N+1



From my keen observation, if you’re from California, you refer to Paso Robles simply as “Paso”. If you’re from any other state, it’s “Paso Robles” and it likely doesn’t mean a darn thing. I Google translated it and Spanish translates to Step Oaks, which also doesn’t mean a darn thing.

If you’ve spent time there, you likely know that it’s awesome. As in, allow me to let the cat out of the bag: Paso (Robles) is one of California’s last pieces unadulterated natural geographic beauty. I chalk it up to the lack of major airport nearby. SFO is far to the north, LAX is far to the south. Sure, there’s San Luis Obispo nearby, but I seriously think the cops out front of the pick-up terminal will park your car for you.

inGamba swung south to Paso before making the trip overseas to kick of the 2017 tour year and it was glorious. Sunshine has been scarce in these parts since ought-sixteen, so even though it was a tad chilly — California chilly, that is — we took in every ounce of blue sky and radiant vitamin D.

I did not take this picture. I’m talented with a camera, but I also take phone calls with my camera. This is the handiwork of Jim Merithew.

We had no fewer than seven stream crossings on this ride. All of which were across the tarmac.

Oh man, this was hilarious. We were retracing a route that our esteemed tour guide knows well from years past. Unfortunately, that aforementioned rain has been destroying the lay of the land. And roads. We ignored the ROAD CLOSED signs for a few miles, but we couldn’t ignore the 100 feet of missing road and 6 foot drop into the “stream”.

This could be a thousand places in Italy. It’s California though.

The penultimate day was a stinger. But, boy oh boy, do I recommend downloading and copying that route. It will include an optional stop at Epoch winery. Optional if you’re sober and/or under 21. Otherwise, I suggest you make it mandatory. Just north of the road to the middle of nowhere, it’s worth a visit. It doesn’t hurt when you visit with the architect who designed this stunner of a building. I trust they’ll treat you right regardless.

Bonus if you do that sweet ass route: smoked tacos. People people, SMOKED tacos! Pay special attention to your time in Cayucos. Sweet little town. You’ll thank me later after you’ve had the smoked tacos. Because, smoked tacos.

I could wax poetic about why the Grasshoppers are the greatest thing to happen to cycling twenty years ago, but that would be silly because I already did that here. A couple of buddies and I took in another day of wall to wall sunshine to ride the route for March 4th’s Super Sweetwater race.

Infamous Old Caz descent, which you know well if you’ve spent any time off road in Sonoma.

One of a few dozen obstacles thanks to the deluge of 2017. Here we’re missing merely 3/4 of the road.

Let’s touch a sensitive nerve for a minute: there are way too many people in California. That said, there’s a reason each of them are here — job, family, weather, life choices. Why am I here? This view below has a great deal to do with it. This place is stunning.

Coincidentally, at the end of that stunner view is a river crossing. Come race day, we’re going to be running across it. Here on bright sunshiny Wednesday, though, we remove our shoes and tip-toe without getting swept downstream.

Russia is in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. I won’t get political, but if you get to Highway 1 around Jenner, you should do everything in your power to get to Russian House #1. It won’t make sense until you’re there. In the meantime, chew on these Yelp reviews. Oh, and the food is free (besides what you decide to tip).

N+1.

That equation is appropriate for number of days one should spend on a bike, and I’ve been logging lots and lots of N lately.

It’s equally appropriate for the number of bikes. Working with some good friends at Cannondale, SRAM, Zipp, and Speedplay, I present unto you the latest and greatest. Yeah yeah, cross season is over. Those tires are slick and maaaaan this bike hauls! Here it is on a Thule T2 Pro XT rack…

And here she is in her natural environment. #newbikeday is the best.



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