Monday, July 20, 2009

an awesome weekend in wine (beer) country!

i am back after another whirlwind trip. this time it was up to sonoma county so beth could race the vineman 70.3. it was a super quick trip but we packed in a lot and had a great time. we hit the road at 4am friday morning for the 8 hour drive and headed straight for guerneville (where the race starts). the weather was rad... in the 90's and blazing sunshine. I hit the roads for a quick 90 minute ride through some awesome back country roads and beth got in a mellow run and swim in the river.

photos from the the ride on friday.

my little river rat.

after the ride we drove to windsor to check into our hotel and kept it pretty mellow. beth was starting to get sick so we wanted to do everything we could to make sure what ever it was coming on didn't get any worse. i was able to find some good beers though! lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries and they are located about 20 minutes south of windsor. so all the liquor stores are fully stocked with their beers. i was able to find 2 sixers of the some of their "limited release" beers. full review coming up on the beer blog later this week.

saturday morning we were up pretty early and beth wasn't feeling well at all... and i was bummed. she got sick for vineman last year. so she lounged around the hotel and i headed out for some killer riding. Sarah hooked me up with a great route (she gave me friday's awesome route too!). the ride took me out from the hotel and i rode the vineman course backwards and then hit sweetwater canyon rd and some 20% grade climbs. i was loving it! it was 95 degrees, no clouds, i was sweating my butt off, climbing in my smallest gear, and stoked beyond belief.

photos from the satruday's ride.

ride profile.

i thought a lot on the ride. 4+ solo hours on the bike is good for thinking. the saturday before i was on an epic 3 hour climb up Mt. Mansfield in Vermont with beth and then a week later i was riding some lonely roads through the beautiful vineyards of sonoma county. i love my life... and the fact that i am marrying a woman that not only approves of this lifestyle, but strongly encourages it and makes sure it happens. i'm lucky. i don't need a lot of money or expensive things. to me it's all about these kinds of trips and just experiencing new things. at the end of the day i don't really care about race results, sponsors, or winning. i just want to "live it", have fun, make the most out of every day, and push my body to it's limits in the process.

after the saturday ride i was pretty shelled but we had some fun plans on tap. first we headed up to the high school to drop off beth's run gear and I was able to swing by the Avia tent and hang out with Conrad and Shawn. I was stoked! i haven't hung with conrad since last year in maui. such a good dude. later on we headed up to the Bear Republic Brewpub to meet up the Corbins, luke mckenzie and his girlfriend amanda. i am not name dropping or anything... but it was a blast. good times, good people, and good beers!

bear republic double red rocket ale. stoked.

sunday was race day and we were up at 4am. beth still wasn't feeling good but she did what ever she could and was ready to go to work. i won't go into details about the race as I am sure she will on her blog. she gutted it out and had a killer race and pr'd. i know she's a little disappointed in her time because we know she is very capable of going faster... but after not really running for weeks and being sick i think what she was able to pull off is pretty incredible. i'm proud of the lil monster.

some race day photos.

beth is in there somewhere.

my champ.

after the race we headed back to the hotel and in typical beth and james fashion we chilled by the pool for a while. then we cleaned up and headed to russian river brewing for more good times (and beer!). we met with sarah and her boyfriend and kristen and dan (he's perfect... haha! you had to be there). the beer and food was very good and the company was even better. i think sarah and i may be related somehow... she loves cycling and IPA as much as I do!

she loves it!

pliny the elder double ipa!

the awesome ladies. beth, kristen, & sarah.

oh yeah... after dinner we hit Golden Spoon (thanks for the heads up Kerri) for the third time in 3 days! She loves it!

monday morning we were up early and on the road back to carlsbad. it was defintely a quick trip and packed with good times. now it's back to work and "normal" life for a while.

last thing... i want to give props to all of our friends who raced on sunday and killed it on a tough ass day! biggups to felipe, chris berg, caroline, charissa, tawnee, chris teague, matt dixon, luke walton, dave & brit, kristen, and anybody else i forgot!


beth said...

thanks for outing me on 3 straight days of golden spoon. but, i only had a "mini" each time! that practically makes it healthy...fro yo is good for a sore throat :)

life with you is good. and fun. love you. thanks for driving the whole way. both ways.

Sarah said...

Yeah, def think we're like long-lost cousins or something. ;)

In typical Beth & James fashion, you guys managed to pack a lot of fun into a short amount of time!

I was so stoked you enjoyed the routes and beers as much as you did and you had a chance to get out there and enjoy those gorgeous Sonoma County roads.

I hear you on the living thing. This year has been all about revelations for me and realizing that just pushing my body and experiencing new things and staying alive both physically and mentally are the most important things. Winning is icing on the cake.

It was so cool to have an IPA buddy! Hopefully we'll have a chance to get down there later this year and I can finally try the brews in YOUR hood.

Good stuff and WAY TO GO Beth!!

(p.s. Was CRACKING up about the Dan comment - he's so perfect! ha! I have to show that to Matt...)

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

hanging out at VINEman and just drinking beer! you should just start your own race series called beerman :)
got any courage to taste Lapin Kulta or Karjala yet?

Ryan Denner said...

dude, you are living it. there is nothing more to say. I love those long solo rides too!

great post brother!

Caroline said...

I noticed those GS's were mini's! What control you two have. Last night I went for a REGULAR as my din din....mmmmmm

Charisa said...

I love the coffee / swim picture - that rocks. And you guys with GS :)