A Chico Ride

The road where I was staying up in Chico was one of those roads that was just screaming to be ridden, so that's exactly what I did.

There were lots of other cyclists out on most days, but I ended up going out during a slight drizzle, which here in California causes most people to go into panic mode and give up leaving their houses and driving anywhere, let alone riding.  It was cool, quiet, a little wet, and beautiful out on my ride.

Also I found a waterfall.
I'm always shocked at how much more I notice when I ride a bike instead of sit in a car - my family and I had been up and down this road more than a few times with all of the graduation madness, yet this was the first time I noticed things like this little waterfall.  Or the rocks that someone had neatly stacked in small piles.  Or the super crazy hyper religious signs that plastered the lawn of one house in particular (Jesus is apparently very pissed off at the "lebrals").  The road twisted through the woods with views of the buttes (you read that as butts) and the bubbling of the creek, and then it opened up to something else entirely.

Now this is how you mark a bike path.
A bike path that connected to the road I was on was very clearly marked with a rather clever entrance (and the same exit, as I later found).  The chainrings were even marked with the number of teeth!

Looks like they didn't opt for a compact crank.
Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be in memory of a local cyclist.  He seems like he was a pretty cool guy, and seeing something like this done in memory of someone gives me a lot of respect for this town.

My ride continued until I got to a point where I realized that I was about to get lost, so I turned back to our little cabin in the boonies.  Around this time I remembered that I do, in fact, have Strava, which I turned on, and then proceeded to stop and take more photos like I always do so my average speed is nothing short of terribly embarrassing.  I really should stop doing that.

Not quite 130 BCD.
During this little jaunt of a ride I was on my fixed gear, which I'm really falling in love with.  There were hardly any climbs on this ride, just a tiny bit of elevation change, so it was the perfect bike to take.  Its silent drivetrain also let me hear the rain and the sounds of the forest as opposed to a hub, which made the ride all the more zen.  

There were a lot of cars sharing the road with me, so my obnoxiously orange wheels helped me be seen a bit too.
I also saw some excellent prints when I was out walking around town, but the store selling them had closed for the day.  Despite that, I grabbed a few photos through the glass - I would love to own these prints, so if anyone know of the artist's website, please let me know!

EDIT: The artist is Jake Early!  His process is pretty neat, check it out here.

I would have loved to have done more rides, but time just didn't allow for it.  Perhaps next year I'll give the Wildflower Century a go - I've wanted to do it for a while, but finally riding up in Chico made me realize how lovely it would be.

And alright, I wasn't really in the boonies.  I was 12 miles outside of town.  I'll stop complaining now.  

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