Today I was invited to join two cyclists on a ride. Thomas the man that I work with and have ridden with before told me that I would need to make sure that I had shorts for this one. I went to performance Bicycle and I bought shorts, leg warmers and some gloves. I arrived at Thomas’ house at 12 noon. It was a beautiful day. God had parted the clouds for this one. I met Bill who is a tremendous man and we all got ready for the journey. Water? Check. Electrolytes? Check. Gear? Check. Bravery? Check. Before we even left for the ride we prayed for safe travels and that cars would leave us a lone. Then we headed out. We left Thomas’ house and headed to Golf Course road. It had not been a mile and I was telling myself that I would get a second wind. That is always how my workouts go LOL. We headed to Wilfred avenue and all the way through to Stony Point. I was using this time toi get used to the shifting, the cleating and the tempo that we would ride at. We made a left on Stony Point and headed toward Roblar road.
At this point Thomas came behind me and coached me on some of the hills. We made a right on Roblar and he continued to coach. It is easy to ride when you are riding with such amazing individuals. Roblar road proved to be somewhat of a challenge in some places. I was trying to get used to how to gear up and down and Thomas had me practicing on Powering up hills so that I am prepared for my races. It was a lot of fun. We had to stop for a brief moment and tighten the de-railer as it was acting up. We turned off Roblar onto Valley Ford road. Here was an opportunity to catch Bill. This is not an easy feat. Bill is a great rider. I did pretty well and then Thomas had me do some passing practice. We were headed for Bodega Highway. After a few passes I began to peter out. I did not have i t in me.
Bodega Highway was awesome. It was smooth and it was on the way to Tomales. So many beautiful things to see. I told Thomas to go ride with Bill and have some fun. I would be okay. I would survive. Then a hill came and it was treacherous for me. I had a hard time with this hill. This was the first time that I began talking to myself and The Lord. I was saying things like you have gotten me out of much worse. I know that I am not a quitter. I can do this. Pedal Matt Pedal. I chose to only say the positive things that came to my head. I could not let the down side get me. I made it although it was not the last of the treachery. On our way to Tomales we stopped for some water and to regroup. We took a few photos that I will have to upload later. They are giving me trouble. We then continued on through Tomales out to Tomales bay and a view of Point Reyes. It was extraordinary. We went ahead a ways so that we made it to the 27 mile mark and then we had to make a decision. The decision was to turnaround and head back with the wind at our back or take Marshall Petaluma road a 13 mile go with STEEP hills. Of course the veterans opted for the latter. So here goes.
Marshall Petaluma road was cold, steep and challenging. There were times that I felt like I was not moving. I was pedaling but not moving. It was crazy. The best part though was the conversation. Since there were few cars it gave us all the opportunity to chat. We go t to talk deep, business, fun and all sorts. There were some brutal parts but every time you go up a hill there is a point you get to come down. That is a little scary flying down a hill that has a sharp turn but I made it. Marshall Petaluma turned into Wilson Hill and this is where things started to get tough for me. I was given some fuel but my quads were cramping and I was wondering when we would ever be set free. Cows, God’s creation and some sun to thaw us out. It was all coming together nicely. We made it to Western and into Petaluma. Yay!.
Here we stopped at a convenience store and I got some fuel and some water. We then made our final march home. We took Petaluma Blvd. We soon pulled to a stop light and that is where it happened. I could not unclip. Down I went right on my wrist. Ouch. That was not the tip of the iceberg. I got up got on and started to pedal but the chain was disengaged and down I went again. How embarrassing!. I am not gonna lie. My wrist hurts a little. We shot down the blvd over to old redwood and onto Petaluma Hill road. We raced down to Rohnert Park Expressway and then to country club. As we turned on Santa Dorotea Thomas says ok race time. I got toasted. However, I pushed to the max and ended up back at Thomas’ in one piece.
The summary of the ride was 60 miles. I had an amazing time and really enjoyed God’s country and the company. I would love to do it again. Thomas and Bill were so kind. They shared their wisdom, time and they were both really patient. I was having a hard weekend with some new stress that will all work out but it was just the right recipe to take my mind off it. Until the next ride…………