Monday, June 28, 2010


As a testament to my deplorable knowledge of California geography, when asked to go for the weekend to check out a bike race in Chico, I mistakenly thought we were heading to Chino. To make matters worse, the only reason I'd heard of Chino was a somewhat vague memory of references to it in that old TV show, "The O.C.". Embarrassing, I know.

I quickly discovered that Chico, is in fact a very quaint little college town in Northern California and quite worthy of a summer road trip in my opinion. I went to cheer on Mark, who was participating in the stage race over the weekend. There wasn't a good place to watch the road race on Saturday, so I decided to explore the town instead. I had a little difficulty setting out. The receptionist at the hotel and I were obviously not on the same page. I had read good things about the Farmer's Market and asked her for the best walking route to get there. She'd never heard of it and when I gave the general area, she informed me that my feet would go numb and fall off if I tried to walk there. Ok... I forget that anywhere outside a major metropolitan area you're considered a freak if you want to walk more than the 10 steps it takes to get to your car door. Thank goodness for i-phones. I got my google walking map and a crippling 1.5 miles away, found my way to the Farmer's Market.

It was very cute and pretty sizeable. Everything looked so good. I had a hard time controlling the urge to buy it all, but there's only so much you can fit in the hotel mini-fridge. So, I stocked up on some fresh fruit and then continued to wander the downtown area. Cycling is definitely the major past time there. I saw more bike stores than anything else by far. I continued my walking tour onto the college campus and listened in on a few tours I saw passing by. There's a really beautiful natural element to the landscape with a creek running right through the campus and trails along side it. I would love having shady spots like that as a student where you can relax before the next class. I made a pleasant discovery when I followed the creek into One mile Park and stumbled upon a huge swimming hole created by a dam in the creek. It's the perfect place to hang out on a hot summer day and it's free!

Sunday was filled with racing- time trials and a criterium through the downtown streets. I felt bad for the riders. 105 on Saturday and 96 on Sunday. If it were me, I would have passed out from heat stroke without even finishing a lap. Fortunately, I had a shade tree and a yummy Italian ice to get me through. They still somehow managed to put on a good show, but had to cool off in the fountains afterwards. Who could blame them? Mark says he's designing them into every plaza project he works on from now on...makes sense to me!

We finished up the weekend nicely with another swim and a nap in 1-mile park. All in all it was a great summer break before returning to the June Gloom of our beloved San Francisco.

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