7/8/14

Our California preparation riding for RAGBRAI is complete...

Tara and I rented two Trek Domane bikes from Encina Bikes for 5 days so we could do 5 days of consecutive Bay Area riding as our final preparation for the upcoming RAGBRAI.  More importantly, it was a nice vacation that she and I wanted to do together as we intermingled our riding with visiting family, and doing things with the kids.  Due to the rental arrangement, it was more cost effective to ride for 5 consecutive days and turn the bikes back in when we were done, so that's what we did.

We didn't get in quite as many "big mileage" days as we had intended to, but we got enough in to complete the endurance training effect - especially when you consider we did 3 days in a row of climbing the Pinehurst Road climb up into Oakland which is a heck of a climb that had me averaging 167 - 175 HR on the final 1 1/2 miles each day.  It's a gradual climb from Walnut Creek all the way up through Lafayette, Moraga and then onto Pinehurst Road with the final 4 miles being the icing on the cake through the redwoods, switchbacks, and glorious views one enjoys once they arrive up top on Skyline drive over looking San Francisco.

Tara snapped me on Skyline with San Fran and the bay in the background...

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And of course, the descent was a blast to hit those switchbacks as fast as possible!!!!!  Riding around Rossmoor has some killer hills as well which tested our legs.  I wish we had hills like this in Iowa, but we don't so I'll have to fantasize about all the hillclimbs we got in out here on this trip.

The miles we did get in....

Wednesday = 46.1 miles
Thursday = 54 miles
Friday = 26 miles
Saturday = 31.2 miles
Sunday = 36 miles

Tara and I managed to squeeze in a nice dinner date on Saturday night at Il Fornaio...

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A family of wild turkeys hang out in the back porch area of Joe's house.  So we've enjoyed feeding them some bread and goodies...

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We turned the bikes back in Sunday night as we had other plans for Monday and Tuesday.  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous out here on this trip.  Even on the hottest days, it feels pretty cool thanks to the low humidity and breeze.  We've worn jackets and long sleeves most of the time.

Monday had has make a trip down to Santa Cruz where we toured Rachel's University of California Santa Cruz campus...

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Alexa, Rachel, Tara, and Zack with Santa Cruz bay in the background.

Then we had wonderful sushi with fresh fish for lunch downtown in Santa Cruz.  After that, we headed to the Boardwalk for roller coaster rides, walking on the beach, dipping our feet in the ocean as the tide rolled in, and a little local IPA...

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Enjoying Santa Cruz boardwalk...

Our visit and California vacation is winding down to a close.  Tonight, we have dinner at Chow's in Lafayette with Tara's sister and her family.  I did a long walk this morning and then lifted weights - so I'm plenty hungry!!!  Tomorrow we take Sara out for coffee/lunch.  Then we will clean Joe's house, and pack up for our journey home.

See you all back in Iowa...

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