Fast-forward (quite) a few years, and here at PVE I was invited to join a group of cycling enthusiasts known as the PVE Pedalers. On one of the first rides, we were divided into two groups. One group was planning to ride five miles to Starbucks in Fairfield, and the other would join a Roseville bike club and ride to Vacaville German Bakery for coffee and cinnamon rolls. The lure of cinnamon rolls clouded my good judgment, and I opted for Vacaville.
Five minutes into the ride, the trail made a U-turn with an immediate climb up and over a steep bank. Even some of the “real” bikers from Roseville missed a gear and had to walk their bikes over the crest. This hill lulled me into a false sense of security, and I actually thought I might be able to keep up with the Roseville club. But by the time those of us in the rear got over this hill, everyone ahead was out of sight. Not to worry, I thought—I would catch up. About a mile later, we broke into the open. Looming straight ahead was a long, steep hill with no one in sight. I started up the hill with trepidation, which was warranted. Before reaching the top, I got off and started pushing my bike. “Agony,” I thought. I slogged on and finally made it to the bakery, where the Roseville riders were lounging with coffee and rolls.
Much too soon, it was time to start the return trip. Some of us slower pedalers moved out first to get ahead of the Roseville group. But they soon caught up and passed us, announcing “On your left.” To add insult to injury, they added a loop around Lagoon Valley Park to make their ride more challenging—and still finished ahead of us. When I arrived back at the hill, I was determined to ride all the way to the top this time. Just as I was about to collapse and start walking, a neighbor lady came roaring up behind, which inspired me to keep biking. But it was Misery.