30 Days of Biking officially comes to an end today but, of course, I will keep on riding, just probably not every single day. Thanks to all those who shared in the fun and gave me encouragement. Compared to last April, it's been a good month for road biking with less snow and warmer temperatures. This week has seen perfect riding weather.
Today began with a ride to yoga class on the Bob Jackson 3-speed and a short stop at Shues Pond afterward.
In the afternoon, it was once again our standard favorite ride to Spring Lake and beyond, today, on my carbon bike, the Bottecchia.
I love the carbon "wing" bars on this bike that are molded to more comfortably fit the hand than a round bar and with a wide flat section on the corners that helps relieve pressure points.
And the drop on these bars is also very comfortable, with an ergonomic bend and shape that I find more comfortable than a traditional alloy drop bar.
For the last few days Mike has been riding his Ritchey take-apart bike. This is the bike he took on our trip to Italy in 2007. The frame was originally a very drab, battle-ship gray color with dull maroon accents. Mike had it repainted by Matt Assenmacher who also made some modifications to the frame so it could run sidepull brakes instead of cantilevers.
The flashy red and white paint job duplicates the Ritchey Swiss Cross paint job on the bike Ritchey created to celebrate his winning cyclocross team.
The frame is unique in that it comes apart in two pieces, the front triangle and the rear triangle, at the seat lug and near the bottom bracket.
The seatpost, clamped in two places, secures the seat tube and top tube together.
A clamp near the bottom bracket secures two flanges on the down tube.
To dress up the bike a bit more, Mike had Jon Williams of Drillium Revival do some custom milling (similar to engraving) on the seatpost and crank arms.
Every month throughout the year, for at least the past four to five years and maybe longer, on a Wednesday evening in the Cable-Hayward area, there is an event called "Girl's Night Out" (GNO). Organized and promoted by a local woman in the community who has a lot of connections, the event attracts varying numbers of women, anywhere from 10 to 100, depending on the venue and time of year.
This month's GNO, held this evening, was at Pine Brook Farm. Iras and I decided to attend and make it a ride destination. We left Hayward at 3:30 in the afternoon and arrived at Pine Brook Farm by 6:30, a 3-hour 30-mile ride, all on backroads, that included a few stops along the way for photographs.
As seen on the above map, the route we took from Rainbow Road (upper right) was as follows: County E to Town Hall Rd to Main Rd to Bass Lake Rd to Cty M to Edgerton, around Spring Lake, to Willers to Chappell.
Chappell Rd becomes 8th St after it crosses Cty E and has some steep but short climbs. Once you reach Cty A, it's less than two miles to Pine Brook Farm.
Charlie accompanied us part of the way and took a few photos for us. We told him he could crash the party but he declined.
It was a glorious evening for a ride, with beautiful light and just the right temperature to not overheat on the uphills nor feel chilled on the downhills. And we traversed plenty of hills.
We enjoyed delicious hors d'oeuvres provided by Pine Brook Farm and a glass of wine once we arrived. At about 8 p.m., as the sun was setting, Mike arrived to chauffeur us and our bikes home as our plan was to ride only one way.
Thanks for the ride, Iras!
A final note for today's post--a year ago today this is what my ride looked like:
My afternoon ride was, once again, to Spring Lake along County E and then Williams Road to Highline. I love this ride for several reasons: it's one of the few routes that has views of lakes and ponds much of the way and Williams Road is one of the sweetest roads around--it's quiet and winding, with ups and downs.
Plus, we often see wildlife along this route, like Great Blue Herons, river otters, and Painted Turtles. Today, we saw a total of 20 Painted Turtles sunning themselves on logs on two different ponds. It's difficult to get a photo of them because they spook very easily but today I was successful. I love Painted Turtles!
So many roads in this area are Dead Ends, usually because they end at a lake. But some of those supposed dead ends, when you view them on Google maps in terrain view, appear to continue and not end. Today I decided to explore one of those roads and ride it to its dead end as I had only ridden part of it before. The paved portion continued for at least a mile or two and then the road turned to dirt.
And then the dirt road narrowed to a double track trail used by ATVs...
In terrain view on Google maps, it appears that the road on the right continues and then makes a 90-degree turn to the left, but if one looks closer there really isn't a bona fide road on the map past a certain point.
I was riding my Bike Friday with 1 3/8" tires so the packed dirt road presented no problem to ride. But once I reached the double track I encountered sandy sections that were difficult to negotiate.
The double track trail continued for as far as I could see but I decided it would be better to come back and explore it further with my mountain bike or fat bike.
I turned around and retraced my route, walking the sandy parts until I reached the dirt road again. The road traversed a marsh/bog where the spring peepers were belting out a loud chorus now that temperatures had warmed up again.
Once back on pavement I decided to ride to one of the highest points in the Hayward area, Radio Hill, so called because there is a radio station, WRLS, at the top of the hill.
The climb up Radio Hill is in two parts, both quite steep, with a slight respite between the two sections. I was winded with the effort by the time I got to the top.
A swift ride down was my reward, with the evening sun getting lower in the sky behind me and beautiful early evening light.
Looking down Radio Hill from the top of the first rise.
We did a 30-mile ride this afternoon from Pine Brook Farm to Hayward. We met Iras, Charlie and Tysa for lunch to celebrate Tysa's birthday and then Charlie drove our truck home while we rode back.
Pine Brook Farm is closer to Spooner than to Hayward but it's still kind of in the middle of nowhere, similar to the Delta Diner. It was a cloud-less day with the temperature in the mid- to high 50s. On the route home we passed a rather unique town hall...
...and had to climb a few big hills.
These hills are not quite as steep as they look but I'm guessing they're at least a 10 to 12 percent grade.
Our route today was one we hadn't ridden before. Most of the roads were straighter than the ones we ride closer to Hayward, so not as interesting, but they were quiet with very little traffic.
My ride on Friday was once again short and sweet, to The Park Theater where I volunteer and home again after the concert. There was a great turn out to see Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials brought to The Park by WOJB.
Then, on Saturday morning, it was once again time to ride to The Park to get ready for the Bicycle Film Festival in celebration of 30 Days of Biking.
We were very happy with the turnout for the film festival, and people seemed quite pleased with the film selection. We'll count it as a success and plan to do it again next year, even better. Thanks to all who attended!
In the afternoon, prior to the film fest, we went on our favorite short ride, County E to Spring Lake and Williams Road to Highline. There are about five ponds along Williams Road and, last summer, someone built and installed some beautiful wooden benches at two spots next to one of the ponds. But shortly after, someone stole them. I couldn't believe it!
Well someone, probably the same person who built and installed the wooden benches, has recently put into place two concrete benches firmly anchored to the ground next to the same pond. The concrete is not as aesthetically pleasing but, still, what a nice gesture and a nice place to just pause and enjoy the serenity of the area. Thank you person, whoever you are!
After yoga this morning I walked this trail all the way around Smith Lake Pond. This is the same trail I partially explored a week ago. There are a couple of benches along the trail and two bridges that cross an incoming and outgoing stream.
I noticed buds beginning to leaf out along the trail...
...and what appeared to be a geocache hanging from a tree.
I also saw a pair of Hooded Mergansers on the pond.
After my morning ride, and after it had warmed up to almost 50F, Mike and I headed out on an afternoon ride past Spring Lake.
On April 26 a year ago, Spring Lake looked like this:
We saw our first Great Blue Heron of the season today but I wasn't quick enough to get a photograph. We also saw about six Painted Turtles on the lakes along Williams Road. We saw these Scaups (Lesser, I think) on Spring Lake as we rode by.