Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sunday Ride
Ran into my friend Peter at the pool yesterday and we discovered we were both planning to ride before the World Cup final at 11. So we made a plan and hooked up in Yountville for a most excellent 50-miler through the eastern hills (aka, Vaca Mountains). That's up Silverado Trail, east onto Sage Canyon, veering left at Chiles Pope Valley Road, then back over into the valley on the Ink Grade-Howell Mountain combo. Ink Grade tops out about 1,800 feet, so altogether we were over 3,000 feet in climbing. With Vineman three weeks off, it was just the ride I needed.

By the way, this was the second ride in four days with Peter. He and his family invited Niko and me to spend some time with them at a beach house they were renting in Santa Cruz. While the kids played on the beach on Thursday afternoon, Peter and I rode south and east through the foothills just in from the coast. Real nice 30-miler, marred only by the fact that a couple miles shy of home, my chain broke. Drats to that, but I fixed it Friday in San Jose (thanks for the help, Dad) and all is well.

Been on the bike a lot more the last three weeks and am definitely starting to feel stronger. I think I need one very long and hard ride and a couple more medium-long and hard rides before Vineman (well, before 10 days before Vineman, so I have time to taper a bit), and I may actually be able to do a sub-5:40 race.

Additional note on Santa Cruz: We busted into a 1996 Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse Willamette Valley for dinner Thursday night (with grilled wild salmon). Wow! Many, many layers of fruit and earthy/meaty flavors and aromas. Perfect balance and texture. Just killer Pinot. Besides Calera, does anyone in California even try to make Pinot that will taste like this 10 years down the road?

Kenwood update: Results finally posted. My official time was 43:54, and I finished in 78th place out of more than 600 runners. Woo-hoo for me!