Thursday, September 13, 2012

Behind the SAG van doors

Wednesday Sept 12, 2012  Ft. Bragg to Cloverdale California

Thank you Barb Soley for today's blog title.

I didn't ride today so I spent the day in the van with Barb Munk and another rider, Cindy from Colorado.  I was cranky at not being able to ride but they made my day enjoyable and it was nice getting to know them both.  My "crotch" issues are still going on so I might take tomorrow off too.  I'm going to try to sit on my bike seat in the morning and make a game time decision.  A couple of experienced riders have suggested 2 pairs of shorts so I'll try that.  I really want to be able to ride into San Francisco on Friday so that's my focus right now...if that means staying in the van another day I will.

Life in the van is not easy.  Barb has a big responsibility driving the van and hauling that big ABB trailer behind.  It's certainly not like driving a sports car, any resemblance to a Porsche is purely coincidental but she handles the van as if it were one.  The roads are far from wide and given that there are 26 ABB riders out there, I think she handles the job amazingly well.  It's also amazing to me that between Barb and whomever is driving the white van, they know where everyone is at all times and who needs help.  I also got a few insights into life on the road...ABB rider romances, divorces and family dynamics...but what happens in the van stays in the van.

We started the day in foggy conditions and it was quite cool until after the first SAG.  The first SAG was in a park and Barb showed me this beautiful tree canopy in this picture.
Amazing Redwoods
After we left the SAG, we went from Redwoods to Red Wines. Hello wine country.  Like 2 miles after we exited the Redwood forest, there we were among lush golden brown hills.  The temperature must have gone up about 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the time it took the cyclists to ride 2 miles.  I've never been to this part of California and was amazed at the number of vineyards lining the hills.  Here is a picture Mark took today of Joe riding beside one of the many vineyards.

We made our way fairly quickly to the 2nd SAG where we parked by the side of the road.  We were parked across from the quintessential California organic store...guy behind the counter with bad facial hair and a bad gray braid...uneven wood floor and a 60 year old wall fridge stocked with the latest in organic bottled water brands like "Fiji".  They did have a nice prepared foods counter where I bought some really good slaw with peanuts.  Just because I'm not riding doesn't mean I can't eat!!!  

I'm hoping I can ride tomorrow, it will be the first day in a while without a lot of climbing.  If not tomorrow, Friday at the latest.  Tomorrow is Petaluma California.  Mark says it's the home of the ABC Wide World of Sports wrist wrestling capital of the world.  Should be special.

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