Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tour of Napa Valley 2008

The Tour of Napa Valley rocked my world in a fabolous way, quite inspiring. Rode up a road called Ink Grade, and I daresay it changed my life. Felt like a Faulkner novel, perhaps As I Lay Dying, with the landscape reflecting people I know, changing perceptions of time & pain. Quintan was a super team player, above & beyond the call of good sportsmanship. Looking at the elevation profile from his GPS unit, shown above, you can see where he rode back down at the top of each of the two major summits to see what was taking me so long. The first big climb was Mount Veeder, and the second one was Ink Grade. Very awesome ride overall. They had a bagpipe player at the top of Mount Veeder, a violin player at the 2nd rest stop, and a Cajun band at the end. Also, the food was right on and delicious.

My computer hasn't had batteries all this riding season, but ever since I did a training ride in the White Mountains last July I have a new way of judging my velocity. During that training ride, where I'd started in Big Pine (3,500' above MSL) and rode to Grand View Campground in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (~9,000), the ride down got tremulous as all get out, and somewhere half-way down the descent I thought to myself "wow, these rocks & bushes are moving by at an astounding rate", after which I got a small case of the giggles. When that happens I'm going about 40-mph or so, and it happened again during this ride, and was no less hilarious.

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