Monday, January 16, 2012

Breezing through the Delta

Bikeforums Delta ride_bridge

I fought the wind and the wind won
I fought the wind and the wind won
I needed legs and I had none
I fought the wind and the wind won
I fought the wind and it's no fun

When Tricia and I were invited to go on a slow jaunt through the Delta with a few of the  much-feared members of NorCal division, it sounded great. Heck, there was even a full on lunch stop near Walnut Grove.  Saturday had been perfect weather, so how different could Sunday be?

Have you ever heard of the "Delta Breeze?"

Bikeforums Delta ride_scoutsWe met at Brannon Island at 9:30. After the usual complaining about the cold and wind we headed out, we being Tricia and "da boys" — Mark, Steve, Daniel, John, Rich, Georges, and me. Despite the wind, we had an easy ride toward Giusti's near Walnut Grove, where we could have had a few stiff drinks to strengthen our resolve, or opt for lunch instead. We rattled on toward our lunch stop, enjoying roads with names like Race Track Road, where Dan had us take a wrong turn cleverly led us up onto a levee so we could see the migrating bird flocks and somewhat rare sandhill cranes.

After lunch we took a ferry over to Ryer Island, which we circumnavigated in increasing wind (14-28mph, with higher gusts according to the weather folks), giving us a chance to test our 11mph echelon skills and generally beat ourselves senseless. At least there was a brief moment of pure tail wind that let us hit 30 plus for entirely too short a time.

For an amazingly flat ride  there were a few hilarious "hills" where the farmland roads rise up to join the levee roads. They look like walls, but they're short. I think most were contested in an attempt to claim the days KOM points.

What with doing intervals into the wind and a couple of fun sprints I was toast, so of course I took a wrong turn and added almost 10 miles to my route. Oh well.

Total damage: 68 miles.

Bikeforums Delta ride_crew on ferry
Photo by our delightful full-service ferry pilot.


  1. Seeing how short and direct Jackson Slough Rd would have been for you compared to taking that left on Terminus Rd is just brutal.

    You get the Serious Bonus Miles Award for all the way around the East end of Brannon Island instead of the short cut across the island.

    1. At least the added miles were straight into the wind...


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