Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Free at last

Last week was vacation week, so we traveled down to Paso Robles for a wine country, coastal, bike ride spectacular.

Day 1 - A loop through the vineyards west of the town. Sunny and 70's. We stop at four different wineries for a tasting, because hydration is important. It seems flat, which makes the total ascent at the end of the day is surprising. We see a big tarantula walking down the center of the road. By the way, Justin Vineyards makes some rather amazing dessert wines, and we don't even like dessert wines.

Day 2 - We leave Paso, climb over a small pass, and down to Cambria. We end up climbing around 3500 feet for the day. Rain begins to hit us as we descend, and is full bore by dinner time. The clouds over the ocean look dark; the prospects for the next day are not looking good. We have our hotel room on the ocean, but its going to be a fireplace night for sure.

Day 3 - Wet, wet, wet. The original plan is to ride the hills above Cambria to Cayucos, but the clouds are low and covering everything. We ditch this idea and ride down the coast instead. Our B&B in Cayucos is fantabulous. We walk the beach as the rain slows. We eat dinner at a place that looks like a scary Skippers from the outside, and have some unbelievably good food. Seriously, we decide we're done with Cambria for all future trips and will go here instead.

Day 4 - Sunshine. We ride from Cayucos back to Paso via Santa Rita Road, an unpaved single lane road that climbs over the hills and spits us back into wine country. Because of the rain the past two days, the sandy surface is heavy, and riding through it feels like the brakes are rubbing the rims. We summit, have a wild descent down the other side, and are eating lunch by 12:30, with 40 miles in the bag. A post lunch ride through more vineyards keeps us awake; the evening hot tub does not.

Day 5 - A no ride day. We go to Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, and Pismo Beach. I have a wife that likes beaches.

Day 6 - The Templeton Wine & Roses Bike ride. We do the 50 mile route, and its a nice one. Great roads, temperatures and NO traffic. Which is hard to believe on a Saturday in wine country. Sunny and 85. This is a good event, with BBQ and wine tasting at the end. We do not get passed much, but a guy on a recumbent flies past us at one point at an impressive pace. Those geometry teachers are fast. After lunch, we come back home.

Back to work. Next week - Off to Switzerland.