There was a lot to see at Grinduro this year. More people meant more cool bikes. More people meant just that, more people to talk to, more more more. While we all left wanting more, we did take a minute to gather our 3(ish) favorite things from our new favorite ride. Of course the first would be Cheever and his Pit Viper sunglasses...
Let's start with our intrepid founder and road racer turned explorer....
photo by Jake Stangel
Kelton ripped the whole thing. Jeremy remembered catching her at a stop sign while falling, a couple years back. Kelton explained that was her first ride with clipless pedals. It was like... 2 years ago? Then, last winter we took Kelton on a gnarly ride up Mt. Wilson — dirt roads and single track on road bike — Kelton ate so much shit. She was bleeding all over and never complained once. This weekend she went down the last single track like a rocket. That shut my mouth quick.
2. La Luz
I Love music and I love their surf rock vibe and I love drums and rad ladies and this band is all of it. Thanks Giro - or whoever is in love with those girls at Giro - for bringing them . LaLuz was part of the original inspiration for Bande de Filles so it is also full circle to see them there.
3. Single Speed Lady
There was a lady riding the course with a single speed cyclocross. There are always a bunch of people who spent the ride back home all the hipster worrying - including you CD - 8h in the wilderness wondering which bike they will take next year. If only I'm lucky enough to come back next year I will already have won.
Someone told me to shut up when I was wondering how people were doing to race that course full gaz - or even just the timed sections. That was something like " we get it you race a lot and you are burn out on Racing." Or something close. I like when people are honest and also when I can feel so ridiculous that I can laugh at myself. I guess I have a lot of admiration for people discipline for fitness these days because I have none but I still have a deep love for exhaustion both mentally and physically.
1. La Luz
This isn't the first time I've said this and likely won't be the last - I signed up for Grinduro because La Luz headlined the Saturday night concert. I like this band a lot so even if there'd been any doubt that I'd sign up for Grinduro this year La Luz would have easily pushed me over the top to register. They came on stage at 8:30 and it was cold out; I could see that it took them a few songs to simply physically warm up. After a few songs lead singer Shana Cleveland (I just had to look that up I'm not a weirdo fan) cracked a few jokes about riding a bike all day and how our butts must hurt. The rest of the band joined in with butt jokes and that was it, the crowd drew closer and the set took off with more energy.
2. Andrew's Grinduro T-Shirt
My son Andrew made me a very cool birthday card this summer and my first thought was that it would make an even cooler t-shirt. He made a few modifications for the 'duro and this shirt was born. Jeremy and Julie hyped the artist's dad at the event and I got a bunch of thumbs-ups and high fives from folks as they walked away new shirt in hand. (Get one here » Grinduro Tribute)
3. Specialized Sequoia
I signed up for Grinduro the day registration went live months and months ago. From that moment onward I debated, discussed, and schemed what would be the perfect Grinduro bicycle. I had a number of concepts in my head but once I saw the Specialized Sequoia announcement I wanted one. Now, it's pretty easy to have bike envy at Grinduro as there are so many rad bikes rolling around but I rolled back into camp Saturday afternoon absolutely thrilled with my day aboard this new bike. Other than a saddle swap I rode the bike stock and it is a ripper in all segments. I gotta say I really enjoyed the road section getting into a tidy paceline with my pal Julie K and about ten other folks. Even with 34 psi that bike rolled really nicely. And it kicks ass on dirt descents. Those tires, man they are total overachievers on a day like this. I am so impressed with how well they work on loose, dusty singletrack and I think they look pretty cool, too.
photo by Jake Stangel
1. The Crew
I told myself that I'd bring someone new to Grinduro this year and I got to not only take two of my favorite people (see above) but we met up with so many rad folks that were just stoked to be out in the (amazing) woods around Quincy riding. Shout outs to literally every person that was just there hi-fiving it out. Hi Jonathan. Hi Sean. Adam. Johs. Jah Jah! It never ended and was the best way to spend the day.
2. The Bikes
So many cool bikes! So many cool Aluminum bikes. I was overjoyed to test out my new VYNL on the day and even more stoked that The Radavist and SRAM were into it too. But, that wasn't the only cool bike there, playing cool bike bingo was half the fun. Check out that Moth Attack, those Rock Lobsters, and of course the Squid Bikes crew! So good!
3. The Candy
I think maybe I bonked up that final climb. I eschewed a lot of food at the lunch stop for fear of getting that big belly feeling up the climb. But, by the top I was dying. Like, maybe I quit bikes for a few minutes at some point. But, I knew/hoped that the final stop would be similar to last year and full of sugar. And it was. And all was right with the world.
So, there you have it. Oh yeah, the expo. Totally forgot about the expo. There was a lot of amazing squirreled away in there as well. Can this be the new interbike? Where we just focus on riding and cool bikes? Yes? Ok, sounds good.
See you next year.