California here we are!
Incredible cascade of coincidences: a dozen of us riding out of Reno with a local guide, be-dreaded Joey Trujillo –pick up a pair of riders (who’d been riding the opposite direction but liked the way we waved and smiled so they reversed and followed us up Rte. 50 into the Sierras).
When Bryan heard they were from Lake Tahoe he exulted “Cool! Tahoe! Barbecue!”
Suddenly the guy–Reve Ramos–is on the phone with his wife, and directing her to load up at Costco on Bocaburgers, beef, and California sushi platters.
An hour passses by, and someone in our gang tells him about the Jacquie-over there on the left.
“You took my daughter Amber on a WOMBATS ride when she was ten years old. We thought it was a big deal, and still think you were very kind to include her in your women’s club”.
This, coming from a guy whose daughter had a pro career from age thirteen or so….the fast lane: contract, team support, jerseys, and possibly even that demon Pressure.
I didn’t ask.
I remember back then being impressed with her huge enthusiasm for riding, and her prodigious ability on a fat tire bike.
We rode over Spooner summit (and even visited Max & Patty Jones of Flume Bikes up there at the top of the pass, got to see the great Rick Kearns…aka Cheeseburger…who was racing with us.. I believe he was “old” then, and he hasn’t wizened a bit…) and pretty soon we were mowing through about a hundred bucks worth of lovingly prepared picnic food.
It took a cattle prod to get us up from the velvety green lawn to ride one more summit (Echo)…Jon Scarboro tried to get up but was paralyzed with cramp as soon as he tried.
In normal life, taking off one’s shoes or simply stretching out and lying down is merely mundane.
Once you’ve ridden a couple of months,the Peeling Off Of The Glued-On Shoes is no less than evidence that one lives a charmed life.
Well, the barbecue was a massive success.
The next day we rode a hard 95 miles out of the Sierra on scary route 50, and onto the legndary American River Bike Path…and today a very MELLOW 67 miles from Sacramento’s International Hostel to the windy wasteland of Vallejo… magic facilitated by the considerate, generous and very avid bike advocate John Hess of Davis, CA. He gave us the Davis Bike Route map and pointed out a nearly car-free route.
All hands were on board, too bad none of us seemed to remember to let the boss-man know….
Pleasants Valley road will go down in my scrapbook of epic, quiet, classic gold-grass’d California paysages…
I’m still on a cloud.