Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sonoma County Love

I haven't traveled outside of the US much, but I cannot imagine there are many places as beautiful as Sonoma County in winter. When the sun stays close to the horizon all day, it filters through the oak and redwood trees, and illuminates the already brilliant green grass in a way that makes the landscape of West County and the Sonoma Coast absolutely glow. I've spent the past 7 days on my bike(s) riding my favorite roads and trails, and soaking in the unbelievably beautiful landscapes. Here's a recap of Monday through Sat from last week's 24 hours of riding extravaganza. 

Monday was a rest day, I made Cara run a million errands with me. Should have strava-ed that business because I think I killed the QOM of ability to tolerate the most errands in one day!

Cara at the intersection of King Ridge and Hauser Bridge rd.
On Tuesday Cara and I rode from Santa Rosa to the top of King Ridge road, and back on HWY 1 and 116. The roads you take to get out to King Ridge are shrouded in Redwood trees, it's dark and moist and cold in there, and so magically pretty. Then, almost as soon as the climb starts to lift you up above sea level the trees break and you are next to rolling hills that look like they are covered in green velvet, with the occasional outcropping of scraggly rocks or peaceful looking cows. This is my all time favorite road ride. After miles of climbing and descending through green fields and redwood groves you finally hit the coast after descending Meyers Grade road, which winds down to HWY 1 in an 18% grade with spectacular views of the ocean and coast line. It is amazing. I cannot ride this road without stopping to take in the view, it is unreal.
I could ride this every day and never get sick of it :)
Of course we had to stop in Jenner to buy a cookie (because I habitually do long rides with not enough food). I ate the most amazing molasses, ginger, chocolate chip cookie ever and it happened to be VEGAN! haha
That ride ended up being around 111 miles, and the day was wrapped up with stuffed acorn squash.

Wednesday, Christmas Eve, Cara and I did a nice 2 hour ride in the scenic hills of South Sonoma County. It was cold, and there was a pretty layer of fog nestled up around the velvety green hills. This time our scenery was almost all rolling pasture land and was topped off with sheep, goats, cows, pigs and lots of chickens along the way.
I took a lot of butt shots of Cara, she is going to be pissed at me if she ever sees this!
See the little baby sheep out there?
Thursday was another off day, which was hard because it was my first full day in Bodega Bay and the weather was incredible! Colin and I ran to the store, on foot, like running, instead of riding bikes. It was awesome and beautiful and a bit painful.

Friday I got to do intervals on Meyer's Grade, maybe the prettiest place to do some steady state!
See that twisty road down there? That's the road I did my repeats on. It was the best day!
Saturday I spent 4 hours in Annadel on a campaign to ride every trail at least once. It was a bit sloppy from recent rain, but it was so so pretty! The ride was a little less fun than normal because my front brake didn't work AT ALL so I crashed into a lot of trees, and had to ride conservatively on all the descents. Riding in Annadel made me feel kinda cool because I got a lot of love for my ShoAir kit and Sexy Scalpel from the other mountain bikers in the park :)
Still kinda can't believe that I grew up here. What a great place to learn to ride mountain bikes!
Scalpel LOVED Annadel. Also, it got very very dirty :)
Sando on the dam was a great way to end the ride.

The scenery in this park is our of control. Green grass, oak trees, meadows and lakes. 
The last ride of the week, Sunday's suffer fest deserves it's own post, so stay tuned for a "Larissa challenge' recap. In the mean time, I have some intervals to do, and Willow Creek road is calling my name! Time to go enjoy more Sonoma County beauty!

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