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.

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