Saturday, April 03, 2010

Pictures from a Ride

Last fall, as I got ready for an epic cycling adventure in Sonoma County, I paid a lot of attention to recording the visual grandeur of the ride. It was the most physically challenging course I had ever undertaken, but as it drew near I saw it would also showcase some of the most breathtaking landscape I had been through on two wheels.

This spring, as I work my body into shape for a ride a wee bit longer but with not quite so much climbing, I am focusing more on training the legs, lungs and heart how to get the job done, and less on visual documentation. The ride should look nice enough, but last fall’s scenery set a high bar.

Having said that, I do often have a camera along when I ride, and when the time and framing are right, I can stop and capture a moment. This weekend I rode a 30-mile hunk of the course I’m hoping to cover in late April—the hardest 30 miles—and as I whizzed through the new landscape I grabbed a few impressions.

The picture at the top, and this one, are from Pope Valley, at my turnaround point. My jaunt began in Sonoma Valley, went up over a ridge and down into Napa Valley, across Napa, then up over another ridge and down into Pope Valley. Then I turned around and rode the same course—up, down, across, up, down—back to the car. In April I’ll tackle these roads in only one direction, but a goal for the weekend was to get to know the course, so I rode both ways.

Pond near Conn Creek, from Howell Mountain Road, east of Napa Valley

Looking southwest across Napa Valley near St. Helena

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