Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Riding Under The Influence

This morning my dad handed me a page out of the paper with this guy in a bicycling uniform holding a glass of wine in one hand and a baguette in the other. It sparked a little memory...

During the time we lived in Northern California, we did our fair share of wine-tasting, close to every weekend. That's when we had the Beamer (now traded out for a clunker mini-van with a gigantic dent in the back, but that's okay with me, it helps me find it in the Wal-mart parking lot) and we would open the moon roof, let our hair fly and go to Sonoma or Napa for the day. It was sorta close to heaven.

My parents loved visiting us there. There is so much to do, so much to see and all within a short drive from the house. Did I mention my mom loves to ride her bike? Did I mention I don't? Did you know that you can do a wine tasting tour while riding a bike? Did I mention this is a stupid idea?

When I was a kid I loved riding my bike. Rode it all the time. Now that I am an adult, it's not so kind to the nether region, if you will. It's uncomfortable...down right painful. But my mom talked me into riding 20 MILES (!) on a bike along the main drag in Napa, where wineries flank you on either side.

We booked this tour a few days ahead. My mom was filled with glee and I with dread. The day arrived, we drove to the little shack of a place to get fitted for a bike and meet our tour guide. Some one said, "Oh, Andre will be out shortly to take you guys on your tour." Andre? Hmmm. Maybe this will be just the perk I needed. Andre sounds cute. Maybe he will take my mind off of this tour from hell.

Out walks Andre. Wah, wah...Not so cute. Not ugly, but not the swarthy, dark, handsome, possibly rugged European man I was imagining. No, he was an 18 year old kid with blond curly hair, dressed in schlep-y clothes. Now that I was focused back on the ensuing crotchal pain, I think I had them put at least 2 extra gel seats on my bike. I sat a foot taller.

It was pretty hot that day. Hmmm. Hot weather, imbibing copious amounts of wine and riding a bike, sounds safe to me! We did have helmets, as I remember. Andre, led us through beautiful countryside. My mom was ooohhhhing and aaahhhing over the view, while I was wincing and shifting through the pain. Thankfully we were Andre's only tourists for the tour, so I could act as ridiculous as I wanted.

I'm no wine expert and honestly, I couldn't tell you where we went that day, except that we got to the fourth winery and I was happy to see they had some crackers to eat with our alcohol consumption. Pretty sure I almost picked up the bowl of crackers and dumped them into my mouth, trying to absorb the wine sloshing around in my stomach. As we exited, I teetered to the right and mom called Andre, "John" or some other name that wasn't his. Andre asked us if we wanted the van to come and pick us up,  because he was definitely worried. I was excitedly nodding my head "YES!" (I was still chewing  my mouthful of crackers) as my mom was kindly NOT accepting his offer.

We get out to the bikes, (and let me tell you, it took a while) and there, what did I see before me? A flat tire on my mother's bike! Glorious! I was saved. My nether-region was saved! I was drunk as a skunk and was in no mood to bike. I wanted the van. I wanted an ice pack. I got the van in about 15 minutes and an ice pack when I got home.

If you are considering such an excursion, do not weigh heavily on my description. I'm sorta a poo-pooer on such tours that require any sort of athleticism. I like to eat and drink, seated in a comfortable booth, surrounded by rich mahogany and white table cloths.

Cheers, my dears!


  1. Lauren, you are a scream! Thanks for the dose of cheer, and,


  2. too funny! love it!

  3. Too funny! Loved your whining...I mean wine-ing experience! That flat tire probably saved your life!


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