Day 2, Friday, July 16, 2010

After a good meal, and a decent night sleep in Santa Nella, I woke up at 4:45 AM. I felt a little dehydrated still, a little hungry, and eager to get back on the bike. It was still dark out though. Since Molly and Kendall were sleeping still I went over and talked to the guy at check in. He was watching history channel, so we talked some history, heritage, family, weather, etc. I’m not one to strike up much conversation, but the guy was a talker so I listened. I find it rather intriguing sometimes to talk to people that are very different than me. Anyway, Molly got up by 5:30 and visited with me as I had some coffee and breakfast. Then I got ready for my ride and was out the door at 6:10 AM.

My route I had planned the night before, using google maps and their bike route function. I planned on riding from Santa Nella out to Stockton. The route looked rural and probably pretty flat. I made some changes on the google map because it seemed to make some strange detours. I would find out later that there was a reason for those detours. Some of the roads weren’t really roads you would want to ride on. I learned that “Industrial Road” wasn’t really the name of the road, but more of a description. Anyway, the route was good, but I got a little screwed up towards the end. Fortunately with a few phone calls to Molly I was able to meet up with her at a decent spot that wasn’t too out of the way for either of us. I got 65 miles of riding in, and missed about an hour in the truck.

Above is the route I did. The route proved to be rather flat, great roads, and very few cars. I saw many people getting ready to work in the fields that readily returned a wave. I didn’t see a single other cyclist while I was out there, but it was Friday. I definitely felt a bit behind on fluids from the day before, and my legs wouldn’t generate much power again, and also had that general achy feeling as if they wanted to cramp up. The temperature was in the 80’s so still warmer than I’m used to, but much cooler than Thursday.

A couple interesting things happened when I was out there. First, I had three encounters with dogs. The first was a farm dog that looked like he was ready to eat me. Fortunately he was slowed by some irrigation ditches that he had to hurdle. My power spiked up for an instant and I was out of there before he had a chance. The next dog scared the crap out of me. He was lying in the shade next to the road, so I didn’t see him until I was right there. First I heard a snort, and I looked to see if there was a pig, but then instant sharp barking right at my heels. I jumped, then realized it was just a daschund, so I don’t think he was ever much of a threat. The last dog wanted to be fierce, but he was just a yellow lab pup that was more playful than frightening.

The next thing I experienced that I thought was very interesting was I escorted by two sparrows. Just as dolphins swim at the bow of a ship, these two sparrows were keeping pace with me (about 18 mph) and just a foot in front of and on either side of my wheel. They stayed with me for about ¼ mile, and I had to go back there because I was trying to figure out the “Industrial Road”, and these two sparrows came back and escorted me again.

The final thing that happened was a swarm of bees that were pelting me. I don’t know how I didn’t get stung, but for about a half mile the bees were very thick, and kept pelting me. I tried to keep a small profile (yeah right!), kept my mouth shut, and eyes squinted, and avoided being stung.

Above is my mean max power for this ride. Still pretty low effort, but was actually more than the day before when the temperature was 20 degrees higher.

After getting picked up in Stockton, we had some lunch and then continued on to Sacramento. We dropped Kendall off with grandparents, and then were off to Sonoma. We are staying in Sonoma with Molly’s brother and his wife and then running the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon on Sunday. We arrived at the house we are renting, which is a beautiful place in the hills just above Sonoma Square. Here is a shot of the view we have:

 

Since it was about 3:30 PM when we arrived, Molly and I went for a nice run down in Sonoma.

The run was about 5.5 miles, and it was in the high 80’s. It felt hot, so felt that I was doing more heat training, and getting more dehydrated.

A great dinner followed, and making pre-race day plans…

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