|Matchy matchy outside of|
a building on campus.
This trip to the tech motherland took us north to Sonoma County for the weekend. We wrapped up work on Friday, checked out from the hotel in Milpitas and hit the road north for a 90 minute drive through the rolling NorCal countryside. By the time we got checked into the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country we were starving. Just a note. This hotel is not nearly as fancy as it sounds with it's majestic vistas overlooking trailer parks, but it had great rooms and an awesome breakfast. For pre-rides it satisfied my need for oatmeal, yogurt and fruit. Breakfast was free as I have Hilton Gold status, but I don't think I would have paid the $18 face value for the buffet. Pro travel tip.....you can get the Amex Hilton Surpass card for $75 a year and get automatic Gold status. That $75 membership fee more than paid for itself in breakfast for Wendi and I for just this one trip.
|View of the beer board|
at Russian River
|Awesome beer taster!|
|Piled into the back of the rental|
There were some big differences in terrain between a coastal town like Santa Cruz and the mountain/valley area of Santa Rosa. I should have known by the bikes we were renting that this terrain would be much different than at home. I headed up the Lawndale trail, which turned out to be a brutal 800' non-stop climb to the top of the dome for about two miles. The climb was very technical and littered with rocks and boulders to navigate. It really forced you to keep your head up and plan your way through the trail. The next three miles consisted of a few rollers on muddy open single track and fire road which continued the climb to the summit on South Burma trail.
|Beautiful sweepers like this|
were all over the place
Overall it was an awesome day of riding on big trail bikes, finishing up with about 25 miles and nearly 4 hours in the saddle. At the car I ate some bread and hummus from Trader Joe's, slammed a bottle of coconut water and packed up my now filthy rental rig. It was starting to get late, so I checked in with Wendi. She too got turned around on some of the north trails and didn't have enough time to get back to the Lawndale trailhead. She made her way to a store just outside the Summerfield trailhead where I picked her up. The best surprise of the day was finding Wendi parked next to a couple of Girl Scouts having bought a couple of boxes of Samoas (my weakness).
|Highly recommended shop|
Riding a good part of the day, we were both pretty exhausted. We decided to find a quick place to eat in Santa Rosa. I am always drawn to Mexican food after a tough day of riding, so we went to the highest rated local joint in town named Chelino's. It was pretty unassuming and had only counter service. The word carnitas jumped off the menu as I'm a sucker for roasted pork. After dinner, we got back to the hotel and went right to bed- but not before we destroyed those Samoa cupcakes that we brought home from Sift the night before. Lights out!
Click here to see my Strava activity for this ride.