After the long hot ride of day 3 from the Sierra’s across the Sacramento Valley to the foothills, we woke to a nice cool morning…. another beautiful day for a ride. After breakfast we got on our bikes and started out….
I should point out that that first ‘sit’ on the saddle in the morning had been quite painful – morning 2, morning 3 even worse… morning 4, today perhaps a tad better. After a mile or two of shifting and adjusting thing got to be okay. This day like the previous started with a hill…. a big one. For the first part Clay stayed with me and then Clay spotted other riders… so off he went to chase them down. Funny thing is that this time I chased them down as well. I did not stay with Clay, but one by one I was catching other riders going up the hill. After a few days on the legs I found I could alternate episodes of standing with sitting to get up hills. Not only was this quicker, it was easier on my legs as it alternated the use of the muscles.
As you can see from the profile, that first double hill was not the end of climbing for this day. We went up and down past Lake Berryessa, through vineyards on country roads making our way towards Calistoga.
The large hill in the 2nd half was called the Ink Grade. Half way up the grade was our 2nd rest stop of the day. It was the home of the owner of Cliff Bars. They had an awesome yard and pool.
Most of the riders sat and dangled their feet in the pool…. I had other ideas:
Some riders expressed concern for me, upon getting my riding shorts wet, but afterwards, I suffered no ill effects…. and the cool water was awesome!
Afterwards we finished the climb and then cruised into Calistoga. This is the only stop where we did not camp. Clay and I shared a room at the Best Western, we enjoyed the pool, good internet access and a nice dinner at a Mexican Restaurant.