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ID   11
[SRCC-C] Wildflowers
I'm curious to know what became of all the 50+ riders who started the Wildflower ride in Pope Valley on Saturday. We saw a handful of riders at the finish, but no one on the road after Snell Valley. I guess all my optional out-&-backs did a thorough job of fracturing the field. The Party Van contingent of Emilio, Bill O, and Sandy scooped up Lou on Snell Valley, and we rode north and up into Guenoc Winery to get water... and stayed to sample half a dozen wines and chat with the proprietors for a long time, probably frittering away an hour, altogether. They said it turned warm about three days ago, and that's when all the wildflowers popped open, so we hit it pretty much right on time. I saw 89 degrees on my CatEye thermometer in the afternoon. That seemed pretty high, but I see in the paper today that Middletown's official high for the day was 90, so I guess it was pretty close to reality after all. After our stay at Guenoc, we rode around Detert Reservoir and did our final out-&-back on Oat Hill. Of all the dead ends we did, this is the only one I can wholeheartedly recommend: about three miles long, with the last two a moderately challenging uphill (which of course turns into a fun descent on the return trip). Very pretty, with nice pavement (some of the time anyway), and curves scaled to a cyclist. After that we decided to skip the flat run up to Middlefield and just rolled it back to St Helena. Ended up with 87 miles and 5800' of gain...and ended up feeling a lot more pooped out than those numbers would indicate.

Reporter: Bill

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