Today’s Ride

Today’s ride: A “classic” loop route, from Yountville, just north of Napa, up the east side of the valley and across the hills at a low point, then up to a couple little valleys to the east, then back west over the hills at a much higher point, then a plunge back to the east side of the Napa Valley and back to Yountville. Cool-ish weather the last couple of days tricked me into wearing a long-sleeve jersey. It wasn’t needed. The weather was warm and sunny from beginning to end.

The companions today: a writer and a carpenter in their later 50s and an electrical engineer who is 71. Yeah — 71. I was shocked, as he looked to be of an age with all of us 50-somethings. He was pretty strong and fast, too. Not to tempt the fates or furies, but f that’s what’s waiting for me in 18 years, I’ll be fine with it.

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On the Bike: Ink Grade


My friends Pete Danko (nearer the camera) and David Darlington (up ahead) during a ride we took Saturday from Yountville (just north of Napa), into the hills east of the Napa Valley up to Pope Valley, then back over the hills to the Napa Valley near Oakville. In the picture, we’re going up Ink Grade on our return–a mostly gentle, narrow, winding, shaded climb with virtually no traffic. We’ve done this ride together before, but yesterday we went out so Dave could take pictures for a Napa Valley cycling article he wrote for Wine and Spirits magazine; Pete and I got to star in lots of pictures (though it’s unclear if any of them will be published, because I think he found some more comely cyclist/models late in the ride). Stopping often to take pictures made us really take it easy for most of the day, which was a great change from my usual “I’ve got to cover X miles today” approach to riding.

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