Saturday, August 27, 2011

sorry sonoma: how plans changed

Before I move on to talking about the events of our final days on the road, it's worth going back to explain how things went in wine country. Our original plan had been to stay in Napa our first night, then to bike to Sonoma our second day, stopping at wineries along the way, then spending the evening there. On our first day in Napa, it became clear that traveling around would be less than ideal. It's one thing to bike all day, but what became clear to me was that it would be impossible to be in both Bike Mode and Vacation Mode. It was well into the 90's in the Napa valley, the roads heading into the region had been terrible - we'd ridden on tiny shoulders and had even gotten off our bikes to lift them over barriers at one point - and it was hard to forget that the cars whizzing by were being driven by people who'd spent the better part of the day drinking wine. I may or may not have had a meltdown. Or series of meltdowns. This was not the carefree victory lap we'd been envisioning. Plans changed. We would spend two nights in Napa, in the town of St. Helena where we could walk to many wineries and bike 4 or so miles to others, and we'd forego Sonoma. It's good to have reason to come back though, right?

As I mentioned, that first day in Napa was tough for me. It was the problem of feeling like it was time time to celebrate but having to slog along on the heavy bike in the heat as usual. And for the first time I was self-conscious about being sweaty, having slimy hair, all that. Things got better once we decided to stay in one place, but we still had miles to ride, and, well, wines to taste. As we made our way up the Silverado Trail along the east edge of the valley, a few other cyclists passed us headed south. The last guy in the group shouted with no thought of concern. "YOU'RE DOIN' IT!" he said. Aaron said he thought it was weird. I, however, was brought to tears. More tears. Yup. We're doin' it.
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