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“You go from fog-bound Big Sur, chilly, freezing, and then suddenly you’re on a high climb, above the clouds, it’s sunny, and then you’re down into a desert-like, drought-ridden frying pan that just about destroyed everyone.” Tom Vanderbilt summed up the Coast Ride perfectly. But then, you’d expect nothing less from a best-selling author.

It wasn’t for the faint-hearted, but it was fun. Everyone swore it was fun. The Coast Ride is one of those things that’s impossible to explain to your non-cycling friends. It’s a right of passage for riders in the Bay Area, a battle against landscape and weather and your own body, from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, characterised by big distances and long days. If you’re not a roadie, it sounds like a slog. And it is, but then, that’s the thing, isn’t it? This is exactly the kind of ride we dream about, an adventure with friends that we undertake just for the hell of it. It’s hard, sure. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be interested.

The inGamba crew likes this ride. We do it every year. We know the twists and turns and all of the possible detours, but every time we do it, it reveals something new. Something about California, something about ourselves.

It’s the kind of experience that we love sharing with our friends, so we were delighted to team up with the Zwift crew for some silly, fun, exhausting, exhilarating riding. The “short” day was 125 kilometers. The other three were all more than 200. By the end of it, there were some tired legs, but we’re almost certain that the muscles that really felt the strain were in our faces, because we were laughing and smiling too much. Is that possible? No, we just need to practice more.

We could tell you what it was like, but it would take too long for a blogpost. This is one of those times when the old adage about a picture’s worth rings true. It’s easier if we just show you with a highlights video that is going to make you want to drop what you’re doing and go ride your bike, right away. So without further ado, feast your eyes on some fun … And then look at your calendar and start thinking about how you’re going to come along for the ride next year.

outtakes from inGamba Tours on Vimeo.

There’s more info on our 2019 Coast Ride trip here, or you can hit us up at for the details. Don’t be shy! 

Colin O'Brien

Colin is an author and journalist from Ireland. He first met inGamba's founder João Correia back in 2013. João handed him a bidon full of Chianti Classico and took him to a three-course lunch. They've been friends ever since.