Thursday, September 27, 2012

Napa Valley Riding

So over vacation, M and I rented bikes while we were in Napa Valley from the Calistoga bike shop.
The shop guys were extra nice and hooked us up with some Orbea Orca bikes and mapped us out a 50 mile route with rolling hills. Well, rolling hills according to them, but there was nothing really rolling around the one hill we rode.
We started the ride around 11:30ish and it started off great as we were riding past vineyards having fun. 

Then we turned onto Howell Mtn Rd. A road name with the word mountain in it couldn't be good. 

Especially for this out of shape, lazy, post ironman doing nothing person like myself. As we made our way up the hill, I put my bike into the small ring and dropped my first chain! Woot. M kept flying up the hill as I struggled to put the sucker on. 

Anyhow, about half way up the hill and not that many miles into the ride, I felt light headed and thought I might pass out. A small breakfast and no snacks made for dumb fueling for this ride. I was hungry 10 miles in and was struggling. I ate a stinger and some shot blocks which made my feel a little better, but I knew there was no way I was doing 50 miles.
The hill went on forever.... 4 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing forever... 

This may not be a big deal for some, but it was hard for me.  I really never thought we were going to make it to the top. I had my bike in it's smallest gear and just pedaled very slowly. Once we made it to the top the views were breath taking and well worth the ride up. 

But what goes up must come down! I think I was more scared of the down hill then the climbing. It was also at this point we cut off about 20 miles from the ride and just headed back to the shop. Wimpy I know, but we had to also fit in some wine tasting as everything closes at 3-4pm in Napa.
Overall, I had a blast riding just a little less than 30 miles in a new area. Would love to come back another time to do some more riding. Vineman anyone? 


  1. I can imagine some beautiful scenery on that ride. Sounds like a lot of fun!

  2. Someone decided to drop their chain so i actually had to climb part of that hill twice :)

  3. How fun! I've never thought to rent a bike but that is a great idea. And that hill would be hard for me too, so you're not alone!

  4. The ride around Napa Valley is beautiful. Especially when the weather is right. Were you guys able to stop by any of the winery?

    My husband and I couldn't help but to pick up a bottle there.