By BOB NORBERG

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Distance: 32 miles

Average: 13 mph

Maximum: 30 mph

Riding time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

There is an unnamed ridge separating Dry Creek and Alexander valleys, a tapered finger pointing south from Warm Springs Dam with only three roads crossing it … Dutcher Creek, Canyon and Lytton Springs.

It makes for a nice, mid-week training ride for the medio leg of the Levi Leipheimer King Ridge GranFondo.

By taking an S route, you can hit the steepest parts of all three roads and tack on some mileage on West Dry Creek and on Asti Road-Geyserville Avenue.

Sunshine, moderate temperatures, few cars, fewer cyclists, the only drama was provided by a logging truck hauling redwood over Dutcher Creek Road. I was on the shoulder side of the white line, but the truck still left me no room, none.

On the flat of Geyserville Road just north of Canyon Road, with a tailwind, I passed three farm tractors at about 20 mph. So I have those bragging rights.

Coleman Valley Road, the toughest part of the 65-mile medio fondo, still looms large in my imagination. It climbs 800 feet in its first mile and 1,633 feet over its 10 miles, before dropping down into Occidental.

Carlos Perez of Bike Monkey magazine and a granfondo organizer said not to worry, there’s no shame in walking your bike up Coleman, many people do. He advised me to wear comfortable shoes.

I haven’t given up yet. I still have four weeks to train.