Thursday, September 01, 2005

Sonoma Valley

Sunday Aug 28

I get a pretty good night of sleep. The temperature is perfect for camping, and it is cool to wake up overlooking the lake. We get to the race site and ride down to transition. I am pumped about the race, but bummed it is my last race of the season (I qualified for the Xterra USA Championships in Lake Tahoe, but have a conflict). As I am biking down a very steep gravel road to get to the transition area, my camel back swings off my bike, perfectly lodges into my front wheel, and launches me over my handlebars. I can’t be more pissed right now…I cut up my right hand really bad, and my left arm and left leg. I can’t believe this, all banged up before the race even starts….geez. Oh well, time to suck it up and be tough.

Race time. I get through the ¾ mile swim in about 18 minutes. Then we have a tough uphill ½ mile run to the transition area. Boy, I am happy to be on my bike. I start hammering up a mountain for a mile, passing a bunch of riders who have to walk. I drop into the singletrack in about 40th place (out of 130 racers). I have a good bike (ignoring the pain on my right hand), and come back into transition in 14th place overall. Now let’s see how the knee holds up for a very long, uphill run (finish line is at much higher elevation than the transition area). Not too good, 12 racers pass me on the run…very frustrating…especially with a short 3.5 mile trail run.

Race time: 2 hours, 10 min
Age Group place: 6th (26 overall)
Regional rank: Dropped to 7th place...NO GOOD!

After breaking down camp after the awards ceremony, we grab lunch in a cool little town called Healdsburg. There is tons of money in this town…must be all the wine money in the area.

Time to start hitting the vineyards. We catch 3 wine tastings (free) and have a great time. We pick up a few nice bottles for friends…as we tear around wine country looking for the best vineyards!

Saturday Aug 27

Well, it is a bummer leaving Lake Tahoe, but we have a really pretty drive in front of us. We head through Sacramento (nearly lose Andrea’s bike wheel off the top of the car…I am having flashbacks to mine bouncing down the interstate!!). About an hour later we cut up through Napa Valley wine country. It is beautiful, and a wine connoisseur could not even dream of a better place to be. There is a winery at least every quarter mile. No time for wine tastings today, we need to get up to Lake Sonoma to pre-ride the race course for the Xterra off-road tri tomorrow. Andrea and I get up to the race site, and the views are amazing. The lake is so beautiful (even though we are in the middle of nowhere). We head out to pre-ride the mountain bike section. The trail is a 5 mile loop, and pretty technical. I really like the course a lot, a good mix between technical riding and climbing. Andrea is getting a wake-up call intro to mountain biking…these roadies have no bike handling skills!!

There are tons of waterskiers and wakeboarders out on the lake, man, wish I could get some pulls!
We set up our campsite then go grab dinner with the Xterra rep, a pro rider, and a bunch of other racers. Awesome pasta dinner….energized for the big day! The stars are amazing tonight…nice not to have any light pollution!!


At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bring me some wine you donkey :-)


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