It has been perfectly clear the past couple of days and warming to the 60s. Couldn't ride yesterday. Got out this morning on the fixed Mooney to ride west to Patton Valley to the foot of the coast range. 68 miles. Good fix gear ride. Not flat but all the hills quite reasonable. Got well into the ride and decided to go around Hagg Lake instead. 2 miles longer but the loop around the lake (actually reservoir) is not flat! And the reservoir is 100' higher than the road in.
Rode with a 17-18 flip-flop wheel. Stopped and flipped to the 18 at the foot of the climb to the reservoir. Got passed by a couple as I was flipping my wheel. (Quite serious riders. Excellent bikes, outfits and riding style.) Caught the woman a little after the top and jockeyed places with her for several hills, both of us conserving energy, riding well and accepting that doing the above fixed and geared are quite different even if the net speed is the same. The last third of the loop flattened out and we chatted. Simple fun. She was a very smooth rider, very easy to ride with. She reminded me of my riding partner the summer of 30 years ago. We got to the dam, exchanged names (and her husband's), I stopped to change my gear back and she was joined by her spouse. They stopped mid-dam to sight-see. I passed them and went on.
10 miles down the road, I stopped to pull some debris off the road, they passed me and she called out "Good citizen". Fun.
Great ride. I felt it and will! I never went fast and was strong enough, but this was hardest terrain and length I have done this year, at least fixed. Bike felt great. I need to harden up some but today was a reminder that this is what I love and live for. And to be able to do it on a day this nice this time of year? Wow!