You’re Welcome California

We wrapped up the last blog with a photo of this genre — sweet bike with sweet backdrop. The sun had finally peaked its lovely head to damp California after a harsh two month absence, and I was pedaling a brand new Cannondale SuperX.

This bike was built for a million different purposes, but the most applicable was the next day’s Grasshopper, Super Sweetwater edition. Super Sweet, it was. Super duper soaking wet, it was too.

Hi Yuri.

Topping Fort Ross Road three quarters of the way through the ride and effectively stepping off the cliff that is Meyers Grade was mesmerizing at best, and an absolute whiteout at worst. The ten foot visibility made for some cautious descending, and the rain blowing in sideways off the Pacific at 30mph echeloned out the crowd as if we were in northern Belgium.

The good news of the day is that we all finished no worse for wear — besides shivering hypothermically for three’ish hours afterwards — plus I went home with a victor’s bottle of wine. I considered treating this Syrah as a bottle of champagne and trying to spray it all over the place, but that didn’t seem classy. I’m nothing but class.

Next up, was a three day trip just south of town to Palo Alto and an outing with Adobe. 4:30am is an early time to set one’s alarm, but for the sake of riding around the mountains west of P.A. it’s entirely worth the effort. The riding is breathtaking, the roads are sinuous and silky smooth, and watching Ben of Adobe drink whole milk in the middle of a tough four hour ride — plus a cookie the size of his head — is spectacular. The only downside was seeing roads throughout the area in a sad state of disrepair since the ground is so saturated as to literally fall out from under the road. At least there’s the artichoke bread

Turns out that when you’re finished with the morning ride at 7am, that leaves time in the schedule to shimmy through rush hour Bay Area traffic and fit in a Wednesday morning Roaster’s Ride amid other morning chores. Listening to NPR en route north, however, points out that there’s a mudslide on the immediate roll out from the Roasters Ride, thereby rendering the road impassable. So with lemonade to be made from a sour road closure, we convened and went upwards and into the great Mount Tam.

We scoped some ancient redwoods.

And I diverted towards the end and went across a bridge. I love bridges.

And it made for a very most excellent Wednesday, albeit circuitous.

So after a merry one night of rest in my own bed, it was time to check out what’s hip and hipster in Austin — SXSW here I come! Okay, here I came, ’cause here I currently am in Texas. I’m here with the great folks of SRAM as part of their Open The Road program, which introduces people to what’s awesome right now in cycling. Let me be the first to tell you that eTap HRD is the CAT’S PAJAMAS! Which is an expression I don’t think I’ll ever understand, but really quite enjoy. The best shifting on the market paired with the best braking on planet earth; that’s a wicked nice combo.

Oh hey, you’re welcome California, because the sky is opening up here in Texas just like California every single day the previous nonstop two months. You could chalk it up to contemporary global weirding, but I think it’s an equally safe bet to say that crap weather just follows me. Since my departure two days ago, California is now witnessing picture perfect weather, whereas Austin is under a tornado watch and is hit with flooding rain. Okay okay, there’s no actual tornado watch, but the sky did go black as if it were ready to get twisted.

The bright part of the day coincided with the fun part of the day:

…which coincided with the sloppy part of the day:

…which, was fueled by BBQ. Because: Texas. Texas and gnomes.

You’re welcome California. Enjoy that sun while it lasts, because I’m coming back in just a few days.

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