From the window of the pickup we watched a father and his 10-year-old son continue toward the 100-mile mark through pouring rain. We heard on Rick's CB radio that a 69-year-old man had been airlifted to a hospital in Santa Rosa following a crash. We watched swift-moving bicycle peletons dive from the foothills onto the patchwork of valley farm roads near Davis.
Rick, a non-cyclist who had volunteered to help support the event through his local CB radio club, maintained a serenely bemused expression on his face the entire time.
"This is a pretty interesting thing they've got going here," he said -- summing up, better than I ever could, this surreally seductive California dream.