Twice in the past couple of weeks my memory has transported me back to a specific day in 2010, and even though the sense of smell supposedly is the strongest recollector of memories, in my case it was the sense of sight. And of course it was the sight of a woman in each instance.
Some weeks ago I went to a Rita Hosking concert at Castoro Cellars (which, by the way, has a very enticing music program), produced by SLOfolks, the San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society. Before the concert began I was wandering about the tasting room with wine glass in hand, and got to talking with a woman named Jean who was signing up concert guests to be on the SLOfolks mailing list. I monopolized her time for probably 15 minutes, practicing, as many of my guy friends repeat mantra-like, eyes on the face… eyes on the face. So I got a solid image of her face imprinted in my memory.
Several days later, while out on a bike ride, I was reflecting upon that evening at Castoro. The interesting people with whom I talked, the tasty wine I drank, and the wonderful music. This woman’s face came back to me, and I realized that I had met her before, back in 2010 at a benefit bike ride I did from Justin Winery west of Paso Robles. In fact, I had a picture of her on my laptop from that day. I emailed the picture to the woman who runs SLOfolks and asked her to confirm that my picture was in fact Jean, which she did, and here is Jean holding a bottle that she earned for her fundraising efforts:
I might be an over-the-hill roadie, but the mind still has occasional moments of clarity.
The second time happened today. I rode with the BBZ Express A group from the Dark Nectar coffee shop in Templeton out to the vineyards on the east side of the Salinas River. Robert Nadeau of Nadeau Family Vintners was leading today, so I knew it was going to be painful for me. To say the least… as soon as we got to the bridge over the river at the south end of town Robert put the pedal down a bit. I was second in line and he gapped me immediately since I was not warmed up, so I had to start chasing. I was on the rivet from that moment, through the mile and a half it took to get back on his wheel, and then for the entire first half of the ride. I really did not feel human until well into the second half of the ride and then I started anticipating the pastries that would be at the end of the ride, kindly provided by Tom Jermin, owner of Templeton Feed & Grain across the street from the coffee shop.
As I was digging into my second pastry, I got to talking with a woman named Martina, who had done one of the other rides. Her friend was wearing a Justin cycling jersey, so I mentioned that I had one similar to it. As I was keeping my eyes on her face, Martina said that she used to work at Justin back when I did that benefit ride in 2010. So the next image came back to me – before the ride, me standing with my lecherous arms around two lovely ladies at the winery, Martina being one of them:
Here is a group of pictures from the first half of that benefit ride
I did the long route, a metric century from Justin, into Paso Robles, out to the vineyards on the east side of Paso Robles, then back into and through Paso, finally the hills on the west side taking us back to Justin for wine and BBQ. Pictures from the second half and at the BBQ