By BOB NORBERG

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

“Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me,” wrote Dutch journalist Tim Krabbe in The Rider, a book about his years as an amateur bicycle racer.

Snobby, but probably what it takes to excel in individual sports.

Training for the medio Levi Leipheimer King Ridge GranFondo can feel like that, but on a very entry-level scale. If you don’t get somewhat self-absorbed, it’s doubtful you’d put in the time and effort to train.

A medio is only 65 miles, a Metric Century in length, within the ability of many cyclists.

Coleman Valley Road is steep, an 800-foot climb in its first mile that figured in the first couple of professional Tour of California events.

Separately, each is very doable, but together they are a challenge.

“For most amateur-recreational cyclists, getting to the 100-mile mark you feel you have that flush of accomplishment, that you have done something really special,” Bill Oetinger, Santa Rosa Cycling Club’s ride director, told me. “I don’t thing anyone should disparage a 65-mile ride that includes Coleman Valley, that is a very worthy goal. If you can do that ride, you are standing atop a heap of people who couldn’t touch that endeavor.”

I took a 32-mile training ride Thursday, West Dry Creek and Dry Creek and across Dutcher Creek Road to Asti, then a detour up the backside of Canyon Road just for hill training. I turned around at the cemetery and dropped back into Geyersville for the ride home to Healdsburg.

Two and a half hours riding time, temperatures in the mid 80s. Why does there always seem to be a head wind?

The pre-fondo climate is building.

The Santa Rosa Cycling Club is having its pre-fondo preview ride, weather permitting, at 8 a.m. Sunday from Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol. It’s 47 miles and covers Coleman Valley Road.

The consensus is if I can do 10.3 miles up Pine Flat Road, which was last Saturday’s ride, I’ll be OK on Coleman Valley. I’ll find out Sunday.

NorCal Bike Sports is also doing rides Sept. 25 and 26 from its Santa Rosa shop following the routes of both the 65-mile mediofonds and 100-mile granfondo. They are also offering $10 discounts to fondo entrants for bike tune-ups.