The Nappa to Calistoga ride route as noted by my Garmin GPS: Note the location of our turn around is at a delicious restaurant in Calistoga called Sarafornia. It’s on the main drag and hard to miss. They’ll serve you a great deal of water for filling your bottles to get back on the road along with your bicuts and gravy.
Today I finally ventured out into the cold of Colorado for my first bike ride since driving my little road racer 1,200 miles from California on the back of the Volvo. Dawning my Chinese riding pants and socks, I also made sure to put on my sleeved Mizell Racing jersey because of weather. I packed some goods in case I broke down or stopped to dine, which included a light jacket for any sudden storms that may approach this reckless land and strapped it all to the back of my Trek 1000, just so I could reminisce of the good old days of packing it all down the road. I inflated the tires to their peek performance level of 120 psi, strapped on my helmet, and downloaded MapMyRide for my iPhone. (I also started up my Holux m-241 for redundancy and spot checking.) The only thing left to do was embark.
I stepped out into the brisk 70 degree air, lightly clouded, so the nuclear heat of the sun could be avoided. I shivered. This was a desolate place. The light cloud cover, still air, and seventy degree ambience created a surreal mind fog. Burrrrr…fog.. I plunged right into my ride with vigor and quickly found two factors to be the most obnoxious: one, there was debris all over the roads from the previous storm and de-icing techniques, two, I was dehydrated before my first mile was completed. Racing downhill, I was struggling for good deep breaths, and found mucus collecting faster than I could project it into traffic. However, my body quickly warmed up and I drained a water bottle. Then I began to enjoy the ride, the weather, the scenery and my brief loop through the springs proved to be a fantastic dry, thin-air, up-down warm up for the end of a riding season up here in the Colorado Rockies.
… I suppose I should add that it really isn’t cold here. It’s beautiful and warm and today was a perfect day to ride… but I’ve got to scare the other Californians away, right?
Official Results (< link)
Tripp Mizell 2:46:54
Grant Mizell 2:59:37
John Mizell 2:43:07
Dan Tuttle 3:02:34
(Mom-Swim, Karen-Bike, Evelyn-Run) Relay Team 3:12:34
Over All Place: 300
Swim Rank: 257
Swim Time: 0:27:07
T1 Time: 0:03:29
Bike Rank: 424
Bike Time: 1:20:03
T2 Time: 0:02:12
Run Rank: 228
Finish Time: 2:43:07
Photos to come! –
I finally got the route off the gps and online!!
For the full GPS file, us this URL:
More so, each post now has the daily GPS route accompanying it’s text. Soon I hope to have routes on MapMyRide too.
We’ve arrived in Hong Kong. – there’s more to say, but I fear I’ll fall asleep.
Attempting to recall as much as I can now… standby
– there was…
a bus ride & an honest taxi driver, sunrise, an argument, a breakfast, our bikes, the 1-2 change-up in the middle of the train station, failures, another argument, repairs, lost within 500 m of the border, border crossing and a bad choice, some riding, a new friend, a tour, some reflection with puffer fish, sunset, shower & shave, dinner, sim-card all used up, Guinness & Twitter, Dan’s mental collapse, asleep.
Today’s ride was 50 km out of Chongwu along the coast. It was quiet, sunny, beautiful.. well, better than no coast, and a wonderful ride to ‘end’ with. Into Quanzhou we hopped a bus and went straight to Xiamen. In Xiamen we shipped our bikess, via rail to Shenzhen and called up our couch surfing host, a nice young lady. She gave us just what we needed a shower and a place to put our bags down. Fed, cleaned, and now interneted, we’ll stay here for a few days and then catch a bus into Shenzhen where we’ll pick up our bikes and ride across the border into Hong Kong, arriving earlier than expected, but still generally on time. Three days later we hope to meet two friends who will catch us up to speed on how to act American, as well as how to live well and drink hard. I expect good things. I’m especially looking forward to the reunion with my laptop, as I’m sure Dan’s excited about the 6 G’s of equipment he entrusted to a box and a generic non-insured shipping company. (fingers crossed)
Arrived into Chongwu dead tired.
City riding, early aggravation, slap on the wrist, head wind, horns, hot, ink blot roads vs. the colors of garbage, anger, McD’s, more horns, departing the highway, horns, headwinds, hot, quiet, shade, horns, arrival, walled city wives, “women shi work here” on the pier, dinner guests, sleeping with stars and waves, late night ride, at long last rest
We set out from our previous point, a spot somewhere near a city called Putian (Dan says 10 km out, only the GPS will tell for sure) unfortunately we still rode on the 324, a high way inundated with traffic. Not the friendly, honk at you with a rolled down window and a thumbs up kind either. It was the vicious, destructive kind. The kind of traffic that makes you pull over to the side of the road and evaluate your own humanity after you’ve cursed under your breath and aloud, tempted yourself with the rocks littering the road side, knowing that if only your arms were a bit longer you could ride and pick them up at the same time, prepared for the next assault. The kind of traffic that is made out of massive hunks of metal, spewing massive clouds of black, or sometimes white, smoke into your face, the kind of traffic that causes great joy in creating when your 7 and your soldiers are half inch bucket loaders and dumpers, with the occasional inch long people mover, held with great joy. But in full, or even over sized scale, when pushed, not into you, but against you, when smashed into your face, poured down your throat, shot into your ears, such traffic can be the death of you. The Chinese Death. The death of your soul, of your sanity, of your humanity and compassion. This is the traffic that makes people stop listening, or looking, or reading and leaves only shouting and staring and forceful movements through opportunity and not intention. This is the kind of traffic that causes someone to push their way into an empty waiting elevator. This traffic sinks deep into your soul and burns away any sentiment of being polite, of trust, or recripocation and replaces every cell in your body with the overwhelming sense of greed. This traffic shoots so many inaccurate synapses down your spine that your legs begin to refuse commands that once came and went without question. Your lungs refuse to breathe, your eyes refuse to blink, you tongue refuses to swallow, your ears refuse to clear. Your body becomes a tasteless lifeless vegetable, cold and cultivated for inaction. You forget where you’ve come from or where you’re going. All you know is that you’re going, and you must continue to go, because here is not the right place to stop, because no one else is stopping, therefore why would we? This traffic drives you insane.
In or near a city called JiangkouZhen, near Putian. We’re both very tired. Very Tired.
Not a lot to write about today, except that today was the most draining of all the days for me yet. Sun-burnt, I woke up grumpy and then we left Fuzhou, rode through a congested and unattractive city and then climbed out of the urban areas. Traveling along a minor highway, we were continually bombarded with traffic, the worst component being the incessant honking of horns. If for every beautiful sight I see along the way my life expectancy increases by some number of years due to some acquired peace, I’ve lost twice that in the anxiety of blaring horns from all directions meters away from my head. To fuel my frustration further, I had replaced my seat after a through cleaning of the bike the night before and found, to my dismay, that after 50 km my entire body ached and strained, and not until I readjusted my seat to it’s regular position did my body begin to wear with the ride appropriately. Once we pulled into town I took a shower and imediately my sunburns awoke and have been bothering me since. In general, I’m tired, grumpy, and today was ugly. I expect tomorrow to be the upswing as we ride on to Chongwu for some RnR and then the final push to Hong Kong only some 700 km away. Easy as pie!
An article I intend to write someday.
The best I could put together with a bit of late night time in the WangBa. I’ll have more photos in the album soon enough. Unfortunately, the GPS logger is not willing to talk with a stranger, but I got my camera to connect and backed up photos onto a (now heavily virused) flash drive.
(Photo Album to be updated with photos as we get them)