Tour de Peninsula

With the Tour de France now over, it was time to stop being a spectator and ride. An annual event sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle, we’ve done this two years now, so it’s worth keeping as a tradition. It’s 33 miles of easy terrain, with a coned-off section of the road and flaggers stopping traffic at major intersections. Those two things are quite unusual for an organized ride and make it just that much more enjoyable for me.

Apparently, it’s enjoyable for a lot of other riders, too. When I got to the start in Redwood City, there was already a huge line to start. Construction at the school kinda messsed up our meeting site, but I think we all found each other easily enough.

Usually at these type of rides, you can start any time you like, since it’s not a race. But in this case, they start everyone at once, so you can’t go until you get to the fron tof the line. I think this is because they have all the people stopping traffic throughout the course, so having everyone start at once, they can better control when to close certain intersections.

Waiting in line to leave, I spotted this youngster, all decked out. That’s the smallest road bike I’ve ever seen. Looks fast.

Here we are almost through the starting gate! The excitement builds as we walk our bikes to the starting line.

Ok, so the start was less than exciting. We stepped off the curb onto the street, and the people told us to get on our bikes. Easy enough instructions.

So there was one stop light we had to wait for in the beginning, and I pull up to this really cute family on their cycling adventure. I’ve never seen a seat mounted on the handlebars like this. The kid’s expression is pricless. Also dig mom’s Run to the Far Side shirt.

I always enjoy spotting a tandem bike, and this one is looking pretty good. They’ve got everything on there except satellite TV.

Why is it raining in August? I DON’T KNOW. But check out the nice wide lanes provded by the orange cones. I managed to hit one accidentally. Following too close behind some bloke, he swerved too late to avoid it, and I just plain ran into it. Luckily, I kept going straight, but I have nightmares of what could have happened if it had gotten wedged somewhere.

So we hit the Sawyer Camp Trail, and yup, there’s Steve’s backside. The Wide Load sign getting all kinds of attention, you might just see them for sale one day.

Another shot of said backside, but also a glimpse of just how crowded it gets on this little trail. You have to say “On your left!” alot here. We ran into Michelle, another Wheely Cooler several times. Just returning from her cycling tour of Italy, she proudly dons a new Alessio team uniform.

Ok, don’t look too long at this photo, but it’s got a cool effect. It looks like Dave’s pupils are the only thing in focus.

A better behind-the-back shot. That’s Dave, Val, Raymond, Dino, and Dorothy, all looking Wheely Cool.

While some riders are taking a “natural break” we stand around trying to look speedy. That’s Val, Steve, and Kevin hanging out under the scary moss-covered trees.

Steve’s giving me the cold shoulder here. No he’s actually enjoying the view of the valley beyond.

And 33 miles later, we hit the finish. Raymond makes his approach for the famous RhodyCo “goodie bag”. It wasn’t until the end of the ride that we ran into Louis and George from Stockton. They were good enough to wait for us, and I totally forgot to take a group photo. Whoops.

Afterwards, we had a great barbeque at Val and Waqar’s house. The perfect ending to a pleasent Sunday ride.