Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sacramento, CA: Day's One & Two

I'm not really sure why I decided to fly out to Sacramento this fall - other than my friend Deb mentioned this very popular century the weekend of October 17th and just said "hey, why don't you come out and do the ride??".  I procrastinated a while on registering for the century (Foxy's Fall Century), eventually registered and then it was....ok, I'm registered so I guess I had better see about getting a flight out there.

Tickets for the flight were purchased and I the rental car reserved...I packed Sunday evening, knowing that I always like to unpack and repack again...I'll usually decide to leave items or find out that I need something else when I do this.  Tuesday evening was the unpack/repack night and I was also like a little kid waiting on that big vacation, meaning I wasn't very sleepy.  I finally went to bed around 1:30am, but getting back up at 3:30am to shower and get ready to leave for the airport 4:20am.

Day One: 
Yuck.  It was raining Tuesday evening, rained all night, raining Wednesday morning as I drove to RDU to catch my flight.  Arrived at the Park 'n Ride lot around 4:50am, caught the shuttle to the airport, checked my bag and then waited in line to go through security.  It was now around 5:30-5:40am and my flight was to take off at 6am (sorta long line to wait in too).  Once I finally made it through security, I did the fast walk to get to my gate and on the plane.  Window seat on an exit row....I like that, more leg room.   I was pretty tired/sleepy at this point (only 2hr of sleep) and all I remember about the flight is taking off and landing in Atlanta.  It was raining in Atlanta too.

I had to find some food before I did anything else - I was pretty hungry.  My next flight was scheduled to take off at 8:25am, we arrived at 7:35am - so I didn't have a lot of time to search out food.  Ended up eating a spicy chicken sandwich, fries & diet Coke for breakfast.  Another fast walk to catch the next flight, Exit Row/window seat again. 4:48hr flight...slept for about 2-2.5hr, probably somewhere in the middle of the flight and was awake for the last part of the flight. Interesting fact during the flight....Captain told us that we were passing over Winslow, Arizona....a particular song came to mind...

Landed in Sacramento around 10:45am (1:45 NC time), picked up my luggage, got a ride to the rental car agency, picked up the car and headed towards Vacaville, CA.  Finally made it to Deb's house around 12pm (had to stop for a drink & some food and a restroom break - I never use the restroom on these long flights...).

After meetin' 'n greetin' both Deb & Chris, getting my stuff to my room, meeting the doggies, they made a grocery list for the next few days and we all went to the store for food.  Pizza was on the menu for Wednesday night...OMG...Chris can cook!!!  This pizza was great!!  Sausage, stir-fried Italian veggies, fresh mozzarella, basil, parmesean...delicious!!!  Rounded out the meal with a few glasses of wine.  I'm not much of a wine drinker, but so far, I've really enjoyed what I've had.

Deb also made some very good Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.  I'm coming home with that recipe. :)  We had a few of those for dessert.  That's about it for Day One...I think I finally went to bed around midnight (CA time) and didn't hear a thing all night long.

Day Two:
Well, I slept great last night! Finally went to bed around 12-12:30am (CA time) and slept till 7 or 8am. Felt pretty good when I woke up. Looked out the window after a bit to discover there were wet roads, slight rain/overcast conditions. Uh oh. We had a 30-something mile ride planned for today and we weren't going to let a little bit of rain stop us!!! The plan was to meet Scotty in downtown Vacaville and then head out on the ride.

It's about a 2-2.5mi ride from Deb's house to the meeting place - this would provide a nice little warm-up...I think I brought the Rain Fairy and the Flat Fairy with me from NC! About 10min into the ride, I had a rear flat. No biggie, Chris fixed it in no time. Met Scotty and we head out - into a bit more than a drizzle. Oh well. I didn't fly all the way out here to not ride and a little water, hopefully, wouldn't cause me to melt too much (you know, since I'm all sugar & spice).

Very nice route we took this morning, mostly flat but with a few rollers thrown in - pretty much like riding in the Clayton/Wendell/Zebulon area. It's very pretty out here, a big contrast to the San Diego area where I visited last year. We saw lots of wild turkeys, walnut trees, peaches & apricot trees (farms really), pomegranate & olive trees. 

I didn't take too many pictures after meeting Scotty because it started to rain a bit more heavily, didn't want to get the camera all wet, and I was trying to keep out of the spray from the tandem.  Not really a safe time for picture taking.  I did go back later in the afternoon and drive the route so I could have a few pictures from the route.  I also drove up Mix Canyon Rd, which is a narrow route to the top of Mix Canyon.  Wow.  I think I could make it up to, maybe, just maybe 3 miles, but after that??  I'm not too sure I could go further than that.  It is VERY steep after that point.  Took a few pictures as I drove up to the top....

Well, after about an hour or so into the ride, the Rain Fairy left us, but the Flat Fairy was in no way done with us.  After the first flat at the start of the ride, I had 3 more rear flats with the last one coming as we were HAULING it down the service road of the 505.  I have no idea how fast we were going, but I was tucked in behind Deb & Chris (on the tandem) and we were really rolling.  Next thing I know, I hear the "whomp-whomp" of the rear tire going flat AGAIN.  Damnit.  Oh well, Chris get's this one fixed, but is out of CO2 and gets it pumped up enough with the pump well enough to get us back to the house.

Finally back home, we're standing around in the driveway chatting and I hear the sound of air being released...damn.  I look at the bike and it's the front tire that has now gone flat!  That makes 5 flats for the day.  I sure do hope the Flat Fairy feels like her work has been done for this trip!  No more flats please!!! 

Pics from the ride:
The neighborhood where Deb & Chris live:

Chris & Deb

Mr RR, me, & Scotty (why didn't anyone tell me my glasses were all cock-eyed?):

I think this was the 2nd AND 3rd flat.  Repaired the first flat, put the wheel back on and immediately had another flat (patch failed)

The next pictures are from my drive in the afternoon:

From very near the top of Mix Canyon:

A sampling of the very abundant wild turkeys in the area:


After my drive, I arrived back at Deb's home around 5:30-6pm,  we hung out for a little bit, then Chris fixed Teriyaki Scallops with fresh veggies and a wild rice blend.  OMG...yummy. 
So, that was pretty much the day....a little bit of Foo surfin, writing up the days events and then off to bed around 11pm (I think)....

OK....up next will be Day Three, which will include another bike ride and a little Pre-ride par-tay at Deb & Chris's.....

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