Levi's Gran Fondo bicycle ride
October 3, 2009
October 3, 2009
Yesterday we drove up to Santa Rosa for Levi's Gran Fondo ride. This morning it's time to head over to the start for the big event.
I'm hooking up with Matt Twisselman to do the 100km route. Besides being a great guy, he's also the LOC chairman for the the Santa Cruz stage of the Amgen Tour of California. He's also the guy I have to thank for the great Chairman's Ride jersey I'll be wearing today. Matt is busy working the VIP area with Levi and the other ToC honchos.
Some cool sculptures to keep us busy while we wait outside the VIP area.
Then it's time to head over to the start area with thousands of other cyclists.
The front of the pack is filled with pros including guys from the Bissell team, though Ben and Andy are out racing somewhere far away this weekend. Odessa is ready to roll as well.
Bob Roll and other friends kick things off.
And then we slowly start to roll out. I love the two photos below of Levi and Odessa heading out for the start.
I was a bit lost in the mass of riders. I'll see you again in a little over 60 miles.
Photographers were taking photos at different points along the route. There were so many photos, it was almost impossible to find any that might include me, but I did happen to stumble across this one at the top of Coleman Valley Road. The ride down the coast was beautiful, but it was a sudden touch climb when we turned on Coleman. Nothing like a photo of you after working your butt off on a climb. The original photo is available here. You can also see me at 1:02 into this movie from the ride.
Back at the finish it's time for food and a little fun. I loved the old-style bicycle vehicles they had puttering around.
We drove home via San Francisco and the coast. Plenty of great sights along the way as usual.
A beautiful sunset greeted us back in Santa Cruz. Now to enjoy some spectacular local Santa Cruz cycling. Hopefully we'll have our own Gran Fondo here one day as well.