It’s called a fleche; that’s pronounced “flesh” hereabouts and means “arrow” in French and it’s a kind of long-distance, 24-hour, Easter-weekend bike ride. Traditionally, it’s supposed to be a long (minimum 360 kilometers/225 miles) point-to-point ride (thus the term arrow) involving a small team (ours is five people) with a fixed destination. In our case, the goal is Kezar Stadium in San Francisco; that’s obviously not 360 kilometers away, so we’re doing a long boomerang route: up north and east to near the town of Winters in Yolo County, then north and west into the Napa Valley and the town of Calistoga; then even further north into the northern reaches of Sonoma County to Healdsburg. From there, we’ll wend our way south to Santa Rosa and Petaluma then down to the Golden Gate Bridge and Kezar. The ride is designed to go all through the day and night. We’re supposed to leave Berkeley in an hour and 20 minutes and reach the finish line at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Easter.
One of the extra challenges: today is decidedly on the gloomy, moist side. Not rainy, so far; just moist. So — we won’t be staying dry. I’ll report back on how wet it gets.