I went on a 3-hour, 80 mile ride Thursday with Mario. Unless you count the hour we got lost. Then it’s more like 4-hours and 100 miles. Now don’t get me wrong; before you get all excited thinking I have a boyfriend, Mario is my scooter (as you may know if you read my blog, Just Gotta Scoot).
Mario and I took the back road trip from my home in San Rafael to the scooter shop for a tune-up in Santa Rosa. Turns out I learned a few things since our last extended journey. (There goes that live and learn lesson again.) Anyway, I thought I’d share my findings in case you also one day find yourself riding on the same gorgeous back roads through beautiful Marin and Sonoma Counties, which I also blogged about in My Slice of Paradise. (Yes, I’m shamelessly self-promoting.)
Anyway, here’s what you should know:
1) Do not begin your ride singing We Don’t Need Another Hero. Believe me, it will stick in your brain like some sort of mad cow disease. And no amount of yelling, I WILL NOT SING THAT SONG ANYMORE! will change the fact that you’ll still be humming it as you arrive at your destination an hour and a half later.
2) Congratulate yourself for buying a full-face shield. After the last back road ride without one, along picturesque roads framed with grazing cows and horses, it was evident that lots of flying bugs live here. And when those bugs lodge into your cheeks, they do absolutely nothing for your complexion.
3) Eat before you go. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted by the delicious scent of the freshly baked pies at Petaluma Pie Company. Ignore the enticing aroma emanating from Torch of India in downtown Santa Rosa. Some might say lunch buffets are Satan’s way of tempting one to overeat. Should Satan be successful, don’t pass up the Vegetable Goan Curry. It’s fabulously spicy. As Dad used to say, it’ll put hair on your chest.
4) Don’t glance over at the yellow lab lounging in front of Coffee Catz in Sebastopol. You might nearly run into the back of a silver Prius. The woman driving, who probably hates dogs, might shoot you a rather disdainful look — as if Mario (or whatever name you’ve given your scooter) could do any discernible damage. Geez. Some people…
5) If you have a bad sense of direction and plan to explore unknown territory, bring a GPS or risk getting lost coming home. But you won’t really mind because it’s a ride through paradise, remember?
6) It’s not a race. If you’re going 55 mph and still have someone on your tail close enough to read the tiny print on the back of your helmet (Securely Fasten Chin Strap When Wearing), pull over to let them pass. In their hurry, they have no idea what they’re missing. And by-the-way, is it really necessary to remind me to fasten my chin strap? Do I look that stupid? Don’t answer that.
7) On the journey home, even though you’re still stuffed from lunch, stop at the aforementioned pie place for one of their tiny individual pies and a cup of hot chocolate thick as mud. Like the kind in that movie, Chocolat. Not that I did that. But if you can’t decide between the banana cream pie or the lemon meringue, I say get both and bring one home. Not that I did that.
So those are my tips for you. I hope you have the same nearly perfect day riding on roads reminiscent of rural America as depicted by Norman Rockwell. I say nearly perfect because although I finally succeeded in ridding my grey matter of We Don’t Need Another Hero, I regretfully replaced it with Doo-Wop-Diddy-Wop-Diddy-Wop-Doo.
The. Entire. Way. Home.