Monday, April 9, 2012

Tour de Agriculture: Davis-Vacaville Loop

This past weekend took us up to Davis, CA, where we had a nice weekend planned with our dear friends, Maris and Sacha, who recently moved to the area to attend graduate school at UC Davis. They live in the cute little town of Woodland, where we got lots of R&R at their adorable house, complete with two cats and two ducks. Wilfredo joined us as and didn't know what to think of the ducks!

{OCD and Bumbles, the ducks}

We got lots of rest Friday night and rose early on Saturday to get this ride done so we could spend more time with Maris and Sacha. Thanks to the Davis Cycling Club website, we found a route very easily, printed it out, and were on our way. The ride kicked off in a medical center/strip mall parking lot near a Starbucks. One thing we’ve learned from all this training is that Starbucks is ACTUALLY your friend. They do not lock their restroom doors and they do not look twice when you clomp on in with your cycling shoes. And they always have water, bananas, bars, etc., so we were fine with this sterile location to start.

{Lisa ready to roll}

When we woke for the ride, it was 38 degrees. Above is Lisa at the start of the ride and it’s about 43 degrees. Ouch. When we got started, the ride took us out this very long road with a terrible headwind, so we were getting pummeled with what we call “the air conditioner” at 8:30am. Luckily over time we have gotten pretty tough and have also learned how to dress in layers. Soon enough we turned left on a county road and sailed along just wonderfully. Actually, at any point on this ride one turn could either mean super harsh and windy or super easy and flying. It was all flat at this stage so we were doing just fine. Some of our early morning views of miles of orchards were really surreal.

The area of Davis is a farming community and is mostly known for its contributions to agriculture and veterinary care. Davis is also known for its university, liberal politics, and cycling culture. So we were definitely feeling at home.  

At mile 28 we arrived at our first rest stop in the town of Vacaville. Neither of us had ever been to Vacaville in all of our years in California, and we really didn’t feel the need to stay too long. We found ourselves at another Starbucks and ate snacks before hitting the road. Luckily, it was starting to warm up quite a bit. A side note: we were riding on Historic Route 40 for a lot of the ride.

Heading out of Vacaville is actually when the fun began in my opinion. The hills finally showed up and we had some amazing scenery. We were out on a long windy road called “Pleasants Valley Road” and it was pleasant all right. Mind you, it wasn’t “Pleasant.” It was “Pleasants.”

And at this stage in the ride, we started seeing a lot more cyclists on the road and we were able to strip off some layers, relax into the ride, and enjoy some much-needed sun. And what would a bike ride be for us without the farm animals? In no particular order here are the animals we saw on this ride:

A Pig
(And a ladybug rode on Lisa’s shoulder)

 {Lisa stopping to take some photos of the miniature horses!}

The Putah Creek Road area was next and equally as gorgeous. We blew threw the town of Winters without stopping and really started picking up some speed. It may have been the tailwind, or it may have been our moods, but together we were some speeding bullets at this point, riding around 22mph. It was so fun!

Finally, about 7 miles out of the town of Davis, we jumped onto the coolest bike-only path ever, and it was just such a treat after riding alongside cars most of the day. We loved it (I think Lisa called it “good stuff”). Finally pulled into our end point and back to the Starbucks parking lot after 60 miles and 4 ½ hours of ride time and we were so happy to be done. As usual, we were ready to eat! This was definitely one of our “easier” rides so we just enjoyed it. We think we’ll tackle something harder next week.

Don’t forget to check out our official fundraising pages! Though we’ve both already reached our goals, it’s never too late to support us!

Clay’s ALC Page
Lisa’s ALC Page

As always, thanks for reading and supporting us!

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