One of the downsides to bicycle training in Sacramento, is that most riding here is pancake flat. Hills simply don’t exist here, and if one wants to train on hills, you have to find them elsewhere. With only ten weeks until the start of NorCal AIDS Cycle 2012, getting complete training is a priority. With that in mind, I’ve been making the effort to get out of the flatland into the hills as much as possible.
Two NCAC training rides in February helped out with that a lot. The first was a ride from Gold River up to Beals Point at Folsom Lake… the second from the cycling crazed town of Winters up into the hills between there and Vacaville. Both were great days on the bike with excellent friends and fellow NCAC riders. The Winters ride even included SAG support and a rest stop.
Every February, I travel to Healdsburg in beautiful Sonoma County to attend our Diocesan Clergy Conference at the Bishop’s Ranch. While I am not clergy, there is music for worship in the mornings and evenings, which is why I attend this each year. The best part is, that I have most of the day free for cycling. Sonoma County is a world-class cycling destination with hills aplenty, which is just what I need. On Monday of the conference I arrived early, and did a lovely 47km loop up the Dry Creek Valley. This is definitely a wine-lovers ride, with the route passing dozens of wineries and vineyards along the way.
On Tuesday morning, the weather was still looking decent, so I did a more challenging loop ride of 55km, taking in Guerneville, Armstrong Redwoods State Park, Pocket Canyon, and Forestville, before heading back to the Bishops Ranch. And hills there were, with a couple of thousand feet of cumulative climbing. And what gorgeous scenery with Redwood Forests, the Russian River, and more vineyards and wineries. February turned out to be a GREAT month for training, and I’m feeling on-track going into March.
With only ten weeks to the ride, fund-raising weighs heavily on my mind, as it does for most participants. My donations are fairly well on track at the moment, with my current total at nearly the $2,000 level. But I still have a long way to go to reach my goal of $5,000! To help things along, I’m doing a benefit organ concert at Trinity Cathedral on Sunday, March 11th at 4:00 pm. This will be a fun afternoon of music making, and will be accessible to all listeners, including those who might think that they won’t like classical pipe organ music! I hope many of you will come and join me on Sunday afternoon. Not only will the proceeds benefit NCAC, but further opportunities to make donations to the ride will be made available!
Ok… enough talk. Back onto the bike. 330 miles is a long way, and I have training to do!