On Saturday I rode the SF Randonneurs 200K from Hercules to Winters & back, with V and Mel.
It rained overnight and more rain was predicted. I thought of bringing Pokey w fenders but I hadn't ridden him in ages & I had no time this week to check him out. So Dusty it was. Turns out we were sprinkled on only a little and the wet roads dried out by late morning. I was awfully grubby though, and Dusty is a mess. So it goes.
I had a great day. I was feeling very good and I (almost) never had those negative thoughts that plague me on long rides. Many of the roads we followed I'd ridden on at one time or another, so it was nice to go though sort of familiar territory. I did lots of rides with Sarah & Bill out this way, and they were in my thoughts a lot but luckily, SK's singing wasn't. We even went along much of the same route SK and I rode for the Jelly Belly ride, a training ride we volunteered to help lead many moons ago (which was memorable in an oh-my-gawd-can-you-believe-that sort of way ...).
It was one of those days when big ominous rain clouds would pass overhead but then be gone before they actually dumped on us. When the sun came out it was clear as glass, and the many vineyards we passed were starting to develop their fall colors. The repaved Wooden Valley Road was an absolute joy. Cruising along Wooden Valley with a big silly grin on my face, I couldn't help but marvel at how fortunate I am to be a cyclist living in the Bay Area.
The only big blah was after the penultimate checkpoint, when we were hit with the brunt of the afternoon post-storm wind as we were heading along the Carquinez Straight. Lake Herman Road was an absolute bear - generally uphill and full face into the wind. Gaaaaah. After the Lake Herman torture fest the four of us (me, Mel, V and Andrew) kindof-sortof stuck together and managed a paceline of sorts before the bridge thru Vallejo and after the bridge thru Rodeo.
But we finished, and all was well. I was DFL but so what, I felt great and it wasn't all that late - at least I didn't need the lights I brought :D
I'm really happy that I finally seem to be getting into the long distance groove. Three down!