June 5 dawned fogless and warm and beautiful.
11 riders and 11 bikes showed up and Shari’s. The fearless road captain started the paperwork. Soon our trusty membership director showed up and took over, and then even the Prez arrived, announcing that Utah was just not enough miles for her and trusty steed.
9 were members, the 10th was a non-member wanting to ride with the group, and also suffered a bike that wouldn’t start. We won’t say what kind, but it’s initials resembled HD if you squinted a little. The fearless road captain was asked to assist and his mere presence caused the gremlin to flee, and the bike operated the rest of the day without a problem.
We will mention that the 11th rider was on a phone call and was going to make the safety meeting start late so the fearless road captain approached only to find this rider had come to Shari’s for breakfast and had no association with us and was just talking goo goo to his girl before riding.
The band of 10 headed out Pressley Rd past Crane Creek Regional Park where folks were busy playing frisbee golf. We wound our way out and over to Warm Springs Rd and at Kenwood cut back towards town and then over St. Helena Mountain Rd. This road is rough, potholes, cracked, tar snakes, narrow, no shoulder, road hazards including a large branch blocking our entire lane, and the center of last years Glass fire and has a couple of construction stops, so of course the entire road was strung out with cyclists who thought this the perfect place to spend the day slow peddling, and then the cars afraid to pass the cyclists and so our merry band wound along in first gear for far too long. The fearless Road Captain may or may not have tooted his horn at one slow car, and gained us clear passage the rest of the way.
We lost one rider who had back spasms and chose not to ride the bumpy St. Helena Mountain Rd. He went on a solo ride towards home and then remembered drugs (er…pain pills) in his pocket, and after partaking, felt much better and was waiting for us at the lunch stop.
We lost another rider who left us at Calistoga due to recovery of shoulder surgery and was nearing his limit.
Calistoga rest stop at Pioneer park was a bustling Farmer’s market, and as much as the ladies may have wanted to park and spend the day, they managed to stay in the saddle and the AM/PM became our first stop. The fearless Road Captain doesn’t like the traffic conditions for group safety at this stop, but all managed the left turn and headed out Franz Valley School and into Healdsburg. Lunchtime was looming and a decision was made inside the Fearless Road Captains helmet, meeting of one, all voted aye, to skip Geyserville and Dry Creek and head straight to Stumptown via Westside Road. All agreed Westside Rd had great pavement. Arrival about 12:30
The food at Stumptown was great – we saw housemade smoked brisket, chili dogs, chicken strips, bacon burgers, and everything in between. Many members had not been there before and the back deck overlooking the river was a great view to have lunch on. The official ride ended here and everyone dispersed except the Fearless Road Captain and one rider who shared the road through pocket canyon and out towards Graton, where with a final toot of the horn all riders were separated to enjoy the rest of the gorgeous California day.
And one final note that may become noteworthy as the summer progresses. Today was a smoke free day!!!!
Your Fearless Road Captain – Daryl
Click the Google Photos Image to open the Ride Album in Google Photos