Gold Country Weekend

Nine spokers enjoyed a great weekend of sun, scenery, great riding and comaraderie on our second annual Amador Country biking trip on October 11th to 14th. The Amador County nine included Stephanie, Nancy, Jaime, Roger, Jerome, Doug, Davids Fales and Goldsmith and your truly. About half of the group arrived on Thursday; the rest who couldn’t tear themselves away from work came up Friday evening.

While that Friday was a very rainy day in the Bay Area, we were lucky to be faced mostly with cloudy skies and only intermittent showers for our ride through the Shenendoah Valley zinfandel vineyards, past Mount Aukum and the Slug Gulch hill climb to an ultimate elevation of 5,000 feet in the Sierra foothills. From that point, we had a great descent back through the forest, and back through a few sleepy mountain hamlets. All told the ride encompassed 66 miles with about 6,700 feet of climbing, mostly concentrated in the first half of the ride. After our achievement, we celebrated with a soak in the hot tub and then went out to a local BBQ joint (Incahouts) for a huge meal. The portions were so big, we ended up taking much of it back home with us for our Saturday night dinner.

The weather on Saturday was perfect and we rode from Plymouth over a few steep but short climbs to Amador City for a wonderful little pastry stop at Andrae’s Bakery. Refreshed, we started the beautiful and more gradual climb toward Volcano. Following our lunch enjoyed in the sunshine on the steps of the post office, we began the significant and beautiful Ram’s Horn Grade climb (think Wildcat Canyon, but more scenic). From there it was back downhill to Sutter Creek and then into rolling grasslands and vineyards west of Plymouth. While Saturday’s ride didn’t feature grades as steep as Friday’s, the totals were almost identical- 66 miles and 6,700 feet of climbing.

On Saturday night, Stephanie, Nancy, David G and Jaime were kind enough to prepare a pasta and salad feast for us to go along with the remaining tri tip, ribs, chicken and pizza from the big Friday carnivore-fest. It was a sports fan’s dream-most of us were huddled around the TV watching the Indians – Red Sox playoff game or the computer trying to follow the Cal Bears football game. What a treat to see so many gay and lesbian sports fans together! After several bottles of wine (both locally grown and courtesy of Doug), we called it a night.

Sunday featured a more relaxing ride. The loop from Plymouth to Eldorado was approximately 43 miles and only 3,000 feet of climbing. We made good time on Sunday am and were back at the 49er Village RV Park, our home away from home for the weekend, in time to cleanup and enjoy a farewell lunch before heading back toward the City.

Thanks everyone for coming and enjoying this great weekend. I look forward to doing it again next year!