Friday, November 17, 2006

Telling Tall Tales

This will be the 9th year of the G.A.S. That's a lot of races(really fast rides). Everyone who has been out has a story to tell; days of glory, days of suffering. Here's a chance to tell your tale, or tuck your tail between your legs. Either way should be interesting to hear...for those o.t.b. to hear about what Phil and Paul would have seen. For those in the middle or back, is there really such a place when you're digging into your own personal "suitcase of courage"? We're all heros in our own minds at one time or another. If not what would keep you coming back for more?
Would like to start this out with folks who've been out since the beginning. Let's hear it...Can you remember that far back when the rides left from the fog of Gianni Cyclery?
Mig

7 Comments:

At 10:48 AM , Blogger Erin Meyers said...

Bringin' the boys out from Durango to suffer in the rain with only 23 tooth rear cogs. That was 1998.
Duncan Bra

 
At 9:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm...hard to remember when epic winter rides turned officially into Grasshoppers...think this one was about 1999...I know we were still living on the kibbutz on Dog Run. Anyways, somehow I miraculously managed to convince G. to do King Ridge/Willow Creek with me on Mig and T's tandem. I remember how great it was to be able to chat with folks and access food storage with both hands off the bars. We stayed with the lead group until the first King Ridge climb. Then, I remember G. taking the first of about two million p breaks. Those of you who know me know that this must have been karma coming back to haunt me. We kept a pretty brisk pace, it being the fit years, after all. As we approached the plateau near the killer horses and abandoned schoolhouse before Tin Barn, we could glipse Counselor D.W. up ahead. As soon as he saw us, he picked up the pace. We sprinted to catch on, but ended up fishtailing the rear wheel of the tandem across a cattle guard at full acceleration. We kept it upright, guess it wasn't our time...we didn't see the Counselor after that, but we did have a battle with Mr. Balchowsky climbing Willow Creek. At the end, we finished in 4:12, which was faster than I could have ever imagined riding King Ridge/Willow Creek from Gianni's. I remember I sat alone shivering on the pavement in the parking lot, until Brett V.N. said, C, what are you doing?!

 
At 9:36 AM , Blogger Mig said...

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At 3:30 PM , Blogger Mig said...

Alright, so the first race there were 20-30 people.Mostly Gianni, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz folk. The route was Sweetwater-Willow Creek. The descent down Graton was as cold as it gets, I remember half way down Vine Hill realizing that I couldn't feel from my neck to my nose, good thing I wasn't in need of chewing yet. Everything was social up West Side until Sweetwater. The Palace boys showed up and layed it down on the back side of Sweetwater. Ben took off and George and Rog' followed. A solid group of me, Dan, Ron, Leo, Brett,...?who else...made it over the top together. Ben headed back after making us suffer on the climb and Rog and Geo were away. We could see them on River Rd and let them dangle for a while. At this point we were missing the football game. Hunter had a boombox stuffed in his jersey, or was it taped to his frame? We caught Geo and Rog by Monte Rio and were a group of 6-8 hitting Willow Creek. People starting cracking after the bottoms and with a few left by the twin Sisters it was Rag doll Ronnie who dropped the hammer and rode on to the first Grasshopper victory. I think we'll have to do this loop next year....10th annual.
Mig

 
At 6:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing like local glory. Good friends fierce competition and epic courses. It's what I train for all year...

 
At 2:37 PM , Anonymous Dan Harting said...

There are so many good and painful memories of Grasshoppers past. I like this story because it involves a little bit of humor.
I'm not sure of the year but I think it was the first year of the Old Caz race...maybe 2001..? Well, I was able to make it onto the back of the lead group after risking life and limb descending the dirt to the creek. The usual caracters were there; George, Roger, Shane, Aaron K., Glen, and I think one or two more. As we descended on to the pavement into Cazadero we picked up Victor who decided that the dirt parts of the race would be too hard for him to negotiate. He was trying to feed some of us some crazy juice concoction. I think it was gapefruit and beet or some shit like that. He refered to it as liquid EPO. I passed on his offer. We were all wondering what the hell he was doing in the group. He would go to the front and attack on the little climbs just outside of Cazdero. I remember going to the back of the group and looking in Aaron K's eyes. He had a giant question mark on his face. Aaron is from Santa Cruz so he didn't know who Victor was. I filled him in and we just looked at each other like...oh well!? We all did our best to ignore him until Willow Creek.
I just went off on a tangent about Victor but the main part of the story is about to be told. So, we're in the paceline somewhere between Duncans Mills and Jenner. Roger is in front of me in the rotaion. I was in a kind of pain- daze. You know, the kind where you notice little things that you normally wouldn't. Somehow noticing these things help you take the edge off of the hurt you're in. One of the things I noticed in front of me was that Roger was wearing one Sidi shoe on his Left foot and one Shimano shoe on his right. I thought that was a little odd but figured he must have some kind of foot asymetry. By wearing a different shoe on each foot it was somehow accomodating his irregularity. Being that we were in the middle of the paceline, I figured we had enough oxygen to talk a little bit. I proceeded to ask,"Hey Rog, what's up with the two different shoes?" Without looking down he halfway turned around to look at me and asked "What?" like he had no idea what I was talking about. I said, "The shoes. What's up with the shoes?" He looked down at his feet and was so surprised at what he was looking at that he stopped peddaling for a few strokes . He looked at his right foot and he looked at his left foot and then he hit his hand on his hanbdlebars and said "Shit, I thought something felt weird"! Apparently he had two pairs of shoes in the car when he was getting dressed and was in such a hurry to get to the start line that he didn't notice the fact that he had two diffeernt shoes on.
When we made it over to Willow Creek I noticed that I wasn't seeing Roger as much in the rotation. Anyone who has ridden with him knows that it is surprising not to see him late in the race. He is one of the legendary strongmen at the Grasshoppers especially if it has some dirt in it. Well, I didn't see him again during the ride. When it was over and we were getting a bite to eat I asked Roger what happened to him on Willow Creek. He looked over at me and exclaimed "You asshole! After you told me about my shoes I couldn't ride normally anymore. It was okay when I didn't know about it but once I did I felt lopsided and couldn't stop thinking about it. It through my whole race off!" I laughed about it for a few days after.
Roger, if your reading this, I hope I didn't offend you with this story. We all know that you're "the man".

 
At 10:48 AM , Blogger Los said...

The most painful experience in recent memory was that of Bear Valley. Jake was surely gaining on me. I was one out of a handful of people who decided to cover the 50 some-odd miles of singletrack and fireroad on a one-speed bike, Jake one of the few on a cross - choices you wish you didn't make once it's far too late, and you realize you planned it that way.

At the trailhead of Bolinas Ridge my chain lost a pin for the second time leaving me without enough steel to get the job done. I knew of no other option than to run... Jake was surely gaining on me. Constantly looking over my shoulder I needed to see who was there. It could have been Jake.

And I ran up and down those stupid hills on this stupid choice of a bike in this stupid spandex. In the end I was dead; dehydrated; covered in baked dirt, leaves, and god only knows what else.

I was the gingerbread man who had lost all of his buttons, and there was no place I would have rather been.

Old Caz
This Saturday - February 24th

 

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