Last Sunday we rode our tandem on the Chico Wildflower 65 — the metric version. It involved signing up 6 wks. ago, arguing with my inner demons about the early rise, the drive, the long flats, Honey Run climb, the drive home. So much of me wanted to bail on the ride in the 2 weeks leading up to it. We took the tandem bike out for some rides (casual, as in riding to Winters to eat lunch at Steady Eddy’s), because we hadn’t been on it in a couple of months, and we wanted to re-establish our team mind-frame.
I’m glad we took those rides — we achieved out goals and enjoyed the rides, and the 65 was great — we climbed (actually grinded) up Honey Run, a beautiful, twisty, narrow, steep climb out of Chico to Paradise. I looked around, wished we lived there, glad we don’t, passed a couple of bikes who verbalized how crushed they felt by being passed by a tandem (people, train on hills!), got passed, kept grinding until we reached Paradise. We pedaled up and down the crenelations in Paradise before we stopped for “lunch” at 9 a.m. The deli sandwiches were good, and the variety and amount of fruit, carbs, and deli sandwiches were impressive.
Shortly after lunch we had the 11% grade descent , so smooth, so empty, so much fun! We hit 42+mph, and although our agreement is that we don’t exceed 40 mph unless we’re racing, this was fun. Yes, I did resort to Lamaze breathing techniques, but I did nothing to interfere with Chris’s control. Maybe that lesson is sinking in.
The rest of the ride was table-top flat, through orchards, with a couple of stops that coincided with the family rides. It was so cool to see kids on bikes, and kids in trail bikes, and families riding together. I enjoyed seeing so many families, in so many ways, riding the family ride. I can hardly wait to haul our grandchildren (we should be so blessed) around in trailers and rail-a-bikes.
We finished our route in less time we had planned, and got our food and beer and nommed away. We enjoyed the food, the shopping, the not-being-beat-up this time. We are both so satisfied with our ride.
Mostly we enjoyed riding together, the teamwork, finishing Honey Run, and completing the ride in less time than we’d allotted. The day was a win!