Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Early Morning Ride
Hit the road for a 20-miler at dawn. Monday afternoon Niko and I were out playing in 80 degree weather. Summer! Then yesterday a cool air mass swooped in and it felt like, well, April. This morning, clear and calm, was downright wintry.

Don't know what the temperature was, but in Napa in April it's easy to figure out if the mercury is nearing 32F: Vineyards have their frost-protection going. Such was the case today. Not everywhere; but definitely in the spots where colder air settles. Lots of wind machines were fired up. At points, you'd have thought we were on a tarmac with several prop planes preparing to take off. Other vineyards were guarding against damage to the young buds by running overhead sprinklers; the droplets of water on the vine release heat when they reach 32 degrees and begin to freeze. Then they thaw as new water arrives. The subsequent freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw process can keep the plant safe even if the ambient temperature falls to around 28 degrees.

Ninety minutes into the ride -- nearing its end -- the sun was up and strong. Damn, I thought; I wish I could ride NOW! But the workday beckoned.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Poppies Under Bridge
A year or so ago they opened a new bridge over the Napa River at the south end of town. The old Maxwell Bridge was a green, steel two-lane drawbridge that bottled up traffic. The new four-lane, divided bridge first seemed too big, out of scale. But I think it's grown on people and now seems just fine. Kind of elegant. And in the spring, there are poppies under it.
Free Day
So Niko and I arrive at school a minute or two early this morning and the place is quiet. Too quiet. There are, like, no cars parked out front (OK, maybe one) and a bunch of cars parked in the back on the playground, where cars are never parked. Quiet. No kids running around. Hmm. We go his classroom to put his lunch in the cloakroom and there we are met by Judy the teacher: "No class today -- teacher work day."

OK. What to do? Ride the bike! Run! Stumble upon a bunch of other Sunrise kids at Kennedy Park! Bike some more! Play with Rory! Have a big lunch at First Squeeze!

Good day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Gravity at Work

This is one of my favorite trails for doing hill repeats. At the top, there's a trail that loops gently around to the bottom of the hill. A minute up hard, two minutes easy back around for more. Seven or eight of these pretty much does me in. Niko prefers going down the hill. Fast.