With rideATAXIA NorCal coming up in just over a month (38 days left for you to sign-up peoples!), and having committed us for the 40 mile route, Greta figured it was time for her to get some longer rides behind her in preparation. Earlier this year, hmmm, maybe it was late last year, I’ve lost track of time. Anyways, I passed the 40 mile mark not too long ago, and last month, fueled with insanity, I somehow pedaled out a 68 mile ride, all in chase of the Strava Metric Century finishers jersey, which hasn’t even shipped yet, sadly.
Wanting to ease Greta up in miles, Saturday afternoon we took off for the waterfront, which ends up being about 27 miles round trip, and is relatively flat the whole way. The weather was perfect, and aside from the crowds around the waterfront, we had a great ride with Greta finishing strong and ready for more.
Greta really was ready for more, so much so that she suggested we drive down to Albany the next day and ride the covered bridge tour, she has memories of riding her bike there when she was 11, and wanted to go check it out. Well, I looked up the ride details, finding information for an organized ride with several different routes (starting at 40 miles) that left from the fairgrounds, just off the freeway in Albany. Considering that we were meeting my aunt for brunch the next morning, I cast my vote as a “nope, I’d like to plan this for a full day on account of having to drive down to Albany and back”. Also, in the back of my head I was thinking: “Greta just pedaled 27 miles this evening, I’m slightly concerned about her bum being ready for another long ride in the saddle, tomorrow!”
After brunch, Greta, still wanting to go do this bridge ride, looked up the information herself and proclaimed it was only approximately 30 miles to hit all 5 bridges, if we start along the route, rather than at the fairground. Alright, she wants to go for a longer ride again. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s do this!
We rushed home and set about preparations. I’ve been loving my Windrap Fairing from TerraCycle, but with the barrage of warm weather, and having to remove part of it to transport on the rack when not riding from home, I’d been entertaining the idea of taking it off completely, until next fall (actually, it looks like rain again, I may put the thing back on tomorrow). After removing my fairing, loading up the bike and trike, and carb loading one last time, we were off. Beautiful country, really, a welcome change in scenery from all of my city and burb riding.
Looking at the map, our destination was Larwood Park, which is just a little thing, and be forewarned, the bathrooms may be locked (they were for us). Generally I am a little worried about leaving our vehicle at a secluded park, while out riding, but you’re out in the country here, our vehicle and rack were fully intact upon return with no issue. Other than that, I’d recommend this as a good parking/starting spot, riding clockwise around the tour, I could be off here, but having ridden it now, you’re left with less of a hill to summit at the end.
The route is reasonably well marked with signs for the covered bridge driving tour, however, grab the map that I posted up at the beginning to provide yourself with a good cue sheet. Oh, and by the way, Greta was correct, this driving bridge tour says:
“The quiet roads linking these bridges are ideal for touring by bicycle, automobile and motorcycle. Five bridges located around the town of Scio, east of Albany, are included in a driving tour that is marked by signs along the approximately 30 mile route.”
Except, their “approximately” turned out to be – or + 12 miles, which may not be a big deal driving, but when you’re on day 2 of riding (Greta, day 5 of riding for me), that turns out to be just a little disheartening when the entire last 12 miles is filled with: “Alright, the last hill is just around that corner!”
Not having fully acclimated to her bike seat, (I’m pretty sure Greta’s bum was already finished after the previous days ride, get ‘bent people, you can eliminate this problem!), there was a large amount of vocalized pain, but I have to give her credit for finishing strong. What turned out to be a 30 mile training ride, turned into the rideATAXIA Scio, 42 mile ride. Next time we’ll be better prepared with more snacks and such, and yes, that is a definitive “next time”, that ride is beautiful, go do it!