Another sunrise, another starting line:

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The roads approaching the start were pretty rough, so I opted for the 100k instead of the 100 mile route.

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I started out with a pretty speedy group, and felt compelled to take a turn at the front… Turning us onto the wrong route!

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We did get back on track (before Scranton) and also swung through Paris, where I had the privilege of visiting my first Wal-Mart ever.

From the Wal-Mart to the finish, I had company. A gentleman whose name I never caught, and Sherri from Dallas, who was recovering from a broken back and hip last season – and training for a trip to Italy in May. Great company, and kept it from being a very lonely ride.

The scenery was pretty, the roads a little craggy. Still, no cracks like the one that took out the rider Thursday, no rumble strips at the side. Some chipseal, more than a few aggressive motorists with unsecured loads in their pickup beds. Roadkill tally: 5 possums, 2 squirrels, 1 turtle.

The final stretch was the treacherous terrain that gave rise to me 100K decision (see hill profile on route slip above). Lots of wineries with very sad looking vines. I cracked up at the posh sign for Chateau Aux Arc once I said it aloud. Not the Santa Rita Hills, that’s for sure.

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Post Familie served a lovely lunch and muscadine mimosas, which were lovely to look at, but not to my taste. I had to drive back, so I limited my wine tasting to a couple of the dry (the tasting list ran very very sweet) varietals, and the Seyval Blanc was a good $9 food wine.

The cause:

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The post-ride binge back in Alma:

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I had the smokehouse sampler, which had sufficient leftovers for breakfast with the hotel buffet biscuits the next morning.

They were also advertising this ride:

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Which I realized was for a different kind of bike club, but if you’re in Alma on April 26?

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