Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RTW - Day 11 - Ft. Bragg to Cloverdale, CA

76 miles, 4700 feet of climb (cumulative 734 miles, 42100 feet of climb)

Whereas most cyclists considered yesterday the more difficult ride in comparison to today, I had a much tougher time struggling up the final hills under hot sunny skies today.

We started with cold foggy conditions for the first hour out of Ft. Bragg. At mile 17 we left Route 1 for Route 128 and entered the Navarro River Redwood forest, where it was beautiful, quiet, clear, and still cold. Once emerging from the forest, around mile 30, we immediately entered the vineyards of Mendocino and Sonoma counties, and where the temperature immediately jumped 15 degrees and eventually got into the mid 80's. The last 25 miles featured a couple of steep 300 to 500 foot climbs where the altimeter reading on my Garmin did not increase as fast as I thought it should. Eventually though, the road headed back downhill into Cloverdale.

In the Navarro River Redwood Forest

At mile 39 we reached the half way point of our tour, at a fruit and produce store serving fantastic apple cider. I rode with Mark Koltz, Mark Weisbarth, and Jeff until the second SAG stop at mile 47 when Jeff and I went on ahead to Cloverdale. The wineries we passed included Roederer Estate, Handley Cellars, Goldeneye, Yorkville Vineyards, and Lone Oak.  (I have some of the Roederer Estate Brut at home and it's pretty good.)

The half way point at Gowan's Oak Tree fruit and produce store

One of the many vineyards in Mendocino County

Mike and Karen, disappearing into the distance
Jeff and I finished up with lunch in Cloverdale, as we had to wait for the luggage van to arrive at the hotel anyway. Others went to a frozen yogurt store down the block. A much more difficult ride for me today. Tomorrow is supposed to be 69 miles to Petaluma with less climbing than today. I'm hoping tomorrow turns out to be easier than today was.

Lunch with Jeff near the hotel in Cloverdale

Today's ride:

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