Grasshopper #3: Lake Sonoma


On Saturday, April 11, Emma and I (Maureen) rendezvous’d near Santa Rosa for a training ‘race’ around Lake Sonoma. This was my first Grasshopper race and the first ride on my NEW BIKE! Yes, only 12 hours old, my 2009 Marin Team Issue in beautiful blue and white was ready for its maiden voyage. Turns out I was ready too, because I felt AWESOME today! Even on the initial road climb (I usually get grumpy about riding my mountain bike on roads) I was psyched to push myself. The new bike felt great, even with the 68 cm handlebars (my old bike has 53 cm bars!). Only once I nearly hit my bars on a tight squeeze. The course was in great condition and nearly all the punchy, steep climbs were rideable. True to the adventurous spirit of this event, I had to stop and consult the map several times and took a wrong turn once (not bad considering the 13 chances to go awry!). There are no course markings, no marshalls, no feed zones…just a legit mountain bike course, your bike, and you. It’s awesome!
The best part of the race was the 1-mile climb at the finish. I really can’t believe I just wrote that…but after my Costa Rican adventure, my perspective on climbing is metamorphosed!! This Lake Sonoma course was great because everything except the initial road section was on dirt (rideable dirt at that, not stupid-steep hike-a-bikes), a welcome change from last weekend in Central America. Anyway, the last climb was about 15 minutes of fireroad climbing, fairly steep but really not that bad. I ended up the first female finisher with a ride time of 2:41.
Of course, the REAL best part of the event was hanging out with Ms. Emma. It’s been too long! She also had a great ride, descending fast, climbing all the steep technical uphills, and finishing with time of 2:55.
Post-ride we had some great lentil soup, salsa, and chips during our nice little picnic.
Here are some more photos of my sweet new ride! I am forever grateful to the nice guys at Marin for building up my bike PERFECTLY and very quickly. Muchas gracias!!
Thanks for reading! -Maureen