I love Tomales. When I had first started riding, Jason took me out to
Marin to do a ride starting outside Petaluma. We rode through
beautiful countryside, but I was still new and found distances longer
than 20 miles hard. We made our way over to Tomales where we stopped
at the Deli and ordered a chicken salad sandwich. I was relatively
new to Northern California, so I was completely stunned at how
fabulous this sandwich of chicken salad with roasted pecans was. I
looked around me in surprise, "where was I?" Why on earth would a
place in the middle of nowhere bother to make such a fabulous
sandwich? This sandwich wouldn't have occurred in the countryside in
Maryland. 8 years later, I am still stunned at how good the food is
at these out of the way places. The sandwich/hamburger/milk shake
stand on the beach in Stinson serves only organic beef and the
sandwiches are perfect. It's a stand on the beach. Jimtown store,
the store at Stewart's Point- what is going on? When on a bike, your
minimal needs are water, a snickers bar and a portajohn, but instead
you get these little stores that serve just fantastic food. -little
gourmet sandwich stops.
On a Duros west ride a couple of weeks ago (beautiful green
countryside, cute long eared pigs on I street) Michael Kahn convinced
us to go to a new diner in Petaluma. While at lunch, he stated that
he was thankful that he was able to find other people who were
interested in eating at these dives with him. I looked down at my
vegetable open-faced sandwich bathed with Monray sauce and thought,
"but I am eating fresh avocado."
The ride started with the standard oath, which we all immediately
broke by swarming like ants around 2 slowly moving large tracker
trailer trucks headed to a construction site. The views over the
bridge were pretty. I usually do not get to enjoy the bridge, but the
sun was up, so the views were more visible and the crowds were thinned
out so looking around was easier.
Unfortunately, as soon as we got off the bridge, I completely lost my
temper with Jason and started screaming at him. I felt bad for the
guy behind us. Jason's reaction was to think "Lisa's screaming at me,
I don't know who that guy is behind is, keep you head down, pay
attention to the cadence." I had been trying to tell Jason to go
around, rather than over an island in a road. Jason had no idea what
I was talking about and seemed to be getting angry with me for
bothering him when he was trying to captain the bike. I then got very
angry, since I felt like I was just offering a good suggestion and why
was he yelling at me for just trying to help. sigh. Jason and need
to get some sort of earphone system; we simply cannot hear each other
on the bike and this inability to hear leads to a lot of
misunderstandings. "Should we roll into here," he asks as we get to
the cheese factory. "Yes," I reply, thinking that we are about to go
stop. Instead he had asked if "we should roll here?" and so rolled on
past the last bathrooms for the next 30 miles. I was pretty cranky
for most of this ride.
The flat roll before White's hill is a perfect tandem stretch.
Unfortunately we ran into a large group at this section and had to
slow down by about 5 miles per hour, because they were going slower
than we wanted to go. Jason refused to pass them, because the group
was so large and he didn't want to lead out such a large group of
people. I was annoyed. No one slows down to ride behind us on a
hill. They certainly pass us when climbing, why won't he go ahead and
pass people on flats and descents? However, Jason did not want to
pass them and this situation continued for a few miles until White's
hill, which was a terrible climb. The group was very large, the
shoulder small, and the car traffic heavy. Instead of spreading out,
the group went up the hill at one speed. Climbing at another's speed
can be difficult. Being able to pick your own groove to work your way
up a longish hill is nice, but that was impossible in this situation.
No one could pass and we were all stuck struggling to go at the same
speed. Jason was struggling to keep the tandem from hitting anyone in
the close-packed and slow moving bunch. He spent most of the climb
backing off the pedals to prevent us running into the wheel ahead of
us. In the back, I killed myself mashing with all my might into too
large of a gear trying to keep up with the group and prevent falling
off pace, since no one could pass us. All in all, the climb was a
fairly annoying and, for me, exhausting experience. Jason was
hesitant to pass a large group on the descent off White's, too.
sigh. However, the situation improved on the golf course hill.
People were able to pass easily and we were quickly passed by most
people and the crowd fanned out, which was simply better. Having
everyone bunched up was an unpleasant way to ride and I was happy that
things were finally broken apart on the golf course. We rode for a
while with Willy Nevin, Becky Berka, some others and with a nice and
quite young man with a nice front rack.
We got our first flat on Bodega Avenue after the 7-11 Petaluma
control. I could not see that the tire was flat, but I felt that
something was wrong. I told everyone behind us to go ahead. We did
not need other people to stay with us, especially since they were all
going to drop us at the next hill anyway, so they might as well go
now. Becky, oddly enough, told Gabrielle that we had stopped because
"Lisa needs to pee." Gabrielle got dropped at the next hill and kept
hoping for the tandem to catch her and pull her until Valley Ford.
She, too, needed to pee and was eager to get to a porta-john in Valley
Ford. "She only needed to pee, that won't take long. Where are
they?" We never did catch her and we did not see her or Becky until
the end of the ride. Becky was, in fact, correct; I did need to pee,
but I waited until Valley ford, having missed my opportunity at the
cheese factory. The flat was caused by a large staple.
The second flat's cause was unclear, but it was a front flat which
felt scarily squirrely. We had that flat shortly before Nicasio.
I had an insane woman who come and talk to me in Fairfax. She did not
actually ask me to move my bike, but instead just came over and
informed me that the bike racks were over there (about 4 feet from
where I was) and that bike racks were places to rest bikes. -oddly
passive aggressive. I did not even respond to her. The bike rack she
pointed to already had a bike on it and there was not enough room for
the tandem. I was not even leaving the bike. I was standing by the
bike fussing with water bottles and route sheets. The sidewalk was
empty besides her and me. She stood staring at me until Jason and I
filled up our water bottles with coke and left. We were only there
for a few minutes. She seemed both angry at and scared of me. -very
Coke really is a wonderful solution.
We had been told to expect highs of 69-70 and so we both
underdressed. I was ok, but I would have preferred wearing an
undershirt and the start was colder than absolutely necessary.
We hung out at the end for a while chatting with Gabrielle, Mark H,
Pierce, Bruce. et al about how exhausted our legs were, which we all
deemed odd, since this ride was supposedly such an easy 200k. I
finally succumbed to shivering and we went home.
distance: 123 miles
riding time: 7:46
total time 9:17
ave rolling speed: 15.8
climbing: 6135 feet
number of patches on back replacement tube: 2
The seldom talked about third rock at Two Rock: 38.26905,-122.793819
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