On the West Coast, we take for granted that every cyclist knows exactly what we mean by “Coast Ride.” It turns out we are incredibly fortunate to be able to hop on the bike and ride the entire length of California with a view of the ocean the entire time… So we did!
This year marked the 3rd annual KO Coast Ride, and the 5th time our staff has made this journey. This has always been a great way to bond with fellow cyclists, work on new skills, and thank our fans for all their support through the years. This year’s ride brought in some new faces – in addition to some of our favorite training buddies, we also had the ladies of KO multisport, and two of the dashing men from the 2014 RAAM Team inGamba/World Bicycle Relief.
|Photo Creds: Claudia Quiroz|
This trip has always been an epic journey, and this year proved no different. As working stiffs we limit ourselves to a 3-day ride, stopping in the lovely San Luis Obispo as a reward for the 280 miles of cycling over the course of the long weekend. This year 25 of us rolled out amidst the fog of San Francisco’s presidio and headed straight to the coast. We were 3 days shy of exploring the new Devil’s Slide trail, but had the rare treat of racing through an exceptional tunnel recently opened within the hillside. After a brief refuel in Half Moon Bay, we put the legs into cruise control and ticked away the rolling miles with the ocean to the right and farmlands to the left. This year we decided to push onward a bit more and ended the evening in Aptos, just south of Santa Cruz.
The Aptos stop was key for a successful Day 2. We knew we wanted to head to south Big Sur over the course of 101 miles but the farmlands of Watsonville and Castroville on the initial rollout, followed by 15 miles of bike path -- often add a little extra mental challenge. Aptos was right on the route, and since we eliminated much of the earlier manuevering through Santa Cruz, we rolled as a gruppo compacto for the first 40 miles. We hit Carmel earlier than expected and then had nothing but sunshine, waves and a ripping headwind for the next 60 miles. Our ace SAG czars, Kristina and Adam, had set up a pizza picnic for us at Point Lobos, and we prepped for the remaining miles ahead. There’s nothing like battling a headwind with your buddies and the giddy hallucinations that come with happily over-exerting yourself. We rolled into Gorda in the late afternoon and – the honest truth – sat and watched whales migrating down the coast. Yes, it really was that good!
Finally, the last day we enjoyed the rollers south to Ragged Point – a treat for most of us since this section is often the last 15 miles of an already haggard day of riding. But nope, we planned it perfectly and had the most amazing morning churning through the remaining miles of Big Sur, San Simeon, and onward to Cayucos for cookies and tacos. It’s always the last 20 miles that hurt the worst, but the promise of victory – and a shower – was ours. This group rode together, laughed together, and was genuinely one of the strongest and most considerate groups we have played alongside in a while. In the words of Ryan Goldman, “yes, yes Ryan, you were the best.” Thanks everyone for playing, see you next year!
|Photo Creds: Markus Duffin|