I got out of Placerville at 06:00 which was good. It is now 10:00 and 90 F. Riding for ten minutes leaves a glistening, thick film of sweat all over. I am now taking a break until the afternoon about 22 miles in. (Two miles after Fair Play) I will be here until 3:30 or so, I think.
My goal for today is Cook’s Station. To get there I have another 15 miles with lots of uphill. I usually feel a bit stronger in the afternoon. First thing in the morning neither I nor my muscles are awake.
Yesterday I added front panniers to my bike. I got the smallest set that Golden Spoke Bicycles had. It is for a better weight distribution. I am not doing a 60% front, 40% back like most people suggest. It is probably more like 50-50 or 40-60 front to back. The back tire was pretty heavily loaded — with food and water added it was probably about 40 lbs. The panniers add about two pounds but hopefully it will improve handling and reduce flats. I will have to get used to the slow (uphill) handling. It is now more touchy on the handle bars with the extra weight upfront.
The scenery today was becoming more alpine with tall evergreens becoming more numerous. The ground cover is still dried out, yellow grasses. There was a fair amount of the road that was in the shade early in the morning. That was a relief from the sun and heat. Now the sun is high in the sky and I find it unrideable. The area surrounding Fairplay has many vineyards and often they have tasting rooms. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to linger and taste wines…or maybe I could have considering I can’t ride in the heat…I think that wine, bicycles, and narrow roads don’t mix too well. I have also found that alcohol easily disrupts my sleep pattern and I don’t have a restful sleep.
I went another mile and a half beyond where I was. My legs did not want to do anymore. While I probably could have made it to Cook’s Station it would have taken me until maybe 10:00 PM. The worst part about turning around was losing the elevation. It was all downhill into Fair Play. Seemed like 500-1000 feet lost that I will have to redo tomorrow. Since I had planned for getting to Cooks Station I am a bit lacking on food. I’d have enough for dinner and breakfast but not too much for either. Also water. I probably would have enough but it would be tight.
I decided to go to the one restaurant in Fair Play: Bocconato Trattoria. One of its features is it has no menu. Chef Giovanni decides what he’ll cook for you. The appetizer caprese was great. Interesting heirloom tomatoes. My next course is some sort of pasta that Chef Giovanni puts together. A secret or something. Turns out to be a homemade pasta with browned butter sage sauce. Nice. I finished the meal with a pound cake covered in peaches.
Since my legs only want to do about 2000′ of elevation gain a day, the goal for tomorrow is Cook’s Station. Chef Giovanni said he used to cycle up to there. It is 18 miles of uphill. I’ll try to be on the road by 05:30. Hopefully be pretty close by 10:00. My method of going up hills is to drop down to my granny gear immediately and slowly go up. Occasionally I can use a higher gear but not often.
Camped out by a creek and can’t wait to fall asleep. The crickets are deafening. Maybe I should put in ear plugs to reduce the chirp symphony and protect against spiders crawling into my ear.
Start: Placerville, CA
End: Fair Play, CA
Today’s mileage: 25.5 miles
Total miles so far: 198 miles
Average speed: 8.8 mph
Max speed: 38.8 mph
Riding time: (06:00 to 11:00) 5 hours
Total riding time: 27.75 hours
Weather: clear, about 90 F
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