Yesterday’s Social Ride took place under sunny skies and some light heat when afternoon temps made it up into the mid-80s. The rain the previous couple of days had cleaned out the haze and gave us nicely crisp views of the valley hills. Bill, Joe, and Omar joined Roger and me for the 40-mile ride up to St. Helena to grab some panini at Sogni di Dolci. Because the jaunt up the Silverado Trail is so flat (well, actually it’s gently rolling) we dusted off the tandem, which we hadn’t ridden since last October. Although I expected that we would have a faster pace than usual due to the flatness and good quality of the road, folks apparently wanted a really fast pace so we obliged: we averaged 14.7 mph! That’s the high end of C pace and unheard of for a Social Ride. I’ll just say that was an aberration. In all fairness ride leaders may modify the pace and/or route if they have the permission (acquiescence?) of the participants.
We arrived at Sogni di Dolci and were able to grab a table alfresco. Everyone but Omar ordered various kinds of panini (he just had to have a salad). I had a chèvre and roasted red pepper panini with capers and arugula. It was heaven. Oh yeah, and I got a bowl of their french fries, which had been fried to perfection. Only Joe indulged in an adult beverage, a watermelon flavored (!) beer. No one was displeased with their lunch.
The one major disappointment of the day was the line at Bouchon Bakery was way out the door, about a half-hour wait. Given the afternoon warmth we declined and sped back to Napa. Of note there is a brand new separate multi-use path along Solano Avenue, which is the frontage road to Highway 29. It even has its own bridges. This path runs from the front of the Yountville Veterans Home all the way down to Napa. Although Solano Avenue is also freshly paved and often free of traffic, having the separate path will be a boon for those riding at a casual pace and seeking to avoid interaction with cars.
Next month we’re back to a BART accessible location with the ride starting at Millbrae BART and heading up to the Sawyer Camp Trail with a return along Alameda de las Pulgas. Lunch will be at Mediterranean Kebab in Burlingame. And we’ll be back to our chatty A pace!