I managed through the
mud and just passed Donny who said "have you got a lower gear?", it would
have been better to ask if I had another pair of legs!

A few feet further on and I caught up with June and had to do a complete
dismount. After a few minutes to recover I looked around and it was clear
it was way too steep to attempt a remount, although June had managed it. I
walked maybe 200-300ft and felt it was a good time to have a go.

My first effort was a complete failure and resulted in my first injury of
the tour. My right foot with the double Look cleats, slipped off the pedal
and I came to an abrupt stop when the big chain ring hit my leg, causing a
neat line of greased piercings around my leg.

I decided the only way back was to mount facing downhill and turn when I
could. Since this was a single track road it wasn't going to be easy. Back
heading up the hill I zigzagged back and forward across the hill the keep a
forward motion. It went on forever and soon my knees were hurting as much
as my thighs were burning.

Finally after what must have been 15-20 mins of the hardest climb of my
life, I saw Donny once again waiting, I'd finally reached the top. [Memo to
self next year needs a triple chain ring!!] - the way back down should have
been fast, but the road surface was too rough and the corners too sharp and
many blind, so it was brakes all the way. We stopped 3/4 of the way down
(see picture-4) in front of an old mill or mine and we were soon done with
the hard road for the day.

Interesting was watching my heart rate for the climb. Clearly very tired,
I doubt I was able to get it much over 140bpm, not close to my 166 max. We
took a short detour to see the Armstrong Woods State Reserve and the giant
redwoods trees(see picture-5).

A short ride from there and we were in Duncan Mills base camp for tonight.
An excellent catered dinner was followed by the "talent, no talent show"
and some good late night laughs. How many is a Brazillian?

Stats for the day:
Ride Time: 4:20:34
Distance: 64.68
Cals: 6318
Max speed: 39
AVG speed: 14.78
Max HR: 147
Avg HR: 102
Elavation gain: 3650ft







this looks like the most amazing trip. i can't imagine where you get the stamina.
There's a name for that
"Back heading up the hill I zigzagged back and forward across the hill the keep a forward motion."
This is called paperboying the hill, as you're going back and forth like a paperboy delivering papers :D

Good job out there, and it sounds like a great time.