It’s a funny feeling when you get the pre-race notes from the indefatigable Nate and even though the stage is a mighty 120 kilometers, you learn that it’s been shortened by 100 kilometers already.
The consequence of January’s Rainpocalypse are the hillsides now covering roadsides, and yesterday’s enormous detour. It also means that today’s final stage three of The Coast Ride stretched “merely” from Paso Robles, to my namesake, King City.
When the going gets tough the tough get going.
When The Coast Ride miraculously wiggles its way into the only three days that northern California doesn’t see devastating rain, and therefore the traditional stage two is a literal washout caused by a few hundred tons of boulders plus an entire hillside scattered across Highway One spanning from Monterey to Morro Bay, team inGamba gets going!
Saturday’s stage one of the Coast Ride started early with the 5am chirp of my alarm clock. With sunrise another two and a half hours later, there was lots to do even before the sun met the horizon. Namely, coffee, unpacking and repacking my already packed bag, purely out of nervous habit, another slurp of coffee, which segued into the first 5km neutral roll out to the team hotel in Mill Valley. The team meeting quickly ensued in typical pre-race format — riders kitting up and downing the last bits of maple fueled energy for the day — and more coffee was enjoyed.
I spent the better part of my career riding in support of contemporary giants of the sport. They all passed what I call the first name test — if you know to whom I’m referring just by their first name, they’ve made it. Carlos, Thor, Vincenzo, Ivan, and most notably a friend of mine named Peter*, all pass this test.
It’s a busy time of year, and if you anything like me, you’ve got a lot going on. There’s so much happening close to home right now that it’s all too easy to forget the millions of people around the world who struggle every day with things we take for granted: Clean water, education, seeing a doctor, or making it to work each morning.
Having a strong core and increasing flexibility can have a dramatic affect on yourlife, on and off the bike. Not only will it make you a better, fitter athlete, but when you’respending hours in the saddle it will make youa more comfortable one, too.
This year, we closed out our season with an awesome little weekender in our own backyard. We were excited to revisit Russian River, and to explore more of what this incredible corner of California has to offer, but apparently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. Driving out of the Bay Area with a mind to do some serious riding, the forecast was for rain, rain, and more rain.