I did almost everything right. Pulled the front wheel off my mountain bike and packed both in the back of my Focus wagon for the drive north, grabbed the tool bag from my road bike, brought a spare mtb tube and didn’t forget my mtb shoes. Set the alarm on my cell phone for 6:30am in order to go out on a 7:00 ride from the Bike Lane Inn in Templeton CA to Santa Rita Road on the west side of town and up the narrow valley beyond the end of the pavement onto the dirt track to the high ridge overlooking Whale Rock Reservoir and the Pacific Ocean.
But there was one forgotten detail that undermined my good intentions. After getting out of bed I cracked open the sliding door in the bedroom to check the outside temperature. It was cold, so I put on two synthetic long sleeve upper body base layers, a Wolverine Sports Club short sleeve jersey and a Sugoi long sleeve windbreaker, with just a pair of road shorts leaving most of my legs bare, and a Headsweats skullcap to help keep my balding scalp warm under the helmet. And then a pair of fingerless gloves, the same type of gloves I’d be wearing if I was riding on a hot day in the Mojave Desert. Totally inadequate for what I was about to try.
Such a small item, but when I rolled down the hill from the B&B to Old County Road, it was apparent how big of a mistake it was not having full-fingered insulated gloves. As I started pedaling out of town, my legs warmed up quickly and were fine, but my fingers were turning icy. By the time I got a mere mile up Santa Rita Road my digits were so cold they hurt. A lot. It felt like the bones had been infused with liquid nitrogen. My legs wanted to keep going but the pain in my hands made me turn around and head back to the B&B, where I wrapped them around a mug of hot coffee for 30 minutes of refills until they felt normal.
A rare defeat of a ride. But I wasn’t in Templeton for a ride, that would have been a bonus. I was in town to sign papers for buying a brand new single family residence on the north side of town, just down the street from where I bought a townhouse last year. After breakfast I strolled around Main Street and took some pictures to capture a bit of local flavor.
Some old, but still rolling, vehicles:
and some old, but still working, buildings:
In a couple of months I’ll be moving here and will add my own flavor to the old, but still functioning, ambiance.