Chris’ Top 10 Rides of 17

Trying to categorize last year’s top rides is like trying to pick my favorite bottle of Pinot. It’s a tall order replete with the potential to overlook a gem. But a “best of” list deserves careful consideration, so here goes.

Gravel: Anywhere, Anytime

I’d danced around the edges of gravel but last year I came to fully appreciate that fun starts when pavement ends. From winding through Napa’s vineyards to Kansas’ Flint Hills to Arizona’s endless gravel roads and trails, the soft road beckoned.

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One Saturday In March

“It’s going to blow over in a minute.” –Andrew Talansky

Last spring I spent more time lamenting lack of fitness than doing something about it, but looked to jump start things with Fish Rock. Then a trip to NAHBS with ENVE and trade show legs intervened, not to mention sketchy weather. A late Friday text came from friend and neighbor Andrew Talansky about a big Saturday outing. What ensued was downpours, wind, hail, a hike-a-bike and even snow flurries. Four and a half hours later I rolled home cold, wet, tired, covered with mud, and satisfied. One of cycling’s great rewards is how a physically demanding and psychologically taxing day is just what you’ve been waiting for.

Bay to Bay Ride

When a one-way, 135-mile ride for a great cause starts with breakfast tacos, includes lots of pedal strokes with Neil, Lucas Euser, Ted King, Andrew Talansky, Yuri Hauswald & more, and ends with fresh lobster, it definitely lands on the top 10.

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Chino Grinder Gravel Race

Low expectations present a great opportunity to exceed them. So what better way to pre-game than drinking close to a ½ bottle of tequila the afternoon before tackling 110 miles of gravel and 25+ mph winds? Seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. While my competitive spirit flickered last year, on race day I discovered it never went out, and reached deep for an outing that proved to myself the tank isn’t empty.

CampoVelo Warm-Up Ride

CampoVelo is debauchery at its finest, with eats from some of the world’s most noted chefs, outstanding wine and of course bikes. But the highlight? Getting to ride home roads again with brochacho Lucas Euser, who’d deplaned for Boulder 5 years prior. We rolled to the ride, hung out, caught up, and even took the hard way home. Days like these.

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Chefs Cycle

I’m not a chef, but I do like to eat, and support important causes like Chefs Cycle’s mission to end childhood hunger. And even better: doing so involved three days of riding my bike while meeting some awesome new people.

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Dirty Kanza 200

I’d ridden more than 200 miles once, but the thought of tackling DK was exponentially more intimidating. And it certainly lived up to the billing, and was some kind of fun. Can’t wait for this June.

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Mammoth Gran Fondo and Recovery Ride

This was a crazy thought Neil and I concocted a couple years ago, and convinced Mammoth Mountain’s Bill Cockroft and Caroline Casey that it was a great idea. A 100+ mile fondo in a spectacular location deserves a respectable recovery the following day, somewhere in the 135+ mile range. Over the years we’ve convinced a number of others to join in.

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Outdoor Office, Island Style

In October I flew off to Kona for clients Topical Edge and ENVE at the IRONMAN World Championships. My brand new Open U.P.P.E.R. seemed right at home amidst the sea of tri bikes, Speedos and nervous energy (not mine). Long days started with surprisingly good rides, made that much better when clients/buds Jake Pantone, Jeff Byers and Lucas Euser are along.


Worst Day on the bike is better than best at work

Speaks for itself, anyone who loves to ride knows what I mean.

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