It has been a week since the race. I have been pouring over the blogs and pictures from so many people. Our guests from Sweden just headed back home, so Mitzi and I are having our first real day off in a while. Not sure where to begin… writing is not my strongest point.
Wednesday, August 20th: This was to be the kick-off to the week of bike riding. Not too many people from outside the area showed up, but it was a huge turn out of locals. Had a great time, perfect start to the week.
Thursday, August 21st: Annandale State Park. Plenty of people showed up for this one, a lot of people I knew, and plenty I didn’t. People from all over the US, England, Wales, Scotland and France in attendance. It was fun to see what other areas think of our riding and the heat of summer in Northern California. This was a huge group to try and get through the park and over to the Sycip’s for a little open house. We had a great ride over and back with a lovely taco truck lunch, paid for by the Sycips. Each group that I was able to ride with seemed really happy to be riding out in our area. It felt really good to be a part of so many people having a great vacation. I remember talking to one rider who just wanted to ride in the Redwoods, two minutes later we were riding through a really nice grove of Redwood trees. To see the smile on his face was priceless. Thanks Jeremy for opening your shop and letting us all come hang out. Sean from Soulcraft brought the keg that made it harder for some to make it back to the cars across the park.
Friday, August 22nd: Fairfax Ride
Sean Walling was the leader for this ride and again, lots of people showed up. Some were too tired to make it out after the previous day’s ride. We were planning on doing the Pine Mountain Loop. Luckily we ran into one of the Tam Rancho guys, and he was nice enough to give us all passes, so we switched gears and road out there. It was a perfect switch to what we had planned. The group splintered up pretty quickly with faster folks hammering a fast loop out with the rest of us enjoying the riding and the views. Back down to the cars, we all headed over to the brewery for some lunch. Again, a perfect day of riding and meeting new people.
Friday evening: We took off late from our busy day of hanging out in Fairfax. It seems like there must have been 10 cars full of us racing down Highway 101 for the ride. We all parked and got our clothes on for the ride over the bridge. Friends from out of town were having a hard time believing 20 minutes ago we were in some great warm weather zone and were now freezing.
The ride over the bridge was great, more first timers with huge smiles. It seemed like we kept picking up more and more people. You would pass a small group taking pictures and notice they were on singlespeeds. If you gave them the, “Come on,” nod and they would be riding with us. Our large group got to American Cyclery one hour later than the mandatory leave time for the ride. I was glad we were all so punctual. Most of the huge group took off with some of us waiting for Tony P. He had called and would be there any minute. No one wants to leave some one behind. Our group took a more direct path to the bridge. On the way to the bridge, we ran into even more late riders. Again, a great ride through the city over the Golden Gate Bridge and down to Curby Cove. Curby Cove is a really special place. Mitzi and I spent the night down there on the last night of our honeymoon, over ten years ago. If you ever get a chance to spend the night there, I highly recommend it. The barbeque didn’t seem to work out as well as we thought, but people were really stoked to be down there and I think the group as a whole had a great time. Getting home at a decent hour really helped.
Saturday, August 23rd: Course set up/Registration check-in
What can I say, all the months of prep and all the great help made Saturday really fun.
Jim & Ron made life much easier on us since they set-up the upper course. Lynette, with family in tow, ran registration. We broke down registration at 5pm and made the announcement that we were doing the decider at the bowling alley. The group had an hour to get down there. Once at the bowling alley, we got a few lanes rented and the four guys all vying for 2009 fitted up with their shoes. The bowling alley bar was packed and it was great to see everyone down there enjoying the place. We had spent quite a few nights scoping it out, wondering if we could pull it off without getting kicked out.
My Dad did us all a great favor by keeping people out of the walkways and the bowling went better than expected.
Once we were done with bowling, it was off to find our winner on Ms. Pacman. If there were more people wanting the race in 2009, we were going to through in some air hockey eliminations, but there were only four people who really wanted it, so we went with the two rounds. Colorado rocked at both. I must say, I was hoping for either France or Colorado.
After hanging out at the bowling alley for a bit longer, a group of us headed out to Azzurro Pizzeria for some food. Michael, Reid and Steve were expecting us and it was great to see so many of our friends there having a late dinner also. At one point, I think we had over half the tables filled with riders. We headed home, with a quick stop at Downtown Joe’s. We had to see how things were turning out. They seemed pretty packed with all of us singlespeeders outside.
Sunday, August 24th: Race day
Now the stress, riding and lack of good sleep were now piling up. Ron & George headed out first thing to hide Easter eggs for us. We also wanted them to check the markings, just in case someone thought it would be fun to change them.
Jeff pretty much took over and at this point and got everything going. Jeff handled all the volunteers. Sean W was the EMT, in charge of all that sort of stuff. Sean was able to get a bunch of people to come out and volunteer there personal time, just in case some one got hurt. Gladly, nothing really serious transpired. Sean did a great job with all of it.
We got to mess with all the folks that didn’t make it in to the race too. We made them run pretty far for a top 20 spot into the race, but then let them all in. The race was really fun with more people on course than I can ever remember. All the riders were super cool, no pushing or yelling, we were all just out to have some fun riding bikes. Some people figured out who I was. After the 5th person yelled, “Go Curtis!” the guy in front me would finally asked if it was Curtis Inglis behind them. They would thank me for putting all this on and I would have to try to explain it was a big group helping me out. It felt really good to race. I can’t tell you how funny it was to have Carl Decker slow down, slap me on the ass, flash a smile of victory, and then race off to the finish line, his black cape flying behind him.
One week later: Someone asked me today if I was having post-partum depression… and, yes, there is a part of me missing the build-up to the race, even though it was really a lot of work and really stressful. I am guessing my customers who are waiting for bikes are happy this race is over so I can focus on their orders. I am really thankful for all of the help I received from friends and family over the last year in order to get this race off the ground as well as the very generous sponsors. People went above and beyond what we had asked for and I am truly speechless at their generosity. Go spend money with them, they deserve it. Thank you to everyone who helped make SSWC08 super sweet. With out there help this event would of sucked.