Sort of happy-glowy. And totally content. And optimistic that things are going to be OK. (Insert satisfied sigh here.)
I was all kinds of warm-fuzziness after yesterday's 53-mile ride (yes, 53!), thanks to two fantastic cycling buddies, Karen (who is my very favorite person to ride with) and Kimra (who is also wonderful and is training for Vineman). We rode from Windsor to Healdsburg to Geyserville and back. And it felt like nothing. Just chatty times admiring the scenery and enjoying the sunshine. And you know, waving at llamas (yes, there were llamas) and pointing at goats and talking about frolicking in fields full of mustard flowers (yes, the word "frolicking" was actually used).
Clearly, this was a very serious training ride.
It was so serious that at about 12 miles in, we stopped for awesome Mexican food at Estrella's Market.
Because if you're going to refuel, you might as well have incredible rice and beans.
And then we stopped at J for a little bubbly. It was on the way, so why not, right?
By the way, never in my life did I ever think I'd go out in public dressed like a highlighter with helmet hair. And now I do it on a regular basis. Go figure.
Then we stopped at a vineyard in Dry Creek Valley to take photos of this gorgeous hillside. (Imagine three girls in blinding neon, pulled over on the side of the road, holding iPhones. This is what serious cycling looks like, folks!)
And then there was the stop at Coppola. Where we found a teepee and couldn't resist playing in it.
Me to the guy who was working there: "Why is there a teepee?"
The guy: "Francis loves teepees!"
Well, of course. Because what's not to love, right?
And it would've been downright sinful if we didn't take advantage of Coppola's pool and lounge chairs. (All we needed were margaritas and cabana boys.)
Amazing ride. And though it may not look like it, it wasn't all goofing off -- we climbed Canyon and did the rollers on Chiquita. And we held a pretty strong pace on the way back. (That Muppet can fly -- I actually saw a 20 on my Garmin while riding a straightaway. That has never happened in my history of cycling!)
Granted, I still pulled a few stupid maneuvers -- there was one slow-motion fall where I unclipped at a stop sign and leaned the wrong way, treating Karen and Kimra to a chorus of: "Shitshitshitshitshit!" And then at one point, I tried to put my helmet on backwards. (And this was even before the bubbly -- I'm just that awesome.) But I guess that's to be expected from the World's Clumsiest Cyclist.
I'm looking forward to the next ride with the girls. This time, we're thinking about exploring Marin. And of course, possibly stopping at some cheese factories along the way.