Paula Smith’s birthday falls on the Festa della donne, 8 Marzo.
It’s the centenary, too. Ever hear of it?
This ebullient Sonoma painter invited me on a 56- miler accompanied by her husband Keith Howell and sister-in-law Pam Joliffe, all well-trained riders. For half the ride, we even had the (literally) great Art Read cleaving the wind for us.
Powered by pinhead oats (finally finished my supply from Scotland) and tea, I crisscrossed the Sonoma farmlands with this family trio, bagging many a “B” road (Blucher, Bloomfield, Burnside, Blackney) along the way. We yakked, and with the merest prodding from Keith, I even ‘did research’ on the ride, so that I would not be simply Playing Hooky from Powerpoint Presentation (due Saturday!).
Question: Why do YOU love bicycling?
I got unique and varied answers from Pam and Paula, but you’ll have to come to my talk to learn what they are. Hint: there are more reasons than I could count).
Weather promised to be gray, and changed its mind.
The tailwind we started with seemed to chase us the whole morning.
The animals were friendly.
The motorists, non-murderous.
We zigzagged for hours on Sonoma’s signature patchwork tarmac, firming our wobbly winter thighs, ruining our keyboard-exhausted wrists & hands, and tightening the bonds of friendship.