Grinduro, Grinduro, Grine-Deer-oh! (As Dustin would say). Certainly you're sick of hearing us talk about how stoked we are on this event. However, it has fully taken the place of Interbike for us. Maybe we'll consider Reno next year, but only because of it's proximity to the great riding near Quincy, California. You see, we have a limited budget here to travel around just to talk to people about their new cool bikes, so we'd rather do that where PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY RIDING THEM. Not that surprising when you think about it, right?
And I’m saying this as someone who has never shied away from the glitz and glamour of The Strip in September. I started going to Vegas in the year 2001 (I drove the Saturn Cycling Team Car and it took me years to pay off the speeding tickets) and now that I’ve grown up (a little) I can safely say —this is way more fun and a hell of a lot more productive.
So, here's my brain dump from hanging out over the weekend. Thanks to everyone who came over to our booth to say hello and cheers with beers. Aaaand go!
No less than ten minutes from arriving at the venue Jeff from All City handed me a cold one. He was sitting around with Adam from Sklar Bicycles. That guy is the best. Both those guys are the best. Kyle and Ty from Golden Saddle Cyclery and I got to spend some quality time together, both on the trails and at the Quincy Hospital (they don’t do surgery in case you were wondering) where Ty was recovering from a broken scapula and clavicle. But that was later. That first night we saw Meredith from Rapha and her husband Johs from WTB. Crystal from Zwift came up to say hi with Kelton and Bianca. Seriously, we could just stop there and we would be stoked…Oh wait, there’s Fergus from Ritchey and Dustin from Cadence Collection… sup guys?
Also, Shinya from Above Bicycles was there, in the flesh! He gathered up the remaining PDX Grinduro Edition socks in his arms with a smile.
Thank goodness that we were near the SRAM folks too. Thanks Kate for keeping our bourbon supplies stocked and of course Spencer was there to keep Velonews in the mix. And keep them fresh and fun. Here's the three C's if you don't believe me.
But the list of industry folk doesn’t stop there. It’s almost too much to rattle off, but hell, I’m here so I’ll give it a try. I thought about trying to put all the links to every rad company and brand and artist and bike builder in here, but then that thought made me tired of copy and paste, so I figured you, dear reader, could figure it out.
I will forever be inclined to ride with Emily and Chris and the rest of the Squid crew. They are a roving party and if you see them, anywhere, throw a hi-five. I had the chance to ride with Emily out in Eastern Oregon earlier this summer (more on that later) and it solidified our friendship in all things weird. She's amazing. Sara from Durango became a new friend with an infectious laugh and we had some trailside hangs with CD and Gerben from Chrome. Tony Pereira from Breadwinner busted his ass showing off on his new bike, and the whole of the Rock Lobster crew ripped the timed section like it was nothing, when really it wasn’t nothing, it was freaking hard. And Sean from Vynl? He looked amazing in that new MAAP kit. Just look at this bike!
David from Crow’s Feet Commons (best shop in Bend, Oregon) and I passed Julian from Omata in exactly the same spot as the year previous. Suffering up the climb with a smile and a nod. And maybe a grunt of admission (from me). Paul from Paul Components was handing out much needed chain lube at at the end of the dirt climb. THE PAUL! Hopefully he didn't see us smashing dorritos into our collective faces (oh maybe that was just me) as we sunned ourselves on a boulder nearby. He didn't, I'm sure of it because he was shouting into a megaphone about chain lube the entire time.
After the descent, and Ty’s broken collarbone, sorry Ty, there was more partying going on at the swimming hole. I had a moment to recollect there the things that Ty can (and can't) do on a Specialized Sequoia. Yipes. But Robin from Blackburn was handing out cocktails and Eric Richter, was just, well… being Eric and welcoming every dusty, road weary person that rolled up.
The best part about all of this (besides all the name dropping, don’t worry, I’m fully aware of it), is even though we’re all from brands and companies and different walks of life, we are there to ride bikes. To share some fellowship on the backroads of Quincy, California. So, when the question inevitably arises each time you see someone new, the “how’s it going?” It is instantly known that this is more of an immediate question, like a request for another beer, or a toke from whatever you’ve got, than a business related question. And more often than not it’s returned with a “oh I’m great, we’re riding bikes!” Than anything related to those Q4 reports that will still be there when you return to the office on Monday (or Wednesday depending on how many more days you’re going to ride bikes).
So, will I be back next year? Duh. And will everyone that I saw this year be there? Let’s hope so. And you, dear reader, you should consider it too. There was always talk of a “consumer day” at that show in the sand, but seriously, how about just a ride day? Grinduro is not our secret party in the woods, Grinduro is for everyone. Grinduro is for the children.