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Let The Paving Begin

LGF_Roadwork-1It’s hard to imagine the amount of hard work put into The GranFondo every year by so many people. We ask a lot of our community and our volunteers to create the best day on two wheels. From the beginning, my concept of The GranFondo and what it would accomplish centered around giving back to our community, Sonoma County. Together with the folks at Bike Monkey, Odessa and I have put a lot of thought into how the event can impact our community the most. As always The Forget Me Not Farm is at the top of our list of beneficiaries. We also give to local schools and fire departments along the route. Over the last 5 years we’ve been brainstorming and dreaming of ways to give back to the local cycling community that has made Sonoma County the legendary destination it is.

Until today, we’ve only had irons in the fire. Well, with the cooperation of the County, Levi’s GranFondo has started stewarding popular cycling routes that are in desperate need of repair. Sonoma County has to have the most road mileage per capita of any county in California, quite possibly in the US. This is a big reason why it’s such a cyclist’s dream. Yet, it’s difficult for the County and the State to keep up with the maintenance of all these roads. Especially the small, quiet roads that cyclist’s love to ride. So we came up with a plan to help maintain those roads rather inexpensively. Today, Carlos and I met up with a local engineering firm, Parmeter, to do some pothole repair on the first road on our list, Cavedale. Cavedale is about a 4 mile climb between Hwy 12 and Trinity Rd which provides views of Mt Diablo and the entire Bay Area including San Francisco on a clear day. I’ve seen thousands of cyclists riding Cavedale over the years and I hope it will hold up for thousands more in the future. So please, get out there and enjoy a smoother, safer Cavedale everyone! Next up, Sweetwater Springs Rd.

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Norcal High School Development Camp.

I recently attended a couple days of The NorCal High School MTB League’s Development Camp in Mendocino and got to ride and talk with a group of kids. It was a great opportunity to share my story as well as my cycling knowledge with these up and comers.

NCB-3On Day 1 we did an easy ride in the morning before lunch and then a good 3.5 hours in the afternoon. The mountain biking was amazing as we were riding amongst old growth Redwood Trees and massive ferns. The trails were endless so it was a good thing we had local guides to show us the way. Later that night after another fantastic meal prepared by a chef to make sure the kids were eating healthy nutritious food we watched the Levi Effect. Afterwards I expanded on both the good and bad of my career and the kids asked a ton of great questions.

NCB-1The next day we did another fun ride before lunch and the drive home, but not before the kids presented me with a special card they had made me. It really moved me and I realized that they had taught me just as much as I had taught them. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to more of the same.

 

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Photos courtesy of Daydreamer Cinema.

 

Stage 12 Post-Race: Luz-Ardiden Descent

This is a video of our descent from Luz-Ardiden. It feels just like a gripping race.  I gave Philippe some encouragement while we navigated the treacherous corners… The guy needs to remember to eat.