Wednesday, October 19, 2011
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For today, everyone meets up on Rivera Rd in Vacaville for a ride out to Winters for lunch. There is ample parking; water and restrooms are available at the Pena Adobe Park during park hours.
We cross over I-80 and continue on Cherry Glen Rd to Pleasants Valley Rd. The terrain for the next 11+ miles through the Pleasants Valley area is flat to rolling with 3 short climbs. The beauty of the Vaca Mountains and the surrounding fertile land provides us with endless rolling scenery of farms, orchards, nurseries and ranches. There are plenty of horses and cattle grazing in the open fields; and wild turkeys can be seen everywhere!
Along the way, Wyatt and I get a flat on the tandem; we pull over and I just step aside. Too many hands make the situation more chaotic than neccessay! I take the time to enjoy the surroundings and take some pictures. Meanwhile, other club members roll by and some stop to observe and make jokes about the flat; all in fun of course! That’s part of the greatness of being around a diversified group of quick-witted folks-WE CAN ALL LAUGH AT EACH OTHER and not take offense! Life is good.
We’re back on the bike and continue on Pleasants Valley Rd to Putah Creek Rd. Some people are heading up to Solano Park for restrooms and or water. We bypass the stop at the lake and continue on to Winters. I can see that the road heading up to the lake has been repaved; it’s looks nice and smooth.
The next 5 miles to Winters is absolutely flat. We wind ride through the many fruit orchards and strawberry fields in this area. I can see and smell smoke in the air; there is a burning of field brush and crop ahead of us.
We arrive at our lunch stop in Winters; Steady Eddy’s. There is a bike rack and ample space to park all the bikes. You can purchase sandwiches and other deli type items along with hot and cold drinks inside. Water and restrooms are available inside the cafe. Restrooms are also available across the street at Rotary Park. It’s great to sit outdoors and bask in the warmth of the sun.
After lunch, we continue on Putah Creek Rd and make a series of turns through the orchards and farmland before taking Allendale to Timm. The terrain is mostly flat with a couple a short climbs on Peaceful Glen and English Hills.
Wyatt and I decide to do the variation of return and stay on Cantelow Rd. Two other tandems follow suit; Patrick & Grace and Adrian & Mary. The 2.5 mile climb up Cantelow is on a quiet single lane road with minimal to no traffic. There are a few homes, farms and ranches nestled amongst this beautiful country back road. This scenery and the surrounding landscape are simply wonderful! The steepest section of the climb comes when you approach the brown fencing to the right hand switchback. The gradient maxes out at 13% and you’re at the top when you see the guardrail and the sign with the yellow left turn arrow. Thankfully, it’s very short; just a little over a quarter of a mile!
The views of the valley below from the top of the ridge are spectacular! The descent is steep and fast with several blind turns; proceed with caution!
Cantelow Rd drops us down to Pleasants Valley Rd where we continue on for the next 3+ miles. We make a slight detour and follow Patrick and Grace to the Soul Food Farm. They come here on a regular basis to buy fresh organic eggs. What a treat! There is a small outdoor fridge where the beautifully colored eggs are kept; you help yourself and pay by the honor system. There is also a bin of fresh picked pears. The chickens are running around freely pecking and eating bugs and grass. They also have a very inviting lounge area where you can just sit and relax; what a simple pleasure!
The next few miles on Pleasants Valley takes us back to Cherry Glen and Rivera Rd.
Thanks to Carla and Virginia for leading the ride! It’s another great autumn ride with superb weather conditions.
Thanks to Patrick and Grace for leading us to the Soul Food Farm-what a gem of a find, who would’ve known that the egg farm is open to the public?
It was also great to see Barb H back on the bike and John on his new recumbant bike. They both looked very happy!
32 people in attendance with 4 tandems
44.36 miles with 1384′ of elevation gain
Weather: MARVELOUS! Sunshine, blue skies, slightly breezy with temps in the low to mid 70’s.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RIDE, RIDE & RIDE MORE!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thanks, Nancy. I always appreciate your photos and ride commentary. When I miss a ride, I look forward to the ‘vicarious’ ride. Less calorie-burn though. jim O’Melia